I had intended to blog on thankfulness as it pertains to adoption for the month of November. Instead God brought a blessing into our family on November 1,Cecilia Jane, daughter Amerey’s first born. I’ve spent the last few weeks driving back and forth to Amerey’s and my blog has sat silent. However, my thankful list in my journal is growing. I am rereading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and taking pen to paper once again and counting the blessings. My pen does not produce the blessings, it gives them voice. They were there to begin with.
Adoption is an exciting journey. Those who choose to accept the challenges of parenthood through adoption know is it a raging rapid ride. The waves of paperwork and home studies smack us in the face, but oh the thrill! The excitement when we think of that child coming home!
Go to the beginning. The beginning of your adoption journey when the possibility was a tiny seed, not yet met with the sperm of the process. Before the paperwork. Before the fingerprints. Before the home study. Are you there? There is a glimpse of joy. A hope of a future with a child or children. You don’t know them yet, but your heart is full of them, brimming over with expectancy, with faith.
Fast-forward to today. What are your todays like? Busy, filled to the brim with the doings of life with this child you so expectantly loved and longed for. Filled with the getting up, the putting on of clothing, brushing teeth, schooling, dentist appointments, prayers, scoldings. At the end of the day, do you fall on the couch, weary of the work? Wondering, how can I do all this? How can I carry the burden of family, my back bent over with the weight?
Raising a child is a hard work. Raising a child from a hard place is intimidating work. There are ups and downs, victories, defeats, sorrow and a heavy load. I have carried that heavy load to the point of codependency, trying to carry the child. His burdens are dense with ancient afflictions that hang on him like sticky cobwebs. I like the fly, get caught in the web, bound up, stupified by the poison of the past.
What is the answer? How do I raise the child without being entangled in web? How do I pray for healing and step back and let God do the work? How do I leave my pseudo control behind and let God do the work?
Go back to the beginning. The beginning of the adoption journey when the possibility was a tiny seed. God watered the seed. He brought the seed to fruition. He brought the child to me. He made a way when there seemed to be no way. He began the work. He will finish it. His Word will not return void. I must not be as the silly, foolish Galatians who accepted the grace, the free gift of salvation and then picked up the hammer and tried to do the work. I pick up the hammer and pound away at sin and sorrow. It bruises. My muscles ache from the work that doesn’t change body or soul. So, I go back to the beginning when the grace was fresh, new, glorious and exult in the glory of the plan of adoption. My adoption. The adoption of my children. The adoption of children. Miraculous. Predestined before the foundation of the world. Before the sphere of blue-green earth hung pendulous in the star spangled sky. Before the Word spoke. Before God puffed breath into clay-dirt Adam, He had already beforehand, planned for our adoption because it was His kind intent. He knew. He planned. It was the purpose of His will. (Ephesians 1) I go back to the origins and I am thankful, bathed in the grace once again.
I return to thanksgiving. Thanks for the miracle of adoption.
Thank you for the child I loved before I knew him. Thank you for the prayers I prayed for children half a world away. Thank you for the blurry photos of my children I carried next to my heart and shed happy tears over. Thank you for planes the speed over the Atlantic to far away countries that are home. Thank you that you wrote the stories of my children, you were with them when I could not be. You watched over them. You are a Father to the fatherless.