Adoption begins with loss.
Loss for the birth parent: They lose the oppouritnyt to love and care for their child.
Loss for the child: He/she loses the opportunity to be with his/her birth family.
Loss for the caregivers. Those that care for children who are waiting to be adopted, either orphanage workers or foster parents, suffer loss when the child leaves. Just because they loved for a short while doesn’t mean that their love wasn’t deep.
Loss for the adoptive parent. They lose the opportunity to see their child growing in the womb. In some cases, the adoptive parent loses months and even years of their child’s life. They lose the opportunity to see milestones and know past medical history.
Our adoption of Liana began in loss. She will tell her story one day. It isn’t one that I want to share publicly. It is hers and we will guard it for her until she is ready to share it. But her loss wasn’t the only one we experienced.
When she was placed in our arms, I saw the loss of my own selfish plans fade away. My story suddenly took a plot twist I had no idea was coming! I awoke each day in China and wondered where I had ended up? This was not where my story was going to go!? How did we get here? Her medical needs were more severe than we were expecting. My heart began to break as I realized her care would require more of me. More therapy. More time. More years of help. Maybe a lifetime of help.
As a mom of three littles (ages 6, 4, and 2) I already thought my resources were spent. I thought I would add another little child to the mix who would need once-a-week therapy and a couple of good meals and be done. I knew the possibility of her being worse, and I thought I had prepared my heart for it. I didn’t fully, I think.
Bringing her home, with our other children, was so daunting. I saw the loss of time. I would lose time with my other children. I saw the loss of attention. They would lose some of my attention. I felt stressed just thinking about home schooling. I thought for sure I would have to give up so much to care for her.
As we struggled through those days in China, I began to see so much of my own heart. I saw all of my selfishness. I saw all of my pride. God was pulling back the curtain of my heart and revealing how I was so dependent on myself and my ability. Selfishness was behind my all of my fears. I felt adoption’s loss so strongly that first night I wept with the pain of my broken story.
Loss, grief, pain, heartache, and suffering are all a part of adoption. This was not the way our God planned it. Because of sin and mankind’s sin, children become orphans and loss begins. Yet, our God provides a way. A way for loss to be made whole again….Redemption.
God provided a way for my selfish heart to find a way through the broken pieces. He knew where the story was going. He had gone before and written the words of my story. He knew the ending. He knew it was not only going to be ok, it was going to be good.
I told God: “I can’t do this.”
He responded back: “No, you can’t. But you aren’t alone. And you won’t be the one to do this. I am doing this.”
I did not have the ability to parent her – or to give her all that she would need. I was forced to deal with something that would require more of me than I thought was available. God knew that. He knew how much of my heart was relying on ME. My time, my love, my strengths were not the only thing God was going to use.
I had my husband.
I had my family (my mother, sisters, aunts…etc).
I had my friends.
And I had my God. And He was redeeming my heart. Not only did He redeem our daughter, bringing her into our story. He is redeeming my heart and reminding me where I belong – in HIS family.
Even if adoption begins with loss, it doesn’t end there. Adoption begins with of tears of pain – but adoption ends with of tears of joy. Adoption ends with redemption. It ends with beauty. Beauty because the One who holds us has set the lonely in families. (Psalm 68:6) He is in the business of making orphans children.
Tears are so cleansing. I still cry at the beauty of what God is doing. I am no longer in the story I thought I would be in. There are good days. There are so many bad days. I am learning to walk in this different story, with therapy and speech and specialists coming into my home. I am learning how to juggle four littles. I am learning again that God is writing my story, not me.
And I am not defined in what I have. No, my worth is not what I own. My worth is found in my Redeemer. My soul is satisfied in Him alone.