could i handle the unknowns that were sure to come?
surgeries, doctors visits, therapy sessions, emoptional scars, family counseling, attachment issues, etc.
the possible negatives could mount up quickly if not kept in check with God's ability to heal
and now, 6 months in, i'm finding i have so much yet to learn. so many days that i wonder if the choices i am making as a parent are the right ones. i struggle. it's hard.
my dad always says:
anything highly worthy of doing is the hardest thing you can do
and he's right...oh so right.
but there is another side to the challenge...it's the reward. today, i was present for something God needed me to see...one of the many rewards of adoption: its impression on my family
when we sit to eat, he often asks if we can buy more chairs for the table so we can make room to adopt more babies. he talks of filling up our house with rooms and beds and kids. his heart is being captured by God's love for children in need...what a beautiful sight!
we've talked openly about orphanages. what the conditions might have been like for our sister. we've looked at pictures and considered what it would feel like to be one of those children. we've talked about birth parents and answered honest questions as best we could.
but we don't overtalk about it.
nonetheless, the boys "adopt" everything. they "travel to china" to adopt a baby nearly everyday.
sometimes they make cardboard box ships and set sail, coming home with a vessel filled with newly adopted stuffed animals
sometimes they schlep stuffed animals from their bedroom all the way downstairs one by one, carrying each one carefully on their journey across the world.
but today, i was struck by their deep understanding of what an orphanage is like...even taking on the role of orphanage caregivers. they gathered babies and lined them up in beds. they paid special attention to the sick ones, and went down the line offering food and band aids.
i wrote down some of their conversation, for fear i would forget such a precious moment. i couldn't for the life of me find the video camera. it was MIA, of course.
it went something like this...foster taking the lead and rowan repeating and adding accessory comments:
"rowan, hold that one carefully...she needs surgery soon. gentle, ok?"
"now this one, put her over here. she's so tiny!"
(hospital beds were in the works, and various medications were being administered)
"don't worry babies! your mommy and daddy will be here soon!"
"we'll take care of you until they get here."
"don't cry sweetie! it's ok!"
(all three kids are busy feed babies, making tiny beds, hugging babies, preforming surgeries, band aid repairs, etc.)
"their moms and dads haven't come yet..."
rowan: "oh no! that's terrible!!"
foster: "let's adopt all of them!!"
"hi baby, i'm your daddy! you're safe now!!"
(...and then a character shift from orphanage caregiver to big brother...)
"babies, do you want to meet my baby sister? she's right here!!!"
(pointing to emery)
"my baby sister loves me so much!!"
(hugging her and smothering her with kisses as she tries to wiggle away :)
"hi mom and dad!! here's all my baby sisters!!"
"look, i look good care of them!"
(it was then that i was called away from my secret post of photoshooting and sobbing to come and be the mommy for all of the babies.)
their play got me thinking. would i have had the courage to talk with the boys deeply about these real life situations without emery coming home? would i have made a point to share with them the hurt of so many children (140 million to be exact) and the hope of adoption?
i already know the answer. i would have been too afraid to trust they could handle such truths. such pain. i wouldn't have given them enough credit to be able to consume deep sadness and allow God to produce hope.
because that's what God does.
He produces Hope out of despair
there are many many things in life i don't understand
i'll never know why emery was left at the gate in front of a government building at one day old
i'll never know what her mom was feeling that day or if she thinks about emery now
does she wonder where her small baby is? is she searching for emery the way i am searching for her?
does emery have more brothers and sisters?
most likely we will never know
and even harder, emery will never know these things either
there are hard questions.
adoption comes with a lot of questions, and often, few answers.
i feel a deep, paralyzing burden for her future pain and the fact that no matter how much i love her or care for her...no matter how many years i have longed for and made plans for her...it's never enough to heal the hurt of abandonment
but it's not my job to heal.
i can't produce Hope out of heartache...
but our sweet Father can
He has an incredible plan for my children
and i have a feeling that emery's brothers will play a vital role in God's plan for her healing
because He does have a plan
a grand and beautiful plan
being a part of it is better than i ever could have dreamed.