Dear Adoptive Mom,
I won't begin by telling you that I know what your life is like, because even though our lives look similar from the outside (we're both mommies in the trenches!), the stark reality is that our children came to us in very different ways and background can't just be ignored as if it doesn't exist.
No matter how our children come to us – whether through adoption or biologically – children are a delight and a blessing. They are truly a heritage from the Lord. And even if we have never met and you are reading my blog for the very first time today, I happen to know that your children are particularly delightful.
There are Five Things I want to tell you:
One: You Are Your Child's “Real” Mother and Father
Should you ever doubt it or tire of hearing others question it, I want you to know that as truly as I am my children's “real” mother, you are your children's “real” mother and father. In every single way. You chose them… you prayed for them…. you serve them day after day and night after night. They are yours and you are theirs!
Two: Adoption Is Not A Choice. It's a Calling.
In the same way that some people without children don't understand why others have children at all, and some parents of small families don't understand why other parents have large families, there are some people who don't understand why you have adopted. I know that sometimes you feel like you can't share your struggles with others because they will think, “You chose this, now deal with it.” I am sorry that people can be so dismissive of your struggles. Adoption is not a choice, it's a calling. Just remember that the people who are so quick to say “I told you so” right now, may very well be the first to say “I knew it all along” when your children are grown.
Three: This Is What I See When I Look At Your Life
I want you to know that when I look at your life, I see something beautiful. In the midst of laundry and chaos, I admire watching you obediently walk out God's calling for your life. When people look at you and think you are amazing, I know that you don't feel amazing. But you serve an almighty and amazing God who has asked you to do this very hard thing. He is using your family to illustrate some important spiritual truths about our spiritual adoption into the family of God. I am honored to stand nearby and watch your story unfold. Because it is the story of my adoption by my Heavenly Father, too. I wouldn't fully understand the magnitude of what it means that I was adopted by God, except that I get to see close up through your family what adoption means.
Four: It's Ok to be Overwhelmed.
It's ok to be overwhelmed and scared. Parenting IS overwhelming. You are dealing with some very real issues. Yes, you voluntarily accepted the call to adopt, but that doesn't mean that there is less laundry or less work. It doesn't make the physical, spiritual and emotional issues that you and your children deal with go away. What you struggle with is REAL and it will bring you to your knees in a way that nothing else will. Adoption is one way God has chosen to refine your character. He is using all that He has placed before you to create the beautiful masterpiece that is YOU. I am humbled and blessed to count you as a friend.
Five: We All Need Jesus.
Some people just need Jesus. We all need Jesus, but some people really need Jesus and haven't found Him yet. You are raising children who were already here before you adopted them, and but for adoption could have had very different endings to their stories. Our job as Christians is to be the hands and feet of Christ, to serve and encourage you where we can. Only a broken person would make a rude comment if you ask for help and wouldn't simply come and be the hands and feet of Jesus to you. Only a broken person would withhold their encouragement when you need it. So when that does happen (because it will), try not to bristle. Try to pray for them because they need to feel the acceptance of adoption into God's family as much as anybody.
Dear, sweet Mama, your kids are not “second-best” or “lucky to be chosen.” They are a precious gift from God, just as all children are. And you are a precious gift from God too. Thank you for letting me encourage you. You are a blessing.
When I decided to write this post I asked some adoptive Moms I know what their biggest discouragement has been. I want to thank those ladies for their candor and honesty. You brought up points that I hadn't thought about. If you are an adoptive parent, I want to be a blessing and an encouragement to you. I have added “adoption” as one of my blog categories and going forward I will be hosting guest posts about adoption. My goal is to be an encouragement for families who have already adopted and to encourage families who have not adopted to prayerfully consider whether or not this is God's calling for your life. If you would like to contribute a post about adoption, please contact me using my guest post application form. You might not currently blog or have 3 samples of writing to share with me and that's alright. Contact me anyway.