November is National Adoption Month. My life has been profoundly impacted by adoption, so I feel somewhat obligated to acknowledge it. But adoption is complex and oftentimes difficult to talk about. In a perfect world, adoption wouldn’t exist because every child would live happily ever after in their family of origin. But because we live in a broken world where drugs, alcohol, neglect, abuse, death, poverty, and mental illness run rampant, adoption is sometimes a child’s best option.
Now this sounds rather glum, so I’m glad the narrative doesn’t stop here. Rather, in the hands of the One who made heaven and earth, the gloomiest of circumstances can be transformed into something that truly wows our socks off. This has been infinitely true for me. Adoption has given me a front row seat to redemption so profound it grabs the wind right out of my lungs.
I wrote about one of these instances in the above edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul. If you have access to this book, you can check out my story titled, Just What We Needed.
It’s a balance: cradling pain with the respect it deserves, while allowing and nurturing its transformation into something new. Something beautiful. I can glance into my rear-view mirror and remember the hurt and dysfunction that ultimately lead us to this road of adoption—but if that’s the only place I look, I’m headed for trouble. Rear-view mirrors are important, but my eyes need to spend more time watching through the front windshield. Eyes up, looking ahead, noticing beauty, and being alert to what’s coming next.
So, I’m looking ahead. And I’m grateful for everything adoption has brought into my life. My daughter is beautiful and messy and hilarious. She belongs with us for the same reason every other member of our family belongs—because God put her here.
November is National Adoption Month. Have a conversation about it!
I’ll end with these words, quoted by Corrie ten Boom:
My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful In the weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those Who leave the choice to Him.