I don’t really remember–
When God first put adoption on my heart,
Or my husband’s heart.
It was a process…
It 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—
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…
And felt my heart pulled–
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–
“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”
And so we took the baby steps.
And saw closed doors and open doors and major moments of
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 those almost-five months 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–
But we wept and writhed in the aching sorrow,
That kind of sorrow that churns within and pulls out
The deepest, silent, voiceless screams–
A pain beyond all words.
I knew that 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 be more real,
We truly mourned our child that day.
I knew the depth of love-adoption,
How deep adoptive love is.
How complete and firm and solid and final–
That love is.
That adoptive love.
And so she entered into…
And we wept.
And we grieved.
And I lay on my bed silently shouting Job’s cries.
And 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–
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,
He matched us with a mama-so-in-love…
A child so loved by a mama-who-trusted-hope–
Who trusted Him.
Who went in–
To end a life,
But saw the life.
And chose Life–
For the child,
That she would carry.
Even amidst the turmoil,
Even amidst the hurt,
Even amidst the abandonment–
That mama wouldn’t forget her child.
And in that grasp of self-sacrifice,
Her gift was beyond all gifts–
And two months later.
On a perfect day,
A God-appointed day…
Our Lydia Grace was born.
It was Father’s Day,
My husband’s birthday.
And in love for us, that sweet mama welcomed in
Alone in a room of pain and delivery.
But He was there.
She chose deliverance and called so we could hear–
Our Lydia’s first cry.
And I wept–
At the gift.
Adoption ushers in life,
Adoption ushers in redemption.
And an eternal hope.
I understand it better now.
His 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 a real child, as a real heir,
With love beyond all measure–