Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Adoption Is

Six years ago this month, Bryan and I were at the end of a 5 year infertility journey, and we were beginning a much longer, often more difficult, journey into adoption. Through this journey we have learned so much and have had our faith shaken and strengthened, shaken and strengthened over and over again.

Before we began this journey of ours, we often looked at adoption and shook our heads. Like many of you, we saw pictures of orphanages in foreign countries, and we thought, "What a tragedy?" We thought of birthmoms and wondered, "How could a mother give her child up? How could she just give her child away?" We have come to discover though that this is not even close to what it's about. Adoption is so much more. It's about a birthmom giving her child life--giving her child more. It's about her making a selfless choice to allow someone else to raise her child and call that child their own. It's about sacrificing her desires for the well-being of her child.

And we've learned much more about adoption. When we brought Emma Leigh home from the hospital we felt like we knew her inside and out, and we joyfully came home late that Sunday night to a houseful of family and smiles and gloriously happy tears. With Lily Ana though, we've learned that adoption isn't always a joyful experience. When we brought her home, we carried a grieving baby who we'd known less than two hours into our home. We saw loss and sadness in her eyes as she searched for anything familiar--faces, sounds, smells, and most of all her birthmother.

Adoption is coming to love a child that isn't your own flesh and blood and DNA. It's wondering how you could love another child any more than you love the one given to you. It's forgetting that this child wasn't formed inside you and grieving for the loss of never knowing what it will be like to carry life in your womb.

And then we've learned that adoption is waiting and waiting and waiting some more. It's waiting for God to give you the heart for adoption. It's waiting for Him to give a birthmom a baby that she loves but knows she can't care for. It's waiting for a birthmom to choose your family to love and nurture her baby. It's waiting for the child to be born. It's waiting for the birthmom to make her final decision. It's waiting for the child to recognize you as her mother. It's waiting for God to do His amazing work of grafting that child into your family just as He so graciously does with us. Adoption is a perfect picture of what the Lord has done for us in selflessly giving His son for us. Through Jesus Christ, God has grafted us into His family.

Despite the pain, grief, and loss felt with it, adoption is a miracle. The birth of any child is a miracle, but knowing that God has specifically chosen these children of ours to be ours, is even more of a miracle. He has placed Emma Leigh and Lily Ana into our lives for a purpose. He has chosen these two children out of many, many others. We are honored to be their parents and pray each day that God will give us the strength, wisdom, and knowledge to raise them to be godly young women. November is Adoption Awareness Month, and I hope that you will allow God to speak to you about what part you will have in the miracle of adoption.


Stephanie Cobb said...

Bj and I have also begun a journey into adoption. While it has been on our hearts for a couple years now, reading posts like your have really helped open the door of adoption in our hearts. Thank you for sharing your life with me! :)

Rusty and Jennifer said...

What a beautiful picture you have painted. You have such a wonderful, loving heart and your girls are blessed to have you as their mommy.

Our Life Together said...

You are such an amazing person and your words are so touching. Thanks for sharing!

Imee Elizabeth said...

Wow, this is awesome! Just what I needed to hear today.