These are mama eyes that only shut for 4 hours last night. And hands that held and patted a baby’s back for 45 minutes straight just to constantly remind her “Someone is here.” A heart that is sure she is screwing up somehow at least 1,000,000 times a day. A head full of questions, anxiety and fear. She is a mess. A total mess. And life is flipped on its very head because…
This is a baby who, just 38 days ago, didn’t know the comfort of being held most of the day. She didn’t know that someone would come to her when she called out in her sweet baby language. She didn’t know that she could eat from a bottle without breathing the liquid straight into her tiny lungs. She had no idea that a big sister could cuddle you better than anyone and a big brother could tickle you into fits of giggles.
This is a baby who, just 38 days ago, got a mama and a daddy. Whom she cannot see or fully hear. Whom she doesn’t totally understand. Who took her away from everything she knew, however bleak that reality was, and planted her straight in the middle of a crazy whirlwind of a family. A mama and daddy who watched her fight for her life, who wept tears over her feverish body, who fought through third world hospitals and pretended to be brave – because… that’s what mamas and daddies do. We move in the face of all the fear because of our kids, don’t we?
This is a baby who, like so many many others, lived her life until now, alone. No one kissing booboos, no one showing her the world. No one holding her and dancing through the kitchen. No one making sure her dry skin had cream. No one fighting for her future. Her life. Her heart.
38 days ago, she was scared to extend her hands away from her body. She still struggles with feeling safe enough to fall asleep. She has just now started holding our hands. She has just now started to know and trust us. 38 days ago, she couldn’t hold her head up, swallow food, open her hands, cry real tears. Her eyes bulged out of her sockets with extreme high pressures. Her pain was constant.
Today – today she is mighty. She is strong. She is loved… She is loved. She is held. She is sung to. She is kissed. and kissed. and kissed. She is cherished. She is known. She is ours. And she is among. She is part of. She is inspiring. She is making friends worldwide with her story. She is one of the faces people think of when that faint “could we adopt?” thought runs across their minds.
This is adoption, folks.
This is how you let go of all control. This is how you open your life up to be totally broken and then brought back together in the hope and joy of family. Family that probably looks nothing like you imagined all these years.
You forget what it requires of you and you GO. You put comfort on the back burner and you GO. You acknowledge your fears and yet… you still GO. You accept your weaknesses and you GO. You don’t see the money required… you see the child waiting at the end and you GO.
You go when people think you’re crazy.
You go when you don’t even know the full diagnosis.
You go for your kids at home.
You go for your future grandkids.
You go for the Gospel.
You go to love.
You go to fight like hell.
You go to bring life.
You go to change a life…
and suddenly. You’re sitting at your desk on a random Tuesday, holding this baby who keeps looking up to put her face nearer to yours, who’s hand is suddenly rubbing your side in peace and security….
and you realize.
All this time… it was me whose life needed changing?!?!
Praise God for adoption. For this chaos. For this mess. For the life of uncertainty. For this gift. For this new community of adoptive families. For Christ. For kinship with Him. For the saving that was done on the cross so that we could even move one muscle to do the saving work of pursuing children not born to us.
Love makes a family. Love makes a mama. And a daddy. Love makes the adventure worth every agonizing and beautiful step.
That is literally your only requirement for adoption.
and now… go.
Eryn Roush Austin
New adoptive mom
Night owl (not by choice)
Grace saved and grace sustained.