You, dear non-adoptive friend, spent months watching us wait for this child that we desperately wanted to travel for and bring home. You cheered when we got new pictures to proudly display, and you faithfully followed the blog posts that detailed all of my thoughts and emotions leading up to the BIG DAY.
You were halfway around the world when reality refused to meet expectations in an overheated office building, and in the days that followed you boldly approached the throne of God on our behalf; you were tireless in lifting us up as I shared the hard moments and the small gifts of laughter. You, like us, counted down the days until we were back home.
Friend, you met us at the airport with smiles, hugs, and signs that joyfully announced we were arriving home as a bigger family unit than we had been just two weeks earlier. You took pictures of all of the smiling faces waiting for us to step onto the escalator and begin the ride down to our crowd of family and friends. You even brought your phone and coordinated the Face Time experience for one of my family members living too far away to make it to the airport welcoming party; you think about others in that way. I imagine in those moments you didn’t realize what a toll adoption would take on our friendship, but if you had, it wouldn’t have mattered.
To you who are crazy enough to still be friends with me after eight months of brain fog and anti-social behavior, I thank you.
To you who send me text messages that often pop up on my screen right when I’m about to lose my mind, I thank you.
To you who keep offering to do something (anything!) to get me out of the house only to be turned down over and over because let’s face it, I barely have enough energy to make it to bedtime much less “hang out” time, I thank you.
Your perseverance in times of great need is something truly special.
It’s special because you don’t know what is churning through my mind on a daily basis. You often have no idea what it’s like to parent a traumatized child. You don’t fully “get” why I have been nervous to start up new activities.
But you want to understand!
Your active desire, non-adoptive friend, to understand even when you aren’t walking in my shoes is what makes you precious to me.
You don’t blow off my worries or concerns or doubts. You listen.
You don’t ask questions without wanting honest answers.
You see me and my tired eyes and you don’t look away. You catch my eye, you tell me you love me and that I’m doing a good job.
You ask me if you can pick up my other children from school just so that I don’t have to wake up our new daughter from her much needed nap.
You bring me baked goodies and ask me… “do you want me to come in or just leave them at the door?”
You’re always full of options, and never lacking in grace.
You find ways to be a part of this journey.
You sew Taggie blankets to help meet the sensory needs of our girl, you deliver coffee, you encourage, you wake up and go on early morning runs with me just so we have a chance to hang out.
Non-adoptive friend of mine, you are so treasured. I may not have communicated that enough to you over the months, but you are. I often compose emails or text messages in my mind only to realize weeks later than I never sent those messages. But I want you to know it now: I couldn’t have done this without you. My family couldn’t have done it without you. You have prayed, you have been faithful, you have delivered meals, and you are just as important to me as my adoptive mama friends are. The fact that you love me unconditionally despite not understanding where I’m at is a gift. You have a lot of the Father’s heart in your heart and you’re not afraid to let it spill over into other people’s lives.
Believe me when I say this: you are one of the most important people in my “village”. You may not have plans to adopt one day, or you might be praying that the Lord would open doors for your family to grow through adoption. Either way, you have helped this adoption of ours be a success story. Because you have given when you didn’t even know what to give, you are significant and cherished.
Do you recognize how unique you are? Do you know that not every adoptive mama keeps the same circle of non-adoptive friends once life turns upside down and the Crazy Train decides to break down on the front porch? You know that you are even more loved because you stick out this friendship thing like it’s a covenant, even though it’s far from being convenient? Let’s face it, I’m definitely not winning Friend of the Year award for 2015, and there are plenty of times when you could have chosen to exit from my life. You are quietely committed to being my friend, and that’s not a commitment that can be taken lightly. Even after weeks or months of radio silence, you still jump into action when an emergency happens in my house and I need someone here STAT to help.
You are THAT kind of friend.
I often wonder if I will ever be able to repay your kindness, but that’s not how you roll. You don’t expect to be repaid for the gift of your friendship. You just give.
I know you might feel like you don’t do enough, that there must be something more you could give, but you need to stop that thought in its tracks. You do more than you know, and I appreciate you so much.
If you are reading this and this is YOU…
If you are reading this and you have a friend like this…
If you are reading this and you are about to become this friend…
Hold on tight. You will be riding in a sidecar attached to the Crazy Train, and it is a wild ride. But it’s worth it. I promise.