Hey hey! I hope you all had a wonderful week! We definitely did. This past Sunday we were finally able to baptize little Amelia! It was such a beautiful morning. Amelia was so good, and she even smiled when the deacon anointed her! I was so proud! I’ll be really honest with y’all and say that for quite a long time I believed we would never have children, and so I would get really emotional over the thought that we’d never have baptism pictures or first Christmas pictures or wedding pictures of our children. And then on Sunday I felt extremely emotional just knowing that our beautiful baby, the baby I prayed for so long to join our family, was finally in my arms and we were able to have her baptized. It sounds a little silly typing it out but that was truly a dream come true for me. But that dream would obviously never have come true were it not for adoption.
Some of you may know that November is Adoption Awareness Month, and tomorrow, November 9, is actually World Adoption Day! I’ve followed the posts on social media in years past from families who had adopted or were in the process of adopting but this is the first year I can count Chris and myself in with those families. Initially I wasn’t going to share my thoughts because I didn’t feel qualified to talk about adoption in depth yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel qualified to do that. But after thinking about it a little more and reading some beautiful and vulnerable posts from all parts of the adoption world, I decided to share a little bit after all, especially since tomorrow is meant to be a day to celebrate the gift of adoption, as well as a day to remind us to not overlook all those who suffer because of adoption.
Something that really stood out to me while learning about adoption and the trauma involved in it, is that there are people who feel that you can’t really have peace in adoption. Their argument is how can you be at peace about something that you know is going to cause so much pain for someone else. Here’s my take: when God plants a seed in your heart, and you follow His lead as He guides you to what He has planned for you to do, you will have peace. Sure, it won’t be a peace that totally cancels out all your worries and fears. We’re human, therefore we have human emotions. But I learned through our adoption process, and I’m still learning now, that I will only have true peace if I do God’s will. And I firmly believe that us pursuing adoption was His will.
My heart truly breaks when I think about T, Amelia’s birth mom. I am filled with so much pain knowing that she is more than likely experiencing the most difficult days of her life right now. I’m not blind to those things. I have so much guilt on a daily basis because of the joy and excitement I feel every day since becoming Amelia’s momma. But I also know the conversations I had with T. I know the things she told me, that I will cherish in my heart and share only with Amelia, the baby we both love with everything we have. And I know that she trusts me and Chris to love and raise Amelia.
I’ve had people tell me that a loving God would never let biological families be separated, that we are tearing a family apart because we adopted Amelia. I’ve been told that we are ripping Amelia away from her real mother and her heritage, and that we will never be her real family. I’ve had people tell me that we were coercive because we were excited that T chose us to love and raise her baby. I’ve even had people tell me that I have no idea of the trauma that birth mothers experience, that God privileged us more since we didn’t have any struggles (ha!) and that adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem…and two minutes later the same person boasted of her involvement with Catholics for Choice. Talk about a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I digress. 🙂
My point is, nobody knows our whole story except for us. I don’t share everything. I shouldn’t share everything, that would not be right. But I share what I can to help other people know they aren’t alone. I felt so alone for such a long time, and it wasn’t until I opened up about our infertility and our miscarriage that I started to realize how many people there are who are in the same boat. I finally connected with people who weren’t afraid to share the difficult, messy parts of their stories, with the sole intent of helping other people feel like they belong. I am absolutely certain that I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on adoption topics. Far from it. But I am also absolutely certain that I will do everything in my power to learn what I need to learn and accept that I can’t know it all and I will inevitably make mistakes.
I have had so many doubts throughout our adoption journey, doubts about my ability to be a good mom, doubts about whether or not an expectant mom would choose us to parent her child, doubts about every bit of contact we had with T, whether or not we were giving her the support she needed, even though we were doing our best, doubts about how we would feel about openness in our adoption, and the list goes on. But what I never doubted was that God was there. I never doubted that we were walking the path He had set us on, and for that reason, even in the middle of lots of emotional turmoil, I had peace. I am not perfect, but I can do God’s will. That’s the only way any of us can truly be at peace.
So I will continue to learn, and listen to other adoptive parents, listen to birth mothers and birth fathers, and listen to adoptees, so that I can be as well-informed as possible, and raise our daughter as well as we possibly can. