not long before shilo was admitted i came across a place to enter an essay to be considered for addition to a book. the essay was to be about one word that comes to mind with adoption. i was unable to write because we were admitted to the hospital, but i have thought about my one word over and over again. i go back and forth on wanting to put it out there for fear that people won't understand what i mean, but certainly there are other families that feel the same way. so here it is.
eleven times in the past three years i have handed my daughters off to someone else who was much more capable of caring for them at that moment than i was. i have no idea how to administer anaesthesia. i don't know how to run an mri machine. i am most definitely incapable of performing any sort of surgery. every time i hand them off i cry. and every time the people who take them assure me they will take good care of them. i have no doubt of that. it's just that trusting someone else with your child's life is painful. and adoption is born of this same essence.
adoption is something that if i had one word to sum it up, it would be 'pain.' (most) people adopt after experiencing the pain of not being able to conceive children. even though we are very much at peace with having every one of our children come through adoption, there is still something painful about not being able to create life like so many other people around us.
for a birth parent, the knowledge that raising their child, would be best done by someone else, causes great amounts of pain. it's beautiful. it's selfless. it's painful. society can judge, they can question. but they can not erase the image i have of both of my daughter's mothers, with tears running down their cheeks as they walked away from their little girls. and one of my little girls has a birth dad who's heart was also ripped out with making this choice.
and for my big girl (and likely some day my little as well), there are questions, thoughts, conversations, that rip my heart apart as i watch the pain seeping out of her. lots of adoptees come to terms with the fact that being placed for adoption was done in love. but it doesn't take away the pain that for some reason their first family was unable to raise them.
but the thing with pain, is that our God, He loves to redeem. He often will pick up the ashes and make something more beautiful than you could ever imagine. He does not waste the suffering and pain that come with adoption.
as a result of the pain of not being able to conceive, we have two of the most amazing little girls. i could not have envisioned the beauty that would radiate from my daughters. they bring about a kind of joy that starts in your toes, and moves up quickly, making every part of you feel like it will burst.
as a result of placing their children with us, our daughter's birth families have been able to make great choices, and change their lives so that they are able to still be an important part abigail and shilo's lives. going back to college, getting new jobs, becoming more stable. even making choices to live for, and follow Christ.
and as a result of adoption both of my daughter's (despite our parenting deficiencies) will understand the way Christ adopted us much better than i ever will. they will be able to directly relate how adoption means belonging, just the way you are, to a family that loves you.
yes, adoption is pain. and it is out of that pain and brokenness that we often can find beauty.