Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Adoption is awesome!

Isaac was worth it.

He really was.

In conversation yesterday, I was reminded how much I believe this. How much I believe that our Isaac was worth ten years of waiting and five years of infertility treatments and disappointments. If someone told me right now that I'd have to go through all of that again -- every shot and blood draw and appointment and dilation and procedure and devastating phone call, to have Isaac at the end, not biologically related to me, I would do it again. He is that awesome. Isaac I mean. But God too. I would do it even if someone told me that Isaac would be it. That I'd never be pregnant. That we'd never have a biological child. I'd do it all to be Isaac's Mom.

Isaac is living proof to me that adoption is part of God's perfect plan. Adoption is not God's plan B. It is His plan A. It is not reserved for the infertile. It is reserved for all of us.

I remember the day that JB told me his perspective on adoption had changed. While I was ready for it, he wasn't. He knew he wanted to adopt, but his heart was not ready to give up on the dream of biological children. That's when he read Brian Luwis' article on adoption "Spirit of Adoption: God's Plan A". Brian Luwis is the founder of the adoption agency we are working through: AWAA and the father of three adopted and one biological child.

I had given JB this article many months earlier, and he had told me he wasn't ready to read it. But then, one day I came home, and he told me he had read it, and his heart had been changed completely. While JB's heart was redirected that day, my heart, while already prepared for adoption, was softened as well. While I had been a proponent of adoption, I had to admit that I saw it as Plan B. Not the best, but as good as we could get with my body just not working the way other people's did. This passage from Brian's article changed my heart as well.

When we think something is plan B, what we are actually saying is that we really do not want the pain, anguish, and yearnings that we are feeling. We have come up against something that we wish would go away; in essence what we really want is to be back in the Garden of Eden, before sin and suffering came into our reality. If we are honest, we yearn for things to work this way more often than not. Not just the problems with having children, but in many areas of our lives, we yearn for things to work the way we suppose they were designed to work from the beginning. But, if we look at the world through the lens of perfection, everything is plan B. Sin, suffering, and hardship are present in every aspect of life on this earth. Think about it for a minute. Is your marriage perfect? How about your job? What about your family relationships?

The other passage that really directed me was the understanding that we were adopted into God's family, and yet he loves us completely unconditionally. And we can do the same for children of this world. We can adopt them into our homes and not see them as anything but our own children -- equal in all ways to any flesh and blood children we may possibly bear.

There is no greater point about the permanence of adoption and the relationship it forms than this verse which speaks about our own adoption into God's family. In fact, the Biblical definition of adoption means a permanent placement as a son or daughter, with all the rights and privileges of the same. In the same way that God makes a place for us in his family through adoption—a place of security and love, where there is no fear—in that same way God wants orphans to experience the permanence of being placed into a family, of having their deepest longings fulfilled, knowing that they are finally home.

Deciding to adopt Isaac was wrought with many debates, questions, concerns, worries, and fears. I have vivid memories of exactly where I was when we got the phone call. Where I was when I told JB. Where I was when we sat for hours and debated our decision.

But in the end, we knew God had called us to be the parents of this little boy.

While I know he is not biologically related to me, I do not see that when I look at him. When I look at him, I see an unbelievably content little boy who smiles at everyone and everything and loves to take in the world and grunt and kick his legs and watch his puppy race around the house in fits of craziness. I see a little boy who laughs uncontrollably whenever his Daddy blows on his neck. I see contentment. I see our son. I see a little helpless child that God has allowed us to parent. What an amazing blessing both from God and from Chris and Bri.

As I look back, here is what I know. I know that had we conceived during the months and years prior to Isaac's conception, Isaac would not be in our home. Bri would not have asked us. And even if she had, most likely, I would have directed her to another family whose home had no children. Bri told me when she came to visit of all the other people that she heard from when she announced she planned to choose adoption. Everyone knew someone wanting a baby. It is only through the Grace of God that Chris and Bri deemed us worthy to be the parents of Isaac. I cannot imagine not being Isaac's Mom.

