As a society, we have become brave with our words as long as we are hiding behind a screen while sitting on our sofas. We press the keys on keyboard hard and with passion. We use capital letters as we tear apart the idea of someone we've never even met. I'm not immune to the false sense of protection of the digital versus the in the flesh real live conversation. But.
...but today I wrestle with my words.
I want them to be kind and strong. Bold and careful. Loving and straight forward.
I'm going to attempt to share my heart. Can you please attempt to see it as that?
I've been asked many questions. I've had many discussions. I've not given the calm well thought out answer to the friend that I'd never want to hurt or offend. I've left conversations mouth shut not sure how to explain without becoming overly passionate or emotional. Most of the conversations start with something like one of these...
"When were you called to adopt?"
"How did you know which one to get?"
"Aren't you concerned for your other children? You don't know those boys."
"Why did you adopt when you already had four kids of your own?"
"You don't think everyone should adopt, do you?"
"I just can't see myself doing that."
I could go on and on and on. (Am I right adoptive mamas and daddies??)
Strangers. Friends. Fellow believers. Family. They all have questions, comments, and looks. I've been trying to come up with answers that are kind, but that convey my heart. Here are the verbal answers and a look in to my thoughts.
1. "When were you called to adopt?"
We knew God was leading us to adopt before we even had Titus.
I didn't adopt because I couldn't have kids. Adoption has been the plan. It's God's plan for all of us.
2. "The boys evened out your family! 3 boys. 3 girls."
Neat how the number is even for now, but that wasn't our goal.
We didn't adopt to fill a void.
3. "I've never felt called to adoption."
"We aren't all called to adopt, but we are commanded to visit the orphan in their time of need!"
I say it and cringe because I don't believe it with all my heart. I say it because it is what we say.
I'm not saying you should adopt, but go and love on some kids and see if you don't want to adopt 40. Also, I wasn't "called" to be a mom. God placed that desire in my heart from a young age. I asked my 12 year old if she ever prays to be called to be a mom. She said, "No. I pray for my future husband and that I can be a good wife and mom. I don't think we are called to be moms. God just makes us moms." EXACTLY! I didn't wonder if being a mom was a calling I was going to have. I knew God wanted that for me. I didn't sit back and say to my husband that we should wait to be called to "be" with one another to conceive, but I did pray for the little one that I hoped to conceive in the same way I prayed for the little one that I knew He'd place in my arms at the orphanage instead of the hospital. Same thing. I know some will disagree, but this is where I am. It is the same. God placed a desire in me to be a mom of many... Not a mom to many biological children that look like me and share a common ancestry. I don't care about a common ancestry. I care that we have a common family now with our adoptive Daddy.... Our Father in heaven! Oh, that each of my children would accept the gift of adoption as sons and daughters of the King!
4. "How did you know which one to get?"
We prayed that God would place them in front of us and He did.
They aren't puppies. These are my children. God guided our hearts and the hearts of our children to these boys who are my now my sons.
5. "Did you know you'd love them?"
I didn't ever think about whether I'd love the ones that came to me through biology. Do you think shared DNA equals love? I don't share DNA with my husband! I knew God was giving them to me. Period. I never wondered if I'd love the ones that came to me through adoption. I knew that Christ loved me first and that, in turn, I would love the blessings He placed in my arms.
6. "Aren't you concerned for your other children? You don't know those boys."
We pray for God's protection and His guidance for each of our kids.
Are you kidding me?!? I'm concerned about ALL my children. All six. I didn't know any of them before I met them. My four bios are sinners too you know!
7. "Why did you adopt when you already had four kids of your own?"
I had room in the van. Wink.
Children are a blessing. a heritage. a gift. The more children in my home the more children I get to share the love of Christ with!
8. "You don't think everyone should adopt, do you?"
See answer in number 3 above.
9. "I just can't see myself doing that."
See answer in number 3 above.
10. "Isn't having so many overwhelming?"
Yes, but worth every second. So so so so so very worth it.
Some days I want to pull the covers over my head and pretend it is still night and that I don't have over a dozen eggs and a stack of pancakes to cook. I don't want to say that and you say no to adoption because it is hard so I don't mention this or the late nights kneeling beside the bed of my children until after midnight assuring them that I do love them. I want you to say yes to adoption in spite of it being hard because what's really hard is knowing that there are kids that don't have a mom pulling the covers over their head to hide for five more minutes. What's really hard is hearing stories of my nine year old taking care of his two younger siblings from sun up to sun down while his dad and brothers worked even if he was sick and how scary it was to go to bed before they got home and how he would tell his brother to stop crying so no one would hear they were alone. What's hard is knowing the fear, the hunger, the sadness, the pain, and the lack of hope that millions of sweet boys and girls go to bed with every night. They pull the covers up to hide from the thought of another day alone, another day in an orphanage, another day stuck in a crib with no one around to love on them, another day of crying and no mommy to hold them until the hurt in their heart subsides. THAT is hard. What's hard is that I can see them. I can see their sweet feet in shoes that fit for the first time. I can see their joyful smile as they get a small gift. I hear their voices singing in my head. I feel their hand sneaking in to mine when I'm not even looking. And that is hard. It's hard because I desire to love each one. I desire to sit by their bed and pray for them as they drift off to sleep. I long to give them good morning hugs and kisses. I can imagine filling their plates full of yummy food. I smile at the thought of hearing them join in to "Sing unto the Lord a new song!" like James and Azriel did as they filled waters at dinner yesterday.
Do for one what you wish you could do for many!
|Brothers eating peaches :)|