When I was asked to share our adoption story I knew it had to be an honest recounting. To this day, those who were vulnerable and shared both the highs and lows of the process with us during the training are the ones whose words I remember and hold onto.
When people ask if we would do it all over again, our response is, “Absolutely.” We all know the biblical basis and God’s heart for adoption. And what an incredible moment it is when the judge declares your child yours. Adoption, for us, has also been a faith-building, knees-buckling in prayer, tear-filled journey at times.
Our hearts adopted our daughter in 2005 when she was 3 years old. Her official adoption date came in 2006. God gently and beautifully brought her into our lives after we lost our initial dream to adopt two little boys who were with us for five months. That is another story that can perhaps be shared another time. Our daughter joined her family of Dad, Mom, and two older brothers.
For a good period of time, we lived what I call the “bungee cord phenomena.” There was this cord binding us. We would inch closer and closer until the intimate proximity became too much for our daughter and she would shove off hard, creating more distance. When that would happen though, the distance was even more frightening causing her to pull back on the cord quickly, only to get too close and start the process all over again. It was wearying, exhausting, hurtful, and felt endless at times.
I never asked myself, “Why? Why did we do this?” because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God called us to this. What a gift that assurance has been. I did ask, however, “Were we crazy?!” It all came to a head for me one year when I was at our church’s women’s retreat. I was feeling defeated and exhausted, unloving and unlovable. I was resentful of past pain and occasionally overcome by unseen fears of the future. In the middle of all this, God reached down in His incredible love and gave me hope and a promise.
The full story is too long to share here, but in the end I walked away with a clear promise from Him that our daughter would find complete healing and wholeness in Him and a promise from His Word:
“…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine... to Him be glory...”
He not only promised healing, but He promises to do it way beyond what we can ask or imagine for her. What a promise!
So, do we still have hard times? Oh my, yes. BUT, in God there is hope, joy, and freedom from fear. And in this place of peace, I can see our little girl reaching up to hold her daddy’s hand in the parking lot for the first time after being with us for several months. I see our 2nd grader hugging and crying with her teacher who had just lost her dog. I hear her asking us to stop and pray for a friend who is having a hard time. I see our pre-teen walking away from a group of friends after a soccer match to go sit in the middle of a muddy field with a 4-year-old Batman who needed a friend.
I see healing. I see compassion. I see love.
Is adoption hard? It sure can be. Is it worth it? Beyond words.