Sunday, May 22, 2011

from our current perspective

hmmmm, it's pretty hard to make up for 2 lost months on a blog. so here's a few thoughts on adoption from our current perspective (aka, 15 months and 3 weeks waiting for a referral):

1. adoption is not a race or competition between other adoptive families. i have been struggling to believe this the last few months. i'm on a small listserv with a few other families from our agency. all of them have referrals now. some of them have their kids home. most (maybe all) have passed court and are waiting for embassy dates. we also have good friends who just passed court for their 4.5 year old son. they waited on their agency's waitlist just 2 months before receiving his referral. many times, i've felt tempted to say, "but wait, God, they are supposed to be behind us. it wasn't supposed to work this way." the race mentality is incredibly defeating and discouraging, particularly because it takes away all truth of God's sovereignty. i imagine that our friends who just passed court felt similarly defeated by this race mentality when they went through hell with their homestudy agency. they watched a number of families who started the adoption process after them get onto waitlists before them. by the race mentality, they shouldn't have received a referral when they did, but God chose otherwise. his sovereignty is greater than our circumstances.

2. adoption isn't just a personal family building choice. i can say with extraordinary certainty that we would not have made it this long waiting for a referral if God had not been sustaining us all this way with a clear and direct calling. he has instilled in both of us a passion for adoption that has grown exponentially since we began this process. i literally have NO CLUE how anyone who just sees adoption as one option out a handful of family building choices or as a humanitarian endeavor endures this tough journey.

3. adoption is bigger than me. when our friends passed court last week, it was a reminder of why we're doing this. adoption is such a huge miracle. it brings together a child who has experienced much loss -- especially the loss of a family -- and parents who long to love and nurture a child. it also models the way we are welcomed into God's family through jesus (go listen to third day's song "children of God." it's like my adoption power jam). God's design of and purpose for adoption goes past our particular situation. if for some reason our adoption process didn't work out, there would still be much to celebrate.

4. HONESTY ALERT: sometimes i really, really struggle being outside adoption world. we've been blessed to know several families who have adopted or are adopting. our closest friends are adoptive parents (and, more specifically, adoptive parents to kids who weren't newborns when they were adopted). because of this, we spend a lot of our lives in what i call adoption world. it's a place where adoption is totally normal, a place where you can totally skip having a newborn and still be considered a real and knowledgeable parent. i spent some time with other friends (and friends of friends) this weekend, and i noticed myself clamming up at one point when the conversation turned to pregnancy and baby-raising. i had already been asked earlier in the evening if i was pregnant after one of the girls i didn't really know overheard me talking about names for our kids. it was an honest question, but it made me sad: why do people always assume expectant mothers are pregnant mothers? i long for the day when the question is not "are you pregnant?" but "are you pregnant or adopting?" i long for the day when the conversations among women about having children aren't soley centered around pregnancy. i often hesitate to speak up about adoption in many situations outside of adoption world simply because i fear making people feel like i'm trying to force it on them. and all of this is really just exacerbated by the fact that we don't have a referral yet, thus decreasing any credibility i have to speak on any of this (at least in the eyes of many people outside adoption world).