Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You Should Celebrate National Adoption Month Because If You Are a Christian, You Have Been Adopted

November is National Adoption Month. There’s a great cost to adoption, and I’m not just referring to the economic cost. There are fees to pay and medical bills to pay, that’s true. I cannot tell you how many times I cried before each adoption. I cannot tell you how many times I cried out to God to just show me the way to my babies. I cannot tell you how my gut would wrench when a birth mom would choose another set of adoptive parents, but God paid the ultimate price. He was willing to sacrifice is His own biological Son in order to pay the debt of all mankind, and yet many refuse Him, reject what He paid in order to fend for themselves.

            There are some children that once they are adopted there’s still a battle. They struggle to leave their old life behind even though they so desperately want a loving family. They fight against the morals they are taught in their adoptive homes, leaning on their own flawed understanding of how life is supposed to be lived. They struggle to acknowledge the role of their adoptive parents, and this is heart breaking for adoptive parents because all we want to do is love them. God’s children are the same way. Some accept Him as their Savior but challenge Him every step of the way showing Him that they don’t trust His way for their lives.

            There are some babies who have trouble bonding with their adoptive mommas. This is very common, and heart-wrenching for those sweet mommas who want desperately to love those babies. But these babies have already lost everything they know, and it’s hard to trust again. These sweet mommas have to constantly prove themselves over and over to these sweet babies that they will not leave them or forsake them in order to build that trust. The relationship comes but over time, sometimes a long time. Does this sound like your relationship with God? Is He having to prove Himself to you over and over again? He’s faithful that way. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. He doesn’t break His promises.

            So you see, earthly adoption so parallels the Father’s love for us, His adopted kids. He does this so we might become co-heirs with Jesus. It’s a struggle that He so willing accepts for each us. He pursues each of us and takes our lack of trust and molds it into a relationship if we will allow Him and if we will put in the work.

            Adoption isn’t for everyone. It is a hard road. I never ever want to see another birth mom have to place her baby in someone else’s arm and then have to leave her there. Gut-wrenching. Heart-wrenching. Sobbing and weeping. There isn’t a dry eye around. But the best thing we can do is to lay our children down in the arms of the One who will see and has seen every day that is laid out before them, the One who has every hair on their head numbered. And that is where we need to leave them. When God adopts us, He loves us so much because of what He had to do to become your Father, what He was willing to sacrifice. You can rest assured that He is going to do what is in your best interest. You won’t always understand His ways or His method, and that’s because you are His child. You don’t see the whole picture. This is where that whole bonding and trust comes into play.

            When a child is born, the birth parents give the child a name, and it’s the name that goes on a birth certificate. When the child is placed with the adoptive parents, the adoptive parents give the child the name for a lifetime. My daughter’s birth family gave her a beautiful name, but it isn’t the name we chose for her. Her birth parents put careful thought into the name, as did we.  But she isn’t known by the name first given her. She is known by the name we gave her as her adoptive parents. Are you seeing parallel yet? We trade in our name as sinner for redeemed, our life without hope for a future with endless hope. She is known by the name her adoptive parents gave her. Are you known as the name that God gave you? Christian.

            Adoptions are also sealed and finalized. With both of our children, we had to go to court, stand before a judge, answer questions, and swear to love and take care of our children. They carry our last name. It doesn’t matter whether they look like us or not. It’s their name that matters. God sealed our adoption in Him and gave us His name so that one day when He calls us home, we will know all the privileges in full of bearing His name.

            Adoption isn’t for everyone. There are some children who refuse to be adopted believe it or not. There are some children who choose to live on the streets instead of living under a roof with a family where rules are enforced for their safety. It’s sad, but true. And it’s true with God. There are those who will reject Him unwilling to trust Him, unwilling to try to build a relationship, unwilling to see the sacrifice God made for them, and they will never live with Him in heaven because they refused to be adopted by Him.

