I don’t really remember when God first put adoption on my heart or my husband’s heart.
It was a process that started back before we had biological children, when I would check the Oregon waiting children pages. And I would read their stories. And my heart would hurt. And I would feel unable, unwilling, not ready–
To meet the need so great.
And then years later, I sat at a child’s sports practice with my friend Becky, who was open to adoption.
And I told her my secret–
I was willing.
I felt my heart pulled to adopt, but I would pray (because the decision was so great, so big, so beyond me-in-my-own-strength). I would pray for God to place it on my husband’s heart.
And then one day, on a car ride home, after a day spent with children needing rock-solid-family-permanent–
He said, “Do you think maybe God wants us to adopt?”
And I knew that was a message from the Father’s heart, our Father who “places the lonely in families” ~Psalm 68:6
And so we took the baby steps.
And saw closed doors and open doors and major moments of confirmation.
And within months we were matched with Selah, our December baby who lived to be a true time of–
Pause and value.
As her name suggests.
He gifted us that time of peace.
When I felt most at rest.
The most restful and valuable–
In my whole life.
And then we lost her–
To a disease in a world full of sin-induced-hurt.
To a disease in a world needing– Redemption.
We wept and writhed in the aching sorrow, that kind of sorrow that churns within and pulls out the deepest, silent, voiceless screams, pain beyond all words.
But even then, on the day she died, when the judge cleared the courts and finalized our papers,and they delivered her adoption decree up to the hospital just hours before her death…
God was in this.
This path of adoption.
Because adoption is real.
Because the hurt could not have been more real or more deep.
We truly mourned the death of our child.
I knew the depth of love-adoption.
How deep adoptive love is, how complete and firm and solid and final that love is,
And so she entered into eternity.
And we wept and grieved and I lay on my bed silently shouting Job’s cries.
My heart hurt not fully ready to embrace new love again, just frozen in a pained embrace,
For a long while.
We started the process soon after.
But God knew I wasn’t ready.
We needed to surpass birthdays and lost days and grief days and the season of spring when everything– the cherry blossoms blooming and the smells and the songs and the possibilities, could only remind me of her.
We stepped back in fear of future hurt.
We stepped back as we thought of what might happen.
For a length of time we stepped back, waiting until we could fully say–
“Your plan. Your will. Be done.”
Risking a heart broken is the only alternative to creating a heart unbreakable.
And on the day we rejoined the journey, God matched us with a mama-so-in-love with a child,
A mama who trusted hope, who trusted Him, who went in to end a life, but who saw the Life stirring and who chose Life for the child,
And she carried that life within her.
Even in the turmoil, the hurt, the abandonment, and the fear…
That mama didn’t forget the child and in the grasp of self-sacrifice, her gift was beyond all gifts I can fathom,
And two months later, on a perfect day,a God-appointed day,
Our Lydia Grace was born.
It was Father’s Day. It was my husband’s birthday.
And in love, that sweet mama welcomed in our Lydia.
And we wept, over the gift,
Adoption ushers in life. And family. And love.
Adoption ushers in redemption. And hope.
And an eternal hope.
I understand it better now, God’s love for me.
That it is real and full, as I am truly His child.
As she is truly ours.
As I love her with that lay-down-my-life-for-her kind of love.
Which He did.
Lay down His life.
So that I might be adopted, as His real child, with a love beyond all measure–