If I could go back to when we started this journey, way back to sitting in those first adoption classes, I would want to take my hand and sit down and say, “Sweet thing, I love you. You are throwing yourself into changing this world. You have a grand vision. But you should know something. More than the world changing or changing the world for one person, You, My Dear Girl, are going to change. You will never be the same.
It’s not so much that you are entering this with naïveté as your adversary. You are doing the work, reading the books, following the blogs, making friends with adoptive parents. You are doing everything right. Girl, I am proud of you. You are going into this with eyes wide open and that is going to make the difference.
Because you are going to cross the oceans and be so ready to show love and be loved, but you are going to be rejected. And it will take you years to realize how deep that rejection goes and how rejections of you and your love are just the symptom of a much deeper issue. But you are prepared and know the terms to tag to those issues. Momma, rock on, hold on, love on. Love will win and you will see it and the fight will make it so glorious, so worth it all.
The whole world is telling you right now that you have lost your mind. And it sort of hurts, doesn’t it? You don’t want to be the outcast, the rebel. I know. I know you, because I am you and we want to fit in and blend in. We desperately want friends and family to be happy with our choices and approve of it all.
Oh My Dear Soul, hear me. You will never be the same. One day, five years from now you will wear those labels, Outcast and Rebel, as badges of honor. Fear and reality will collide and you will know that sometimes those labels honor you. You see this world? It gets it all wrong. Your Christian friends telling you that this is all a huge mistake….they. are. wrong. Keep walking. Keep reading. Keep going, just keep going. Walk the path that God has asked of you and do it with your head held up. Chin up Girl, chin up.
Right now you believe that God’s promises mean that He will bless you and you have this version of what blessings mean in your heart. Put them away. Start with a blank slate and let the Spirit of the Holy God write down His definition of blessings. It’s going to hurt. Your heart is going to ache. Your emotions will become unstable. You will break. My Girl, you will fall apart. You will doubt this God of yours while clinging to Him and begging Him not to leave you alone. And you will stand again and know that to enter His sufferings and be torn and scarred is the very essence of being blessed. You will finally grasp that He is your blessing, His presence is everything that you desire.
I want you to be prepared even more than you already are. So far a few people have hinted that this is going to be hard. You met a couple who had adopted and you saw a flicker of something in their eyes when you asked how it was going. It’s that flicker you need to dig into and understand. That look of almost fear and deep sadness. Question it, ask about it, understand it. It will soon be your own eyes flickering to the masses who are asking these questions of you.
I wish for you to know grace. Oh girl, you are lost when it comes to grace. You think you understand it, but you don’t. You don’t grasp it at all. Someday soon you are going to face the worst version of yourself day in and day out and, in turn, your Savior is going to pour out His lavish love on your soul. The Spirit of God is going to give you peace and comfort when you are offering others none. And just when you think you will be covered in shame that same Spirit will remind you that He replaced your shroud of shame with a crown of grace. You are covered in love and mercy and grace.
It will take the breaking of you through adoption and trauma to know these truths. But there will come a day when you lift your hands in worship and they are empty save the grace that fills your soul. And it will be the very first time you feel your true worth. You are worthy because of Him.
Adoption will teach you this. Because you will love when you are not loved. You will walk day in and day out in a manner that is not fitting to what you are being given. You will be hurt, over and over again. Your child will look at you with hate-filled eyes and you will kneel before that one and remind those eyes that your love does not depend on receiving love. It just is. Love requires nothing in return. Love births grace and grace will keep offering love.
Let me end this with saying how crazy proud I am of you. If you were any other person I would tell you this and so, to my own younger self, I say this as well. I am proud of you. You are silencing the doubts and doubters. You are being faithful to God’s path. You are going to enter the hardest years of your life. You are going to be face to face with more than you can even imagine right now and you are going to keep going.
You are going to grow up and stand for yourself and your family. You will fight against governments and policies. You will go crazy trying to save the life of your child. You are going to fall apart and you are going to stand. You will fall. Sweet Thing, you are going to fall, but know this. You will rise. You will rise, broken and you will accept the broken pieces of yourself. So, yes, I am proud of you. Keep going, knowing you will never be the same. Keep falling and keep rising.
Is this going to be hard? More than you know.
Is this going to hurt? Yes, Girl, it will sometimes be unbearable.
Can I go back to my normal life? No, you won’t be the same. You won’t want to go back.
Is this worth the cost? Always. Never doubt it.