            If God has called you to adopt, I encourage you to pursue, pursue with all your heart. When the journey gets long, know that the reward is worth the struggle. When your heart is bruised and the tears fall uncontrollably, cling to the fact that God gives us the desires of our hearts when He places those desires in our heart. If God has called you to adopt, you love those babies God delivers to you. You be faithful to tell those babies the miracle of how God brought you together to make a family. If God calls you to adopt, journal because there will be times when it seems as if God is silent, and it will feel so lonely. This is the time you go back and read that journal to see how God has brought this far. And regardless of what people say, you keep your eyes on God. He will reveal to you where you are to go and what you are to do. Remember, He’s having to work it out for your good, as well as, the baby’s good. And remember to breathe and give thanks. It’s a journey. There’s a destination. And this is just a season. Seasons come and go, and the next season of parenthood may just be beyond the horizon.



Monday, November 25, 2013

November is National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month, and I would be remiss if I did not bring this to your attention. There are many children around this nation who need loving homes. Adoptions is not for the faint of heart nor for those who quit when things get difficult because that is what adoption is, but I can think of no other thing on the face of the earth that represents our Father’s love for us any better.

The reason adoption is so dear to my heart is because it is through adoption that I was finally able to claim the role as mother. It was something I could not do for myself, and yet God placed the desire to be a mom in my heart. I never had any great desire to give birth. I’ll just put that out there. Having kidney stones at an early age cured me of desiring something that would cause that kind of pain again. LOL. I believe that God gives us things in our lives or allows things in our lives to shape us, our thoughts and desires, so it’s easier to follow His will at times.

My husband and I went through fertility treatments which is something I would never wish on my worst enemy. The hormonal roller coaster, the weird things people would tell you, and every month grieving for a baby that would not be makes for a grueling period in one’s life. We had a failed private adoption. I became angry at God and depressed, but God was always faithful. We found an adoption agency we could work with, and we began talking to birth parents. Before you judge a birth parent, STOP! You don’t know the road they’ve traveled, and unless you want to be judged by the same harshness, I suggest you thank God for His grace, His blood and His mercy on your own life, and that you’ve never found yourself in her shoes having to make a sacrificial decision. Just sayin’. I’m a bit protective of birth moms.

Not everyone on this planet has the courage to be birth parents, and there are some people who have no rights to be parents and should’ve placed their babies for adoption. And by the way, those who choose to place their babies for adoption don’t “GIVE UP” their babies in adoption. I really hate those two words. Those who choose to be birth parents these days choose the family who will raise their baby. Often times, they talk to the adoptive parents and develop some sort of relationship. IT.IS.NOT.EASY. You don’t just GIVE UP a baby that you carry for nine months.

Three months after we went to an orientation, I was in the delivery room when our daughter took her first breath. Yes, that was something for which God had me praying. I journalled the story of both of our adoptions because I want our children to know that it isn’t by mistake that they are now our kids. It’s because God designed it to be so. He wasn’t caught off-guard when their birth moms became pregnant. He wasn’t surprised when the birth moms came to a difficult decision. He was with them in those dark hours as well as with us. My children are a direct result of prayer, praying for what God placed as a desire in my heart.

Every desire He ever put into my heart, He answered.

            I was called to adopt babies, but there are some who are called to adopt foster kids. I applaud these people. Some are anxiously awaiting a foster child now. Some are on pins and needles waiting to adopt their foster kids, awaiting for birth parents’ rights to be terminated. Loving and raising foster kids comes with a whole different set of challenges and rewards.

            One thing we have in common is the pursuit. For those who God has placed the desire to adopt in your heart, you know it’s a journey. It’s a journey to find the child God has chosen for you. You don’t want someone else’s child. You want the one that God has chosen for you. Waiting can be so difficult. Opening every door watching them close door after door until one is left. The frustration that comes with the adoption process. As adoptive parents we are tested and tried before we even become parents. We are scrutinized to see if we are for real, if we have room, if we can provide, if we can make a way for the child/children we are to adopt.

            Here’s the thing, God knows how it feels to be an adoptive parent. He pursues us. He wants you. He’s chosen you to adopt. He’s been waiting to adopt you. Every wall that you put up, every problem that keeps you from accepting Him, every hurtle that had to be knocked down so He could adopt you, HE DID. You tested Him. You tried Him, and He didn’t run.

            I learned so much during each journey to adopting our children who are bright and funny and beautiful. To genetically not be our children, they are SOOOOO our children. Things that could not be manufactured by environment have shown up in our children that are the same or similar to my husband and I …down to our son not having an adult tooth in the same location as myself. That is God. Just one of the many ways we are able to show our children that God chose us to be their adoptive parents.