Today is National Adoption Day, bringing awareness to the great need for adoptive families in America, but all I can say is adoption made us a family.
I have yet to find words that do this journey justice. Because it is a journey, not just a destination.
This week I was watching the new Michael Weatherly drama Bull. The episode featured a woman who went into surgery expecting to come out with her ability to carry a child restored, but had to have an emergency hysterectomy instead.
I almost couldn’t watch the episode.
My first reproductive surgery was supposed to make it possible for me to carry a child, but instead I learned that I would most likely never get pregnant and should have had a hysterectomy during that initial procedure. Less than a year later, I ended up having a total hysterectomy when I no longer could ignore how drastically it was affecting my health.
While the health benefits of the hysterectomy finally allowed me to lead a more normal life, losing my ability to ever experience pregnancy and have children was devastating. Sometimes, those emotions are still very raw.
The vision of the family I dreamed of as a young woman would never come to be.
I will never know how it feels to look at a miniature version of my husband and myself, created in our love.Adoption doesn't erase the hurts of infertility. But is its own rainbow miracle too. Click To Tweet
Adopting doesn’t heal that specific grief.
Adopting after infertility might be similar to the experience of having a rainbow baby (a child born after a miscarriage or still birth). This new life is precious and celebrated, but doesn’t replace what was lost.
I never lost a specific child, but had my heart broken over all the images of my children I had carried in my head and heart.
But the Bull episode ended with one of the main characters walking up to the woman saying, “There is more than one way to make a family. I’m adopted and I can’t thank my parents enough for giving me a family and this life. Adoption is just another way.”
And I was crying ugly tears for no reason at all.
Because adoption did make us a family.
But this year, I’m really struck by how God used adoption to make us a family. He took two people who had both had their hopes and ideas of family shattered by divorce and created a new family through this adoption.
It is a beautiful picture of second chances and redemption for all of us.
Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Despite all we did to make a mess of our lives, God’s mercies are new EVERY morning. He brought us through the adoption process so perfectly, moment by moment was orchestrated by Him.
Each of our lives are changed through adding this little girl to our family.
My husband’s boys from his first marriage have their only little sister. My husband got to have another chance to be present for the very young years that he mostly missed with his boys due to military deployments.Adoption made us a family. It gave our dreams a second chance. #NationalAdoptionDay Click To Tweet
and I get to be a mom.
Being a mom is like the old Peace Corps slogan: The toughest job you’ll ever love.
There are moments I feel completely wrung out, ready to dissolve into a puddle of frustrated tears, but I can’t imagine my life without her in it. Becoming a mother fundamentally changed my perception of my place in this world, my relationship with God, and the concept of what my legacy might be.Mom: Toughest job you'll ever LOVE! Are you up for it? #NationalAdoptionDay Click To Tweet
This Adoption Day wasn’t picture perfect.
We scrambled to fit in an extra school day in preparation for a trip next week. We struggled through how many dimes can you trade for 18 nickels until we were both ready to quit, cry, and just carry credit cards.
Then we raced out the door to see the Budweiser Clydesdale team. Because HORSES and 6 year old girls. Running to buy a toy for the Salvation Army toy drive, I accidentally stole a soda and had to go back to pay for it on the way home after driving 30 minutes in the dark on a low tire. My husband shot one deer in the woods today but executed another via his truck on the way home, damaging his truck and doubling the butchering this evening.
Such is life.
But this is family, doing ups and downs, working hard to challenge the chaos in this world.
It’s learning how to best love this family we chose to commit to.
And there is a reason God says we’re adopted into His kingdom as co-heirs with Jesus Christ. He sets the precedent for chosen, adopted, brotherhood.
There is something special about being chosen, being loved by daily decision, being adopted . . . because it makes us family.