How do I explain the miracle of adoption to those who do not understand it? How do I convey that people are absolutely incorrect when they assume that family ties and unfailing love are built upon genetics?
Lately, I fear that I turn people away from adoption more than draw them to it. I complain about the length of our process, how badly I ache to get our daughter, how confounded I am by delay after delay. But there are critical facts hidden behind my complaints that I fear people do not see.
The first fact is that Amelia is my daughter. She is my joy. I love her endlessly. There is NOTHING I am not willing to do for her. Sure, I complain about this process. Not because she is a hassle, but because MY baby girl is growing up on another continent, and I would die to get to her, to give her a future, to show her my love… yet there is little I can do other than pray and wait. It hurts BECAUSE she is already a part of my every heart beat, even without having held her or seen her in person. Adoption is not charity. It is not some task that I begrudgingly take on. I am passionate about bringing our daughter home.
Another fact that people may miss when I complain about the hardship of adoption is this: The adoption process is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. When we decided to adopt, we figured we’d be doing a nice thing for one child. That’s it. It was a tiny step of faith. I NEVER expected to be so flooded by blessing through the process, even before getting to our child home. Scripture has come alive like never before – so much so that this deserves an entire post in itself. Parenting now seems much less about control, and much more about prayer, now that I am the parent of a child who is not mine legally nor with me physically. Also, the world now seems smaller and more relevant to me. Photographs of hungry children are reminders of what Amelia could have been without her angel caretakers. People of a different race might as well be extended family. Trials in faraway countries suddenly feel worthy of my attention and prayer.
Should I go on? I could! I have learned that WAITING is one of the greatest themes in Scripture. I have learned that this wait for Amelia is really mostly about learning to wait on God… to long for HIM above all else. To understand that HE is the blessing we should most desire.
My broader world perspective has shown me how extravagantly wealthy we as Americans are, and has caused me to pray for God to release me from the chains of my graspy-ness. (For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll say I am still rather materialistic. But at least I know what to pray for and fight against.)
I have learned that trials are what shape us. “Fire” is what God uses to burn up our MANY imperfections and shape us into a gold that is more pure and more like Him. This doesn’t mean that I always welcome the fire. If you have read my blog for more than a week, you have seen me pitch some first-class fits against it. But I am learning. I am growing. And if I truly want to be more like my Savior, then I better welcome MUCH more of that refining fire through trials. (Is there some wood I can knock on around here? I may have just typed those words, but can’t I get Amelia home without any more trials for a little while? Ha!)
My point is this: Adoption is one of the greatest blessings I have ever experienced. I truly believed that it is anointed by God. Is it hard? Um… YES! But most beautiful and worthy things are difficult. And I have never heard of an “easy” way to bring a child into a family.
Do you want to be blessed? Adopt. Are you not sure whether God is calling you to it? Take a step in the adoption direction. Scripture tells us repeatedly that God has a special heart for the fatherless. He will guide you and grow you and bless you as you walk towards Him.