It’s hardly been a month since we finalized our son’s adoption. We’re still in the getting settled in and trying to discover our “new normal” phase. The jetlag has passed, we’ve had our first post placement visit with our social worker, and bonding through movies and board games is a key focus of mine.
Our journey wasn’t a normal one. We’ve adopted three times now, and while one thing I’ve learned is that adoption is unpredictable at best, this one went well beyond that. We weren’t planning to adopt again now. We had only been home a few months with our most recently adopted daughter when a young man on the verge of “aging out” crossed our path via the World Wide Web. It occurred to my husband and me almost instantly that there was something different about this one than all the other waiting children that stumbled onto my computer screen, so we began to seek God’s path in prayer.
Right away a friend of ours came alongside us. Praying with us, supporting us, encouraging us. And when we said “yes” despite all the obstacles standing in our path, this friend was our greatest support. We had only four months to complete an adoption…and an adoption started from scratch, for that matter. And not only that, but since we had just finalized an adoption and weren’t planning to adopt again on this side of the five-year plan we were totally lacking anything that could be considered an adoption fund. If by some great miracle the paperwork got finished on time, we knew we would still be several thousand short at travel time.
Our friend told us not to worry about fundraising. She would take care of that. We needed to concentrate on the paperwork. And since she is a notary, she even notarized all bazillion of our documents for us …and at our beck-and-call. Nights or weekends, it didn’t matter. Every step of the way, she was there with us. Slaying our dragons and lifting us up when the journey made us weary.
When it came time to travel, she didn’t stop. Knowing that my parents and grandmother would be here with our other five children while we made the trip, she arranged for a yard service to come do our mowing every week at her expense…including the week we were preparing to travel. She provided “relief duty” and took our girls for fun outings while we were gone. And when it was time to go to the airport to welcome us home, she and her husband led a caravan to ensure that my small town family wouldn’t get lost in the big city traffic. When we walked through those double doors leading out of Customs, her husband was even manning the video camera while she snapped the pictures.
Now that we’re home, she still hasn’t stopped. I sat on the couch and watched her, her husband, and my Mom do all the work for our son’s “Welcome Home” party. She is the one emailing me and texting me regularly to see how things are going. Sending her teenager to come hang out with mine. Stealing me away and buying me dinner and Bubble Tea while giving me 100% of her attention as a safe place to share my heart.
Often times in adoption circles we complain that others don’t “get it” and that adoptive parents are the only ones who understand. But this friend is simply someone who is passionate about adoption and has found a priceless ministry in caring for our family. And everyone going through an adoption needs someone like her on their side.
I know many of the people reading this are adoptive families and are nodding their heads in agreement right now. Perhaps even wishing they had someone like my friend in their life. That’s not who this post is directed toward. This post is for the people in their lives…friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, Bible study members, etc…that could maybe be THE ONE for the adoptive families they know. That could do the same thing for them that my friend has done for me. Because the journey is more difficult than we let on. One harsh word from a critic will paralyze our tongue and keep us from sharing the hard stuff the next time around. And sometimes…even after we’re home with our new child…we feel like we’re drowning in a sea that we have no control over. It would be nice if the whole world understood and were in our ring throughout the adoption process, but just ONE person makes a whole world of difference. So if you’re reading this and you are not currently in the process of adopting a child, I have to ask…could you be THE ONE someone you know is wishing for with all their heart?