As we celebrated the third year of meeting our adopted kiddos, and we are closing in on our ONE YEAR anniversary of our adoption becoming official, I have so many feelings and thoughts swirling around in my head. SO MUCH has happened over these three years. It seems like a blink of an eye, and at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago that I was mothering just a few in my home. I stand in awe of this story that I have NO doubt at all our Father in Heaven has knit together.
The first photo I ever saw of my beautiful children
I think about where I was three years ago and see how this hosting and adoption journey has grown my faith by leaps and bounds. At some moments, I was in danger of losing hope entirely. Ultimately, it has always been my faith that has pulled me through the roughest patches.
Our adoption story has not been perfect. There have been amazing highs and terrible lows. In the end, one of the five siblings, one child whom calls me “mother”, one child whom I love dearly, has decided for now to continue with visits only (not adoption). So our story has never been tied up in pretty bows at the end. We still don’t know what “the end” of our adoption journey will look like. There continues to be sadness and worry over “the one”. With the other children adjusting, and more than doubling the size of our children at home to seven, there were some mornings that I didn’t think I would be able to pull myself out of bed and make another meal for another child or do another load of laundry. I begged and pleaded with Him and he faithfully got me through each day to the next.
Our first summer together (the girls were too young to host)
I have watched the faith of my children solidify over this journey. I have watched them pray together and for each other throughout our days. I have watched them take interest in and desire to read the Bible. I have watched my children share their faith with others.
I have watched as all of my children have grown to become more loving, more forgiving, and more tolerant of each other. I have watched as my husband and I have grown immensely in patience and support of each other. I have watched as my family has developed a new normal, with new rhythms and flows and schedules. I have watched as blessings have unfolded time and time again throughout our process.
“Gotcha” Day where we were all finally reunited in Latvia
Has it all been rainbows and butterflies? OH MY, NO! Let me assure you that my children are still children and their parents are still bumbling around always asking Him to lead them, because they fail daily. Check out these past posts where we share the hurdles we have been through:
Yet – God has continued to be faithful to us and carry us through the valleys in between the mountains.
Someone said to me early on in our process, “adoption isn’t for the faint of heart”.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has the following definitions:
Definition of “faint of heart”
: lacking the courage to face something difficult or dangerous —usually used in the phrase not for the faint of heart.
: lacking courage and spirit : cowardly
: weak, dizzy, and likely to faint
: lacking strength or vigor : performed, offered, or accomplished weakly or languidly
: to lose courage or spirit
: to become weak
It didn’t really hit me how powerful that statement was until I went through it. Now I can confidently say, it is true! Adoption of older children is not for the faint of heart. Adoption is HARD STUFF! You absolutely cannot lack courage, spirit, strength, or vigor. You cannot become weak. You have to be strong. You have to be brave. You have to ask the Holy Spirit to provide you with everything you need. I can promise you right now that if you complete an adoption process, you WILL go through some hard times. You WILL sometimes feel like giving up. Some days you will be wading through CRAP. Yet, remember what the best fertilizer out there is? Manure…crap. It stinks. It’s yucky. But you know what? It grows some BEAUTIFUL flowers!
First professional photo of all the children once back in the US
Adoption of older children is similiar. It always begins with loss, the worst kind of loss there is, the loss of parents. Not only is there this trauma of losing one’s parents, but usually these children have suffered many other types of abuses and traumas . You are going to wade through the crap. It is going to stink. It’s going to be dirty. It’s messy. BUT – if you aren’t faint of heart, if you are strong and courageous, you will reap a harvest of the most beautiful flowers imaginable by the grace of God. A child is redeemed- a family is restored – just as we are invited and adopted as children of God into His family (despite all the crap we have dealt with in our own lives).
Maybe the crap you’re wading through today is not adoption related. Maybe it’s work related or relationship related or — fill in the blank. Whatever it is, there is still hope that flowers can grow from it.
He works all things for the good of those who love Him…
Not some things, but ALL things.
Rest in this promise today, my friend. No matter what you are facing, don’t lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Cling to His promise to work it for good. You may not realize it at the moment. You may not realize it until years later. You may not even realize it this side of Heaven. But you can trust His promises. He is faithful. He is good. He wants the best for you in the end.