I have been careful when I talk to other couples, infertile or not, to refrain from pushing adoption on people. I have often said that no infertile couple should ever hear the words, "Well you can just adopt." It doesn't work that way. Adoption, while amazing, is not something anyone should do by prefacing it with "Well . . ." When it is time . . . if it is ever time . . . they will know that it is time. It is God's job to show them that, not ours.

I say the same thing to all you non-infertiles out there. Maybe you are new parents. Maybe your children have been raised and your home is now empty. Maybe adoption is on your heart even though infertility is not a phrase that has entered your home. Just follow peace. God will show you how to live out his mandate to care for the orphans and the widows (James 1:27). He will call you in His time. In His way. When He is ready. Goodness knows we did not seek our Isaac. God placed him in our arms.

What I want everyone to see when they think of us and when they think of Isaac is that the fear that you will not love this child as your own is not a fear you need worry about. There is no child I will ever have, from my body or not, that will ever do anything but equal the love I have for Isaac. He is our son. Adopted or not.

And he was worth it. I would, without a second's hesitation, go through everything we went through over and over and over again, if it means we can be Isaac's Mom and Dad. No doubt about it.


Anonymous said...

I love this! What an amazing thing adoption is!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful writing on this...I will use this blog to encourage others who are not knowing how God is leading, or making agonizing decisions in the midst of pain, unsure of what to do next, weighing pros and cons --i think it will be a great encouragement to others...thank you for using your gifts in this. i love and miss you
Tante Jan

yuan family said...

I love this post Wendi...very well put! Isaac is very blessed!

Anonymous said...

Adoption truly is amazing, and God's plan is always perfect. I have voiced your exact words many times.

Anonymous said...

wow! all i can say is wow! I am adopted and now it has put a completley different prespective on it. I always think why couldnt you have made my parents my real parents...but after reading this today i get it...they are my real parents. And God chose me for them. thanks wendi! I thank you so much for showing me that!

Suzanna Catherine said...

I love this post, too. I'm an *old* adoptive mom. My *boys* are 41 and 39. But it seems like yesterday that they were little babies like Isaac. Adoption is parenting. It has the same ups and downs, drama and teen-aged angst, but I'd do it all again, too! And now, after all these years, I get the joy of having grandchildren! :-)

Adoption is AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

Wendy your story has truely touched me. You have such an amazing love for God it it has a been a witness to me! I have been questioning so many things in my life lately. Your witness is making everything become clear again, I need God back in my life. I just wanted to thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I had the supreme pleasure of taking care of a little girl, adopted from China 6 years ago, for two years when she was in Kindergarten and Grade 1. She does not physically resemble her Canadian parents of course, but while we were chatting one day she had a tone of voice, a facial expression and a gesture that were so very much her mother's that I had to laugh. There is no doubt that your adopted child is YOUR child ever!

Anonymous said...

Once again ... very well put, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyable read once again! Couldn't help thinking that this is similiar to what we'll say once we get to heaven. It was worth it! It was worth waiting for! It was worth what we went through on earth... Just to be with our Saviour face to face!
How perspective changes depending on where you are standing....

Shanna said...

Thank you, Wendi! Your post has touched my heart more than I can explain. Thank you for sharing!

Jessy, Greg, Grace, Jack, Nora, and Lexi said...

Beautiful! I just stumbled across your blog. My hubby is a NICU Nurse in the Air Force (@ Lackland). We have 3 biological children and just adopted a baby girl this past February. Adoption has been such a unique experience, one that I am so grateful to have! Every up and down that brought our daughter into our arms was worth it!

Becky said...

Wendi, if it is okay I am going to link to this post. I want to start chronicling my adoption journey/learning process. Reading this post was one of those major moments along the way where God really spoke to me.