This month I would like to share four stories from women just like you. Women who have husbands, children, and friends. Women who live their life trying to do their best. Nothing special (sorry ladies!). The only thing they have special is the Hope. Hope found in Jesus.
Little did I know that at this time one year ago we would see our daughters face for the first time.
God is so funny…so smart…so behind the scenes…so tricky(in the best kind of way)…so brilliant. We had specifically said we did not want to adopt a child with a cleft lip/palate because of the amount of surgeries it could require. And of course, our sweet girl’s SN (special need) is exactly that.
Just when you thought something would scare you God swoops in and that very thing does not scare you one bit(at least it didn’t for us). Which was a sure sign that she was ours. I remember looking into her eyes thinking she was so so SO adorable. And I remember laughing out loud because the picture we had was of her sitting on a plastic stool. Her foster Mama said she was “naughty.” I kept thinking, “Sweet girl, you are probably in time out on that stool right now.” And it made me laugh.
You see, I have 4 biological kids. My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have Parker who is 8 years old, Micah who is 6 years old, Ann Marie who is 4 years old, Ava Mei (our adopted daughter) who will be 3 years old in August, and Abby Kate is 2 years old. The thought of Ava Mei being “naughty” didn’t scare me at all. Maybe it should have. 🙂
Neither my husband nor I had felt any calling towards adoption. We always knew we wanted a lot of kids. In premarital counseling we said we wanted 3 or 4 kids. But adoption was never on the radar. Until God laughed at my comment referring to my sister and brother in law who adopted my niece from Haiti:
“We will always support others who adopt in any way we can, but I am SO thankful God has not called us to adopt. Because it is hard.”
All I can say is WATCH WHAT YOU SPEAK. Not even two weeks after saying that God spoke to me more clearer than ever in my life that we would be adopting a little girl from China. Not a boy, not from another country or our own country. He was so specific. And I felt like if we did not do it we would be blatantly disobeying God. That was that. Of course we prayed about it for a couple of weeks. But one year and a couple of months later we met Ava Mei for the first time.
That previous uneventful year turned into a new year. And lets just say it has not been uneventful. I’m not sure what I expected adoption to be like. But I know that I was hoping, praying, believing that Ava Mei and I would just “click.” We would connect right off the bat. That didn’t happen. I’m not sure if it happened for Ava Mei but it didn’t happen for me. I still, 6 months later, struggle with this(a lot less than I used to).
I am brutally honest. I don’t sugar coat things. I am real. Real life for me is that there are days where it is so hard for me to treat Ava Mei fairly. Real life is that there are moments that I get angry with her. Real life is that she has transitioned wonderfully. Real life is that her SN is ONLY a cleft palate that we will have a second surgery on in August and she won’t have to have any more surgeries until 8 years old. Real life is that she is so smart, happy, LOVES me, loves her siblings, loves her Daddy. Real life is that she tries so hard.
Real life is that I am learning so much about MYSELF. Who knew this would be more about me than her. Real life is that I still kiss her cheeks every day. I say I love you every day, several times a day. I still hold her, feed her, change her clothes, play with her, and meet her needs. Real life is that she is needy and it exhausts me some days. Real life is that I still cry every few weeks from feeling like I am not cut out for this. Real life is that I see progress in her and me. Real life is that it IS getting easier. Real life is that I laugh at her and think she is cutest little Chinese girl on this earth. Real life is that I truly want whats best for her. Real life is there is hope for her and me.
Enough with “real life” examples. Bottom line is this. It has been tough. Not gonna lie. Never in my life have I felt like a crappy Mom until I brought this tiny cute as a button little girl home. I have never prayed as much or depended on God as much as I have in the last six months. For three months I prayed and cried and BEGGED God to tell me what to do to be different. All I heard was crickets. Then one day He spoke to me. He told me what I needed to change about myself.
The last couple of weeks I have learned even more about myself. So whoever said adoption was to “change a child’s life” has obviously never adopted. This changes YOU, and it forever changes your child. Something that was meant for heartache….that did cause heartache has so wonderfully by the provision and grace of God been changed to HOPE. And I tell you…satan isn’t happy…he wants to stop this from happening. He hates it. But, I will not let him win. And if I am on the only one who can make sure my daughter has hope and love and knows Jesus, by goodness she WILL get all of that!
I’m so thankful to Lindsey for sharing! What a beautiful story about hope and redemption – in adoption. Leave an encouraging comment for Lindsey below!
& Thanks for reading!
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