From Jeanne: Good morning adoption friends! So I want to share something that has really been on my heart… releasing guilt and trusting that emotions are not what we stand on but trusting He is in control of every detail involving our adoption from beginning to end. This story will definitely not pertain to all. But there are those who I know have walked in these shoes and those who are now and those who are going to, so I hope I can encourage you.
When I was in China I often read blogs where people shared some of their hardships in the beginning of the adoption and they really encouraged me. As a mom who loves her children dearly, I struggled with not understanding how everything was an instant click for all of us in the adoption. I am a gift of faith woman and believe all things are possible so before we traveled I had prayed against any set backs and believed it was possible for everyone to just instantly bond! Cute... I know. Well, while it definitely wasn’t that, hearts adored each other but that deep love was not instant, ‘how can this be’ I kept thinking! It was from that point on that the series of events all worked together for the good of His plan (Romans 8:28)
Oh the weeks were hard and my roller coaster of good and hard emotions made me feel guilty! I finally really understood the women who often said ‘adoption is hard, beautiful, painful, and full of God’s grace'… and I never understood what “they” meant. I kind of chalked it up to a cliché saying. Well I got it. I officially got it. It is one of those sayings that is powerfully true and until you walk in those shoes, you won’t really get it. It is hard because these precious children come from a hard place and the parents who adopt step into a role of dedication and exercising an unconditional love day in and out in a relationship that will take time to grow in deep love for each other, which it does and will. It is beautiful because it is a powerful portrait of God’s heart and his amazing work from start to finish when He calls a family to adopt. It is painful because there are a lot of vulnerabilities for both the child and the family and the emotions are overwhelming a bit of a roller coaster ride. Lastly, it is full of God’s grace because on the hard days we need His grace to push past the guilt and to push through despite how we feel. While emotions are very real they are not logical reasoning to base decisions on.
So back to before we adopted, I had dreamed up a wonderful picture of how our adoption would be. My dream was almost to perfect. It required no hardship and no growth because the picture I painted well… it was just perfect. Who needs God’s grace when things are perfect right? Let me just say I am thankful God was in control and still is. Our adoption began with heart break on gotcha day, an awful day for us all, and slowly began to come together into the wonderful picture it is today. In China, I stayed up late nights, rarely sleeping because of all the stress and transition and those hours were full of God’s direction. He led me to some wonderful people/blogs where women shared the truths and pains of the hardships and slow progression of trusting God’s mighty plan at work, connecting the hearts of all. A friend once said time is your friend, and time has been. Patience, the wait, all of it is part of learning to trust God despite how we feel. Time is needed for everyone to bond. Time is needed to fall in love with your child. Time is needed to let your child fall in love with you. Time is needed to let that natural feeling fall into place. Every story is different but ours of bringing an adorable toddler into a family of babies and busy lifestyles was a lot. A big change to say the least.
When we arrived home there were a lot of changes for us. The transitions were hard, the attachment was happening wonderfully fast for me, but not as quickly for everyone else. I was a mom of three young children and we were all getting little sleep. God’s grace was needed on the days I struggled with guilt and second guessed my decisions because of lack of sleep and sometimes hope of stability, but I knew the enemy baits with emotions and God’s blessings and confirmations along our journey proved we were all where we were suppose to be. Those miracles are what I clung to often and they helped so much! I will be truthful and you may relate but sometimes it was hard when I read or heard other moms talk about this wonderful instant firework show of love and perfection in their adoption it made me wonder how good of a mom I was because of not feeling the same. That is why I am sharing this blog today! But despite, I plowed forward being reassured by many I was doing a good job and that time was going to be our friend. Everything would slowly come together as it should and it did. Our sweet boy is a joy, we love him….he loves us. In such a short time God has poured favor and all the hearts have bonded tremendously!
The other day I thought back to a few months ago and thought wow, I would never want to go back and start this over again but I wouldn’t change it to any other way because the ups and downs have truly made me appreciate the simple things. When I see my children all laughing together my heart leaps, when I see Isaiah run for the back door because his daddy is home I smile for hours, when I see our family of 5 sit around and it feels so natural and easy… it’s a feeling of peace I cannot describe. I love our little family. How good is our God that he takes these kind of stories and when we let Him write he creates the happiest endings full of His presence. Every day I am thankful God is the author of our story! If I can leave you with one thing if you relate to any of this at all and it is don’t doubt yourself. Put one foot in front of the other and continue to trust and walk in obedience despite the emotions on the hard days for the children or you. If God calls us to it, He will call us through it. He knits our hearts together in adoption because He is the writer and creator of this amazing kind of love, the true designer of it all. It is a beautiful. So be patient and remember time is your friend. Adoption is His heart. It will all come together and soon enough you will be sharing your story to encourage another mama!
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper