Everyday. That’s how often someone asks me about adoption.
Most people want to know- “Doesn’t it wreck your life?“
I don’t think people ask everyone who has adopted this same question. I don’t think the person who adopts the cutie pie little baby is asked this question. I’m sure their most asked question is different.
I think it’s the people who adopt the older “un-adoptables” who are asked my question. Sort of like – everyone loves puppies, but the older pit-bulls- nobody wants.
The problem is:
They all wreck your life.
Big, little; nice or mean. HIV positive, healthy. Two months old, ten years old. Domestic, International. All of them. They all wreck you.
This is how I want to answer everyone who asks.
It’s hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Each day, everyday. It.is.hard.
It’s hard because when I go to the school and the kids in her class interview me, like they do all of the other MVP student’s moms, they want to know: “What was her first word?” And of course, I can’t say, “Well, I only met her nine months ago… let me get back to ya on that” ; )
It’s hard because when we celebrate birthdays in our home- we look at baby pictures. And for them, there simply are none. And the truth is: there never will be.
It’s hard because as much as you try to be mom and you really are- you simply are not the only mom they’ve ever known and you never will be because they still remember that mom.
It’s hard because as much as you tell them you love them- at first, they wonder if you’re for real.
It’s hard because, by this age, they really should know how to take baths, eat food, pour water or simply apply chapstick and lotion but they just don’t.
It’s hard because every now and then, they tell you stories of dark nights, no mattresses or food. They remember bugs crawling on them, and dogs hurting them. They have stories of dads yelling and people leaving. Over and over again.
It’s hard because as much as you love them- as much as they’re yours forever and you’d take a whole dozen of them. You still get really mad because someone did this to them.
And then I think:
Oh yeah, you bet we’ve been wrecked.
We’ve been wrecked by that sweet Jesus who makes all things new. Wrecked by this love He has shown us in real life by the true heart of adoption. Wrecked by this reality. Really? Is this the way it is? Jesus loves me? Me? Messy, abandoned me? Me? Always messing up, never getting it right, me? He.adopted.me?
And now, out of the love of two broken people– two people He adopted into His family, that man of mine and little ‘ol me, we get to show the love of a savior to two kiddos? Two kiddos who, as you can tell, are totally “Gibson”…
Let me give it to ya straight.
Adoption isn’t for everyone. I get that. I’m not saying it is. Fruit Loops aren’t for everyone either. But just so you know, I think they’re delish. =)
Here is something else I do know. God is moving in the hearts of His people to care for orphans. It simply must be the reason I am asked every single day about adoption. It must be the reason my email is flooded with questions from people I don’t even know asking me how to help with their hurting adopted kids. It must be the reason I am asked, almost daily, “How do I adopt.”
If you are someone who is asking that question allow me to share with you this:
Adoption is hard.
The paperwork is endless, the people involved in the process aren’t always the best. It will require a lot of work. Your house may need some changes- your perspective might need some fine tuning. Some kids are really messed up, they need your love pretty bad. Some people are rude to you- it’s just the truth. Like the man at Wal-Mart who took it upon himself to ask me “Damn girl, how many baby daddies have you had?” as my little crew of white and brown children trailed behind me– totaling six all together ; )
Yeah, he must be a real winner.
Who cares about all of that stuff.
Here is what really matters:
Today I watched my boys play basketball in the freezing cold wearing matching NBA sweatbands. And if the nerdy matching sweatbands weren’t enough to make this momma tear up- I heard Triston (who is adopted) say, “You’re the best brother Judah.”
Here is what really matters:
Two days ago we celebrated Ashley’s ninth birthday- it was her first birthday with us. The truth is, she doesn’t know what this momma was really celebrating. I was celebrating her surviving those first eight years and rejoicing in knowing she gets to live the rest of them- no longer surviving.
Those are the kinds of things that really matter.
The hard paperwork and countless expenses associated with adoption will fade away. In fact, some people don’t even have much expense or paperwork. The truth is- the scary unknowns don’t stay unknown for long. And who knows? Your house might be more ready than you think. Someone might answer you “yes” to adopting, rather than “no”. You just never know until you go for it.
When I watch this video- [the video just below] I know it’s about a sweet baby and the fight for clean water. But I want you to know this:
When you adopt- THIS is the type of world, wonder, and opportunity you offer a child. A chance to see it all for the first time. A chance for them to fulfill their “If I had a mommy and daddy list” and believe me.
They have that list.
“Once I knew only darkness and stillness… my life was without past or future… but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.”
May we be the hands that clutch at emptiness, friends.
All my love made possible thru Him,