November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and this Saturday is National Adoption Awareness Day. Up until the last couple of years, these were things I was completely oblivious to, and quite honestly indifferent to. This year, our family will be celebrating Saturday with the adoption of our three year old daughter Addison, whom we have been fostering for the last year and a half.
So you may be wondering how I went from indifference to attempting to make a difference?
Truthfully, in carefully examining it, the indifference existed as a cover for genuine, deep-seeded fears I had about the idea of adopting…
- What if bringing someone into our family changed our family for the worse?
- What if she was “too broken”?
- What if I’m not a good enough mother?
- What if she never really sees me as her mother?
- What if I can’t love her like I love my biological kids?
- What if I can’t help her overcome the hurt in her life?
- What if she eventually would reject us and want her biological family back?
And many more. It seemed impossible to overcome any of these fears, and more impossible to actually adopt. About two years ago, however, through a series of events including a counseling client I was working with who was adopted, I very clearly heard God say, and I could no longer ignore…
“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” – Luke 18:27
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
It became clear that adoption was the path that He wanted us to take. I would like to tell you that the fears and the feelings of impossibility were immediately overcome, but that would be far from true. This has been one of the most difficult paths we have ever taken. We have endured:
- Endless paperwork
- Seemingly unending visits from countless social and case workers
- Visits with biological mom which were confusing and traumatizing
- Temper tantrums at a level I have never seen before
- Frustration, resentment, and anger from our biological kids
- Feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and anger as parents
- Marital stress and tension
- Sleepless nights
- Hopelessness that things would ever change
The list goes on, and by now you are probably wondering why Saturday is still occurring. I myself have asked the same. It comes down to the answer my seven year old gave when I asked him how he felt about having Addie as a sister. He said, “Mom, if we don’t have her as our sister, she will have to go back to a bad family, and I don’t want that for her.” Yes buddy, when we keep our eyes on the eternal perspective and not on what we see or feel on a daily basis, and it changes everything.
The eternal perspective is this:
- A life that was headed toward destruction, now has a chance at life abundantly
- The life that was hopeless, now can have hope
- She is loved
- There will be a place where she belongs forever
- There is now a path to healing and redemption
- Salvation through Jesus is made known
- She is chosen
From time to time God is gracious enough to give me glimpses into it – tonight on the way home, Addie said, “Mom, Jesus loves me, did you know that?” and from time to time I catch her softly singing, “My God is so great, so strong, and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do”. So every tear and every challenge become worth it. The path of her life has been forever changed, not because of who I am or what I do or don’t, but because God is capable of the impossible.