Adoption is so many things all at once...
Some days it is back breaking, heart breaking work. Picking these little souls up out of abuse, neglect, trauma. Trying to mend hurting hearts, broken bodies, damaged spirits. Trying painstakingly slowly to earn trust from a child who has never trusted. The days when love may not be so much a feeling, but instead a decision to love. A decision made over and over again. Willingly getting into the trenches with these kids and fighting. Fighting not for your life (though sometimes it feels like it) but fighting for their lives. Their physical, and emotional health, their future. Battling the demons from their past hand in hand heart to heart with them. Lending your strength even when you feel you have none left to help them vanquish their fears and insecurities. Always trying to build them up. Starting from the ashes and helping them to be reborn into the child they should have always been free, safe, and loved enough to be.
But then you are given the gift of an easy day ( or days). A break through. A smile, a sign of affection, little hands reaching out to you for comfort or cuddles. A child suddenly secure enough to play with you and let you toss them in the air or tickle their tummy. Instead of eliciting fear they giggle and smile. These are days when things are easy and amazing and you almost forget this child wasn’t born to you , you almost forget all the trauma they have gone through These days are a beautiful rest for all of you. Days given to bask in the love you have grown for this child. to appreciate them. Their strength, fortitude, and resilience. Adoption is messy. No matter the situation adoption always begins with trauma. The trauma of a child being separated from their birth mother. But adoption is also beautiful and transformative it is living breathing redemption and love. On these days it feels as if God has torn open the heavens and drenched you in love, and sunshine, and extreme indescribable thankfulness. These days are humbling. These days will bring you to your knees praising god for the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that have made these days possible. These days you tell God “ Ok Lord I can take more. I know a week ago I told you I was too weak and too tired and not qualified for this job. Now I see it is a blessing not a job. Now I understand a little more of what you are doing here. Through you, with your guidance and strength we can do this. I’m ready for more” And a funny thing happens… you realize God is not only growing and redeeming your adopted child he is growing and redeeming you. Really he is growing and redeeming your whole family. He is softening hearts, teaching real true sacrificial love to you, your spouse, and your biological children. He is showing you the joy in sacrifice.
And he is there every sleepless night, tube feeding, medication, hospitalization, surgery, meltdown, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. The weeping while your child is rejecting you. He is there carrying you through and using these situations to bring about good things.
This is why I choose hard instead of easy. These lessons, and this growth. This sweet, perfectly made, amazing little girl grinning at me. I will choose crazy and hard every day over for this little girl. She is worth it.