What is adoption truly about? Wow. I mean, how do I even dumb this down to one phrase or sentence? The magnitude of adoption is so much more than one word, or paragraph, or thing. Love, grace, humility, brokenness, beauty, bravery, redemption. You could give me a list of a million powerful words and I could tell you how it directly relates to adoption. But here’s what I feel adoption is truly, wholly about. Ready for a cliché? Here it goes. Adoption is about God’s plan. See? I told you it’d be cliché. But let me explain.
As a mama by adoption, all I ever wanted was a child. I wanted to be a mama. I wanted to experience the overwhelming joy and adoration for another life. When we started our adoption process, I was terrified and thrilled that we were going to finally meet our perfect baby who I would call my son or daughter. But as we proceeded further and further into the adoption world, my naivety slowly melted away as I became more educated on the subject. I was about to live my hardest but happiest days while others would suffer and break. I would experience overwhelming joy over someone else’s heartbreak. How could that be right? Can I live with that? Is adoption really our answer?
I struggled with this reality throughout our adoption journey. Before we were even matched or had our children, I felt burdened by the heartache that our future birth families may experience. I wondered if this was truly the path we should be on. I questioned a million things but my heart kept me going.
Fast forward to present day, I have two perfect, beautiful daughters who are my light and soul. They are my “why” for every single thing I do. I’ve spent hours talking and getting to know their birth mothers. I’ve gotten a little insight of their journey, too. I’ve listened to their feelings, hurt, and joy. Adoption is overwhelmingly emotional and raw. You’ll witness each other in the most vulnerable and difficult moments of your entire life. It can be hard to grasp the magnitude of what is truly happening. I feel like I didn’t fully process until months after my daughters’ adoptions were finalized.
A few months ago, my youngest daughter’s birth mother texted me out of the blue.
“Today has been a hard day. My heart is hurting. But more than that, I feel peace. It’s hard to explain how I can feel these both at the same time. But you and your husband are exactly what I asked God for all these months. Right after I gave birth to B, I remember you hugged me so hard and whispered to me ‘you’re my hero,’ but I want you to know that you are mine, too. You are giving my baby girl the gift that I simply could never have done. I am so proud of us. You are my greatest blessing. This was God’s plan all along.”
I must have read this message a hundred times. I feel to my knees. I wept. I wanted to hug and embrace her, but she was miles away. In that moment, a peace swept over me that I hadn’t felt before. It was as if suddenly it all made sense. That this truly was God’s plan–in brokenness, and pain, and beauty, and humility–it was his plan. We were all here for the purpose to serve and love this young life.
After that day, it’s almost like I was given permission to love and cherish my child as if she were mine. I could allow myself to feeling overwhelming happiness and joy. Prior to that, I almost felt guilty that I had “taken” someone else’s child from them. I didn’t feel worthy of feeling immense joy and happiness at her birth mother’s expense. But that day, the tiny little ping sound of a new text message delivered so much to me. It delivered peace and gave me permission to feel all the joy that a mom should. It told me that her birth mother would be okay. The pain wasn’t over for any of us, but we would be okay. My heart needed to know that her birth mother didn’t feel regret.
If you’re on an adoption journey, just enjoy the ride. It’s going to be gut-wrenching. It will bring you to your knees over and over again. But listen to your heart. Let God guide you. Trust that something beautiful is about to happen. It’s our human nature to control, plan, and organize. We want to be the ones to plan our future. But we, my friends, are not that powerful. Trust in God’s plan. Trust the path you’re on. You’re on the most beautiful adventure.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.