Adoption Is…

“Are my birth parents dead?” This question came from one of my children this past week. I paused for just a bit, and then said, “Your birth mother is alive, but your birth father died.”

Silence….then no other questions for several days until tonight.

In the car, I hear the question, “Are my birth parents really dead?” “Your birth father died”, I replied. “Was he there when I was born?” “No. He died before you were born.”

Silence…”Well, how did you know?” I told my child that a social worker informed me about it.

“So, I was alone when I was born?”  “No honey. No…you were not alone. Your birth mother was there.”

Silence…

“Oh…you know…I think my birth father’s favorite color was grey. He told me when I was with him.”

Silence again…

I looked in the rear view mirror of my car and saw my child yearning to keep the tears in. I said, “It is okay to be sad about it, and cry.”

“I think I miss him. I’m sad because my birth father died.”

Here is the often misunderstood thing about adoption – it is not always full of joy. Is it a joyful time when adoption finally comes knocking on one’s door?  Yes, of course, but the real stuff, the nitty-gritty pieces of life of an adoptive family, can be very hard.

Loss is a huge part of adoption. Adoptive parents hold the stories of their children’s lives, and piece by piece, moment by moment, and question by question, the stories are told.

Honestly, I struggle with the truth about my children’s histories. I so wish I could say all of their stories and journeys to our lives were filled with wonderful and incredible things, but that would not be the truth.

So, piece by piece, moment by moment, and question by question, I narrate their little lives honestly and truthfully. The truth is painful, sometimes. My heart just feels wounded by the things that led their lives to mine.

Adoption is hard,
and beautiful,
and mysterious,
and delightful,
and heartbreaking,
and joyful,
and woeful,
and challenging,
and complex,
and simply incredible.

If you are an adoptive parent, know this, adoption is not always going to feel good. You will go through valleys of unknowns…scary and sad places.

If you are an adoptive parent, know this, adoption has a way of softening your heart, and tendering it to the realization that you are the story-teller, narrator, and keeper of the sorrowful and wonderful details of your child’s life.

After all, adoption is hard,
and beautiful,
and mysterious,
and delightful,
and heartbreaking,
and joyful,
and woeful,
and challenging,
and complex,
and simply incredible.

Savior, King of Kings

I’m longing to hear You, Lord, although others may not see.
I walk the walk, and talk the talk, while thinking about Thee.

Deep down inside I think of You, and talk to You each day.
But sometimes, Father, I do not think my heart knows what to say.

This world has become desperate, Lord, crying out for peace.
Still yet, we spit, and spin, and hurt each other, while yearning for release.

Sometimes I wonder if we’re blind, or do not choose to see.
The only path that You walked on was love for all humanity.

Anger, hatred, violence, and fear are trying to seep in.
This beautiful, yet confused world seems to have thick skin.

But, deep inside our tender wounds is a sadness craving to be freed. The truth that settles my heart, Lord, is that You are all we need.

We’re longing to feel You, Lord, despite these mixed up days.
Stop the World! Come back soon! These are the words we raise.

For You, Jesus, are the only One we need to seek.
Hear our cry, Your precious children, the barren, blessed, and weak.

We do not fear the ugliness of turmoil, stains, and stings,
For we believe and hold onto our Savior, King of Kings.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   -John 16:33Jesus is Love

Comparison

As I was standing in front of the mirror this morning examining what I call my “Road Maps of Experience”, aka wrinkles, this quote from Theodore Roosevelt came to my mind:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Thinking back from the past few months of the end of 2013 to the end of 2014, I realized that I have been walking rather slowly through that awful valley of comparison. 2014 had some wonderful and joyful moments, but in a lot of ways it was filled with some “what if’s”, “why’s”, and “I wish”.

As I finished scouring over my face, threw on some make-up, and got ready for the work day, I found myself feeling determined and excited about this new year of 2015.

Do I know what is in store? No.

Am I guaranteed that everything is going to be just fine? No.

