A Hard, Sad, Beautiful Thing

November is National Adoption Month, and I have all kinds of thoughts swirling around my brain about it.

First of all, let me say that adoption has completely changed our lives. Our simple, quiet life is gone, and we have a wild little man waking us up in the morning, keeping us on our toes all day, and causing us to collapse at night from exhaustion….and I couldn’t be happier about it! It’s everything I ever wanted, and more. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s so amazing, and I am forever grateful.

That being said, I have a confession to make:

Lately, I’ve been really struggling with the hard parts of adoption.

Aside from all the regular things a mom worries about, those big, huge, heavy questions of “Why? How? What if?” keep looming over my head and weighing heavy on my heart.

“Why do things have to be this way? How will he react when he’s old enough to understand? How will I respond when he asks questions I don’t know how to answer? What if this happens or that happens?”

Because this isn’t bad enough, lately, my anxiety has also been revisiting some old friends.

Why can’t I give Mac a brother or sister? Why can’t I have babies like everyone else?”

Those kinds of questions bring guilt along with them.

Why am I even worrying about having more babies? Am I being ungrateful? God was so good to give us our son. Why can’t I just be satisfied with what God has already done? Some days, I’m barely keeping my head above water, and I feel like a horrible mother. Why do I even think I should get another baby? Why would anyone want to give us another baby? Why do we have to rely on someone else to have a baby in the first place?”

It’s a super vicious cycle, my friends.

All these questions that are rolling around in my mind and causing me to lose sleep these days only have one answer: “I don’t know.”

I don’t know why things are the way they are, or what I’ll say when the time comes to answer the hard questions, or why I can’t have babies of my own, or why adoption even has to exist in the first place…except that this world is fallen and full of sin that is the root and cause for all the hard, sad things we have to endure in this life.

I may not know why, but God does. He allows the hard, sad things, and He has a good reason for them. I also know that there is grace to deal with whatever comes our way. I can say this with confidence because of the ten years I asked some of these questions before God brought us Mac. He was faithful to give grace then, and I know He will not forsake me now.

I read something recently that said that barrenness is trauma and losing a family is trauma, and only God can reconcile the two to create a beautiful family. He specializes in taking hard, sad things and creating something absolutely breathtaking. This is adoption.

Let me pause here to reiterate that given the choice to go back and be able to have our own babies from the start of our marriage or to keep things the way they are, I absolutely would go through all that pain and heartache again to have my little wild man. All the messiness and difficulty and sadness that is woven into the beauty of adoption is totally and completely worth it. Mac was born to be our son, and we were born to be his parents.

Adoption is wonderful, amazing, beautiful, and it’s a hard, sad thing. This applies to us as adoptive parents, our son, and his birth family. None of us are “lucky” to be in the situation where we find ourselves. We are blessed and thankful for the way God works things together for good, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it can be difficult to feel all the feelings.

I read this the other day and cried because it is so, so true. I love Mac’s birth mom, and I always will. In spite of the hard, sad parts, it is such a privilege to get to walk with her through this beautiful journey of adoption! 💙

“The Legacy of an Adopted Child”

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember,
The other you call mother.
Two different lives
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life
And the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love
And the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you up –
It was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child
And God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me
Through your tears,
The age-old question
Through the years:
Heredity or environment
Which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling – neither,
Just two different kinds of love.

– Author Unknown