It happened again this week. I stepped into a courtroom filled with excitement, energy, and the weight of the little one I was carrying. I have been through this before, twice actually, but still I felt a twinge of nerves. I do not know if the feeling is similar to what a mother experiences right before the birth of her child, but it is the closest that I can relate to. It is the feeling of anxiousness, eagerness, elation, and relief all stirred up together. (Of course, it is minus the pain of labor; although, physical labor sometimes pales in comparison to the emotional labor of those expecting children through adoption.)
Our adoption of my littlest was finalized during our county’s celebration of National Adoption Day. We were one of twenty or so adoptions that happened in one day. I am the mother of three. I am the mother of three wonderful children who otherwise might have had a rough life ahead. I am not barren at all. I am enveloped in grace that pulsates throughout my being.
It is mightily overwhelming to think about, really. I was never meant to be a parent. I was supposed to be pitied, look upon with sadness, and harbor a sense of shame. I was going to make an awful mother. I was not good enough. I must have been a bad person. Parenting a child not of my body would never be the same…..and so on….
These are the thoughts I carried around for many years. I imagined the enemy hissing and laughing at me. I imagined that he relished in my self-doubt, and susceptibility to feel as though I would always fall short as compared to other women.
The adoption of my third child is simply an incredible chapter to a story that started so many years ago. When the world, and all the angst of the enemy, said to me, “It’ll never happen for you.” Our Heavenly Father said, “It will happen for you.”
Towards the end of the hearing, the Judge declared him to be our son. When those words rolled off of his lips, I held back a few tears. Those words are probably some of the most beautiful ones I’ve heard. To hear them time and again does not diminish how special they are. In that moment, I thought, “My God, You are incredible.”
In the same breath that I praise the Finisher of our desires, I think about the birth mothers of my children. All of them held their babies for the first time, and probably felt the same thing that I felt on adoption day; excitement, eagerness, elation, and relief. Their moments were beautiful as well. They may have even thought, “My God, You are incredible.”
I know I do not deserve the mercy that has been shown to me through the adoption of my children. I know that I have been completely and overwhelmingly gifted with them, and that my responsibility in raising children who are compassionate, responsible, and faithful falls heavy on my heart. If ever a time to relish in the joyful moments of life, this is it.
It happened again this week. I became a mother of three. I am certainly living a life that went from being barren to blessed.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11