At the end of 2015, will I be able to say it was a “good year”?

I don’t know.

However, I have decided that I’m done with the valley of comparison. I’ve traversed it, and honestly, it is not a pretty place to be.

Instead, I want to walk along the mountain top ridges of cherishing the unique person I am, the life I live, and the dynamic qualities (both challenging and amazing) that make up my family’s life.

Have you been visiting that self-defeating place of comparison?

If so, let’s all look to 2015 with excitement, hope, and faith to explore the landscape to which the Lord has set your feet upon!

Adoption.Com Interview

Not too long ago I was contacted by a writer for the website Adoption.com.  The website is a large hub for all things related to adoption.  The writer was interested in interviewing me about my life story and adoption.

I was surprised that she contacted me, but also excited about the opportunity to share my story.  You can find the article by clicking here.  If you get a chance, check out their website.  It is filled with lots of good information about adoption.

Have a wonderful day!

Happy New Year, Friends

GoalsToday at lunchtime, my family and I sat around the table chowing down on our black-eyed peas, chips with cheese dip, shrimp cocktail, and “little smokies”.  Our conversation evolved to one regarding our goals for 2015.

“I want to try something new,” I said.  “What, Mommy?”, my children exclaimed.  “I think we should write down our own goals and then some family goals for this year.  We’ll seal them in an envelope and open them up one year from today to see if we accomplished them.”

They were super excited to do this.  Well, at least our older children were.  Our two-year old seemed to be too busy playing with the food on his plate!  We went around the table and spoke about our personal goals, and this is what I was reminded of.

If you give your children the silence and time to speak about their goals and hopes, you can learn so much about them.

My son and daughter both set goals that, if achieved, will benefit them both in a personal way, in a way that benefits our family, and definitely in a way that affects the greater good.  My husband and I told them our goals as well.  Then, as a family, we talked about goals for the new year.  My children exclaimed,

“I want to fill the Blessing Jar up to the very top! “

“I think we should clean up trash in the streets to help keep our environment around us clean.”

“We need to help each other more.”

“We should use calm voices more often with each other.”

As I wrote the goals down, a flow of those endearing little nudges of goodness showered me.  It seems, despite my many unending flaws as a parent, our children are precious little souls who yearn for opportunities to do good.

After lunch, we departed in our various tasks of the day.  Our daughter went to play with a friend at her house down the street.  Our two-year-old ran circles in the living room.  My husband started helping out with the daily chores involved with taking care of a family of five, and my oldest son went to his bedroom to look through a stack of books he wanted to donate.

I locked myself in our bedroom and started going through our closet.  As I pulled things out to organize and donate (if desired), a funny thing started to happen.  I realized that I get frustrated at the amount of “stuff” my children want to keep, and yet, there I was sitting in the middle of my bedroom stuffing trash bags full of gently used clothing, unused jewelry, and items I once swore that I needed.

Five trash bags of clothing, toys my children decided to rid themselves of, and other items, started to take up the space of my bedroom.  And then, my soul was stirred about the many things I carry in my heart that the Lord wants me to rid myself of.

I know there is more space in my life to donate to intentional parenting with my children.  I know that this vessel of life can do so much more.  At the same time, I also know the things that pull me away from the Lord’s wisdom.  I need to stick away these things in a trash bag, and let go of them.

With my children’s words of our family goals today fresh in my mind, here are my thoughts as I enter into 2015:

“God,I want to fill others…other jars of clay…with words that bless them.”

“Lord, I know there is a lot of trash in my life and in the streets of my thoughts that I need to clean up to keep this incredible environment of life clean.” 

“Father, help me to help each other more.”

“Savior, I pray Your voice will calm the waves of contempt in my life, and in turn, will create moments that I can be used bring peace to others.”

Here’s to 2015!  This is a wonderful time to be living on this side of Heaven.  My hope for this upcoming year is that we will all be drawn closer to Origin of Love.  

Now, that is a New Year’s Resolution we can all attain.

Happy New Year, Friends.