“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)
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Monday, November 9, 2009
The Multifaceted World of Adoption
I have been wanting to blog about this all week. But, what happens? I type, then I delete, then I type, then I delete, then I think about it a little more, then I type and delete yet again.
Because the Word Adoption means so very many things to so many different people.
Adoption Awareness Month is November.
So here we are in November, and the word "Adoption" can bring to mind joy in the hearts of some, and heart break in the minds of others. It can also bring about the idea of "Oh yea, I gotta go clean that highway we adopted last year. " It may make others thinking of all the cats and dogs in the animal shelters waiting to be executed, and they can only get out of certain death, if they are "adopted". It may bring to the forefront of other's minds that adoption may be their only alternative for children, as they have run out of all other options, and their nursery is still empty.
I have friends who hear the word adoption and it truly brings about feelings of anger and resentment in them, because they were on the other side of the adoption paradigm. They were the birth parent, forced to give up that baby, against their will. Or, there was an abortion in the past, where they didn't choose adoption, and the thought haunts them. Life was ended, and that baby could be 10 or 20 or even 30. So during this month, of "adoption awareness", they may be feeling it as a giant finger pointing at them, "Failure Awareness". And it is a terribly painful.
For the child adopted.... the other side is loss. They have to deal with the loss of the birth parent. "WHY did she give me Up? Didn't she want me? Why me? What is wrong with me?
During a rather poignant conversation couple of years ago, Erika said, "My parents took one look at me when I was born and said, I was ugly, and left me."
Oh how my heart broke at that statement. I don't know that they thought she was ugly, but they certainly thought she was handicapped, and they abandoned her. Ugly no. Different, life changing, yes. They did not step up to the challenge, and they abandoned her to the state at the hospital.
The same for Sarah. but Sarah got a bonus in life. She was able to be adopted once, and then thoroughly rejected. Not just rejected for her personality but rejected for her very existence.
She was not touched physically, for months. Not touched emotionally, at all. Oh that breaks my heart to this day.
For Anna, not the same. She remembers her mother. She loved her mother. But there were numerous removals and her mother had addiction problems that would cause any person to think, "How can a baby survive all that?"
Besides the drugs, and alcohol, there was the severe neglect; the mixed messages. "I'm your mother, but I don't care to meet your needs." So Anna was subjected to the worst kind of abuse. Neglect, and exposure to things a child should never see, at the hands of her own mother. Then, at 2, foster home after foster home.....
Want to know how to screw up a kid majorly by the time they are 5? The recipe is above.
So for our girls, adoption is a coin with 2 sides. The side of loss, and the side of great gain.
I say that, not to puff ourselves up, because I KNOW we could not do this without the help and direction of our Lord Jesus Christ. We would fail miserably on our own. But in HIS DIVINE WILL, we walk, daily, broken before him, asking for direction, and taking our hearts to him to heal.
"Lord, only you can heal our broken children." "Only you can take these hearts of stone and turn them to hearts of flesh."
So here is Ma and Pa Kettle..... raised 4 strapping healthy young men.... and pretty happy empty nesters. The LORD knocked us on the head and said, "Hello! You have 2 empty bedrooms! Life isn't for you! You have enough space! You're burnin' daylight!
He opened our eyes to the impossible possibilities of these wonderful, beautiful little girls, who were all "Humpty Dumpies" in their own right, and asked us to aide in putting them back together again.
Has it been easy? No.
Has it been worth it? YES, a big Hearty Yes, over and over and over again!
Life worth living is never easy. Living true life is dangerous, daring, exciting, and you don't even have to leave your home to do it. LOL
The dangers are exposing your own selfishness, and having to face your own closet of skeletons and secret sins. The first one to go is pride. Then, those old grudges or hurts that you hung onto like badges of honor. You see, you cannot help another person to heal, if you are broken yourself!
And just when you thought things were ok, out pops another thing the Lord wants to work on.
It is an amazing life.
So now, we get to the positive side of adoption. After facing the loss blows that life gives.... we look to the future with great anticipation. We look at it together, as a family... a FAMILY!
A true family that God has brought together, AND is recognized by the Law of this land as one in the same with a child who was born of our flesh. On the birth certificate, it does not say, "born to unknown parents". It no longer says Orphan. On that birth certificate it has my name and my husbands name, and it states that OUR daughter was born in the actual place she was born, on the actual date, and our names are written there, just as if we had been there ourselves.
The LAW recognizes adoption and a new start. It erases what cannot be erased from the heart, but the intent is good. To give a new life, a new identity, a fresh start.
And now, there is the adoption I have not mentioned yet. It is the adoption of us by our Lord. We are adopted Son's and Daughter's of the most high God, wherein, we can call out to him and call Him, "abba, father".... or "daddy"; a most intimate term between a child and their father.
He calls us and welcomes us.... though we were poor, and naked and thirsty and hungry and blind, he has clothed us, fed us, given us life giving water, so we will thirst no more, and opened our eyes so we can see.
Though we mourn our past, we rejoice in our new and changed lives where we are given in the Spirit, "Love,Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control." And when we screw up, he is there to pick us up, forgive us and set us right back on the right path. His mercy and love cover us. He who sent HIS only begotten SON, so that We would have life, and life everlasting, the creator, the Father God, is the very one who has reached down and touched us. We were dead, just as many of our children were emotionally dead. Yet, now we live. Just as many of our children have been given a new life.
So, adoption effects us all. It is for all. It isn't about trees and dogs or highways. It is about life, NEW LIFE, REDEEMED LIFE.
Oh I am forever thankful that the Lord woke us up and let us know, he wasn't finished with us quite yet. We have much he wants to do in our lives. In Christ, there is no such thing as retirement.
For the mother who terminated her rights, for the baby or child who was removed from a parent, for the woman or man who longs to hold a baby in their arms, and for the adoptive parent who pours themselves out into the life of another, we are all offered Adoption.
And we are all brother's and sister's in Christ.