Wednesday, January 4, 2012

6 weeks in....

We have our first post-adoption homestudy in the morning. We are officially 6 weeks in! To reflect on the past year is completely overwhelming... designing and building our home, moving, adopting a 2-year-old, raising our other two preschoolers, international mission work, etc... THIS IS THE LIFE, I'll tell ya! I wouldn't change a thing, I have the same feeling that I get when eating at my mom's... “I'm so full but this tastes so good!” I need to put the fork down (so to speak) and veg out for a while. (no pun intended. well maybe a little.)

It’s no secret…I love adoption! I think adoption is God’s answer to the many, many children who have been abandoned through no fault of their own. By His amazing grace He adopted each one of us first—and that very spirit of adoption is passed along to many of us who feel called to grow our families through the same blessing we so freely received.

No one can deny that God is moving in this country and even beyond it's borders. The heart for adoption is spreading like wildfire. The message of adoption is finally being preached in so many churches and hearts are being stirred and open to the calling! I love this! … but now I know. This is real. This is the “real deal Lucille,” as I like to say. My, now three babies, pitter-patter across the hardwood every morning. Three are hungry for breakfast, three need outfits for the day and three sets of pajamas from the night before are stacked on my massive laundry pile. Three rush to hug daddy “bye, bye” for work, three buckle into car seats, three want to be snuggled into their beds for naps, three look into my eyes and trust me for their every need. Three call me “Mommy.”

Oh Lord, why and how? Why such undeserved favor on me? How do you create such beautiful relationships between mothers and daughters, mothers and sons? I'm in awe.

For the years leading up to us adopting Matthew, Joe and I talked a lot about adoption. I spent way too much time looking at photo listings, reading advocating blogs and requesting information from every adoption agency I came across. Matthew's little face popped up HERE on this site and I sent an e-mail to the contact person listed. This was different. I KNEW. He was mine.

Since then, I have still looked at photos of orphans, read stories, celebrated friend's adoptions, etc.... but now I am living it and it is beyond anything I could have imagined. Matthew is home and our lives are forever changed.

With the (for lack of a better term) adoption movement happening, I have read so many blogs educating society of the do's and don'ts of adoption etiquette. I never felt like this was my place- as an adoptive parent or as a biological parent. I would much rather prefer to lead by example.

With that said, I do want to share my own experiences with adoption so far.

1- People have asked me so many times if I have any of my own kids. I know what they mean- biological. However, I fully value and think of Matthew as my own!

2- Birthmothers are not bad, immoral people. Very few, if any, birthmothers who relinquish their children do so lightly. For most, it is a searing, heartbreaking decision that will haunt them forever. When people comment and say things about my Matthew’s birthmother, I take it personally. They are commenting about the woman who gave my son life and whose genes remain an inseparable part of him — forever.

3- Your questions are welcomed! I'm glad to talk about adoption. This was a HUGE life-changer for me!!! Plus, I want you to know more because I'm secretly hoping you’ll adopt later. (This is not true.) (Yes it is.)

4- The encouragement and comfort it brings me to hear (and believe) that my friends have prayed over all of us through this whole process is beyond description! At times, I could feel the battle being won right around me.

5- Transition from two kids to three kids was pretty easy for us, but this is NOT the norm. I assure you... this was not due to my supermom status. God provided in ways beyond my comprehension. Matthew never really had an institutional upbringing since he was mostly raised with a foster family and this was key. We were so very fortunate to have him bond easily to us and his bother & sister.

6- I had someone, whom I love so much, see me struggle 3 weeks after coming home with Matthew. There are hard days with biological children as well as adopted children. I was sleep-deprived and mentally spent. She told me “You need three more.” It felt like I was being kicked while I was down. These sort of statements are just hurtful. I need to be vulnerable without being judged or attacked. The difficulty of the day came and went, but her words are etched in my mind (and heart) in a way that only God will be able to heal.

7- Yes, Matthew loved Christmas. This was the #1 question I've had so far. However, I must be honest here. He is two. He just turned two. He really doesn't care or understand right now. He sees a toy (especially one with wheels) and he is a happy camper. Whether or not he unwrapped it, it belongs to him or someone else.... he's just happy to be here. My other two loved Christmas as well- not that anyone asked.

8- Adopting is a lonely road... that's all I'm saying.

9- Since the announcement of our decision to adopt, people LOVE to share horror stories with us about anything and everything that has happened to the lady they use to work with's cousin's son who adopted a misfit from such-and-such to the neighbor's friend's baby's daddy who adopted a baby from thing-a-ma-jig. I don't want to know hear horror stories. Imagine I'm sit with you before you go into surgery. What in the world would compel me to tell you surgical nightmares I've seen on the Discovery Channel or about my aunt who had a botched surgery and is now paralyzed on one side... (true story by the way.)

10- There is nothing more encouraging than finding out God has used our family for greater kingdom work, beautiful things we would never know or see. I had a friend write me THIS NOTE and share how our adoption story has touched her life. We gather the holy moments in our hands every day, praying for eyes to see God’s presence, His purposes realized in our story. When you put more holy moments in our hands to meditate on, we are drawn deeper into the Jesus who led us here.

My journey continues.