It has been exactly 2 years since I went to my son’s orphanage by myself and took him into my care. That moment is so fresh in my mind. Much like the moment I gave birth to my sweet girls. Oh how glad I am that the very moment I had been waiting nearly 4 years for felt just as though he had come from my womb. I understand that the instant love and feeling of knowing that child is my son is not felt by other couples instantly. But for me it did. My mother bear instincts kicked in and immediately I felt like he was from me.
Well, thats it! From that moment on it was all rainbows and unicorns!
JUST KIDDING! WOWEE! Uhh where do I begin?
I am not going to give every detail of the last 2 years, but I will say this little boy has caused me to see myself in ways I did not want to see. The deepest parts of my heart were revealed at times and I found myself on my knees a whole lot waiting for God to just magically connect my son and I. I expected an easy transition where my precious boy felt so comfortable with us that life would pretty much be like before except just with another human in our house. I’ve always known that parenting changes you but I was not prepared for all that would come with trying to be a mama to this sweet boy who did not come from my womb.
There were days filled with so many tears and times when I thought I am just not sane. I ignored that this sweet boy of mine could be feeling any trauma. But after several months with him and remembering all the adoption workshops and books, I knew this boy was facing a hard transition and ultimately trauma. At 4 months old his precious breast feeding mama relinquished him, he was with several care takers with 1 of those being almost like his mommy, to then all of the sudden this white girl who sounds and looks weird takes him from the only place he had grown to love and know. And not only that! We, his new parents, take him to a new place where most of everyone has white skin, talks different, eats different, sounds different and smells different. Most wouldn’t equate that to trauma but I assure you it is. Two years later I finally realize that doing something like adoption more than likely means getting your hands dirty and allowing it to cost something.
It’s interesting that I am writing this blog nearly 48 months later and it is after one of the most heated elections I personally have ever been through. You see, God has forced me to see and wrestle with topics that would just be easier to ignore and go about my way. But he has placed people in my life who all have challenged me to search deeper into the heart of God. And let me tell you those conversations have ROCKED MY WORLD!
Now let me start by saying that I absolutely feel like adoption should be apart of humanity and especially apart of the person who follows Jesus. That may look different for all but we have a duty has human beings to care for our fatherless. I really believe sometimes it means getting our hands dirty. Adoption is not easy. It more than likely will cost you something and I’m not just talking about money. But I’m pretty sure Christ tells us to take up our cross and follow him.
Matthew 16:24 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
As I am writing out this blog I can’t help but feel a little fire in my heart after thinking about the election night and days after. That night I decided to say that I was prolife but was #withher. The response I got made my heart incredibly incredibly sad. Not sad because I was offended but sad because I just feel like something is missing within the Christian culture. We would rather fight our political stance than fight for the least of these. But I can empathize because I used to speak the same exact way. I used to preach against abortions but did nothing to fight for the weak, poor, and those hurting in ways I could never imagine. I am not saying that its not ok to fight for that cause. But are we fighting with filling out a bubble on a ballet and debating on facebook or are we getting our hands dirty? And what does that mean anyways? I absolutely know there are many of you getting your hands dirty, but I also know a huge portion of the church is not.
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
The other topic on social media is racism. I used to think that all the stories about racism were just that. Stories. I didn’t understand and really chose not to understand how racism most likely will affect my son someday. And I really didn’t understand that if I was claiming to be “prolife” that I really needed to be prolife and fight for all lives and not just the unborn. Until about 10 months ago.
I am not going to go into proving racism here, but I will tell you that I humbled my heart, listened, read stories, asked questions and came to the sad conclusion that it definitely does indeed exist today. Y’all I wanted to ignore it and just live in my bubble. I really really did! But I cannot. I must stand up and fight for my beautiful black boy and for all the beautiful black boys out there. Please, I beg you to start researching this topic. Go to coffee with someone who knows and feels the sadness of this very real problem. Be the change for your circle!
My intentions are not to change anyone’s political point of view. I really just want to share on two topics that I really believe I have learned about since our adoption up to this very moment.
Back to the topic that is really heated amongst Christians. Abortion. I get it. I really do. It pains me to hear of a woman who finds herself in a situation that she sees no way out of. I want that woman to birth that child more than you know! I know that for some it is a careless decision that means nothing to them. I see that. I used to preach against that and only that. Until now. My vote for the D party was a very thought out one. And complicated one that I would love to share over coffee if you desire to understand. It really isn’t the point of my blog right now so I’m not going into it.
Y’all we cannot be prolife if we are not speaking up for ALL LIVES! We can’t vote on this issue if we don’t get our hands dirty with the orphan, the lost, poor, and minorities. It just seems like we would rather debate someone for hours on gun laws, abortion, taxes, people abusing the welfare system, bombing terrorists, building walls than speaking up for those who have no voice and debating with someone about taking a stand for the fatherless, the poor, and those who are outcasts in our society.
Psalm 82:3 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
I started to think about a parallel that may be uncomfortable for most, but to me it is truth. Think of that woman who finds herself in a situation that she sees no way out of. To her, birthing this child. Going through a pregnancy. Hearing people talk behind her back. Raising that child. It all just seems too dirty and impossible. It will cost her too much. And sadly, she goes through with the only option she sees fit for her.
At the same time a church going Jesus loving person attends church every Sunday. Hears multiple sermons on caring for the orphans. Maybe gives here and there to a cause for the orphan. But to them adoption or foster care just seems like it is too hard of a task. Costs too much, literally. They’ve heard stories of failed adoptions, heartache, and of course the thought that they could never love that child like he/she was their own. To that person they pass on an opportunity because it will cost them too much. It meant getting their hands dirty and it just seems more comfortable to keep those hands and their life clean. And sadly, another orphan dies or gets passed around in a broken system. Prolife. What does it mean now? YIKES! Please understand my heart here. I am explaining my personal convictions. Convictions I personally have wrestled with. I feel so strongly that we should be getting angry and hurt for the fatherless just as much and maybe even more than the abortion cause.
2 Years later and I feel like my eyes have been opened. Adoption is dirty sometimes. Bringing a human being into this world you weren’t prepared for is dirty as well. But Jesus restores and can bring beauty from ashes. He is doing that with our son as he so beautifully knits our hearts together everyday while creating a bond that was worth the dirty work. Fortunately, we had the funds and the support to bring this child into our family. The mama I just spoke of, did not. But for some reason she is looked down upon and the person who doesn’t want to get their hands dirty with adoption is not even thought twice about. The lack of action in both cases will result in a death.
This post isn’t meant to change any political view but to just see inside what my son has taught me over the last 2 years. I will always advocate for the lost, broken hearted, the widow, the orphan and those who are marginalized in our society. We are called to get our hands dirty and be uncomfortable. I believe I have many more uncomfortable moments coming my way but I know getting my hands dirty means more lives will be fought for.
Deuteronomy 10:18 “He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.”
Today is my son’s gotcha day. So I will celebrate this amazing restoration that our story holds. Thank you Jesus for brining this beautiful precious loving funny little guy into our lives. He truly has created change in our hearts. Thank you for teaching us that there is restoration and beauty after many days of dirty hands.
Here are photos of our first moments
The top right were our very first photos of him. The left photo was Y with his nanny who’s heart was broken the day I took him away from her forever. The bottom right was his first night with me. With adoption comes heartache.
But His mercies are new every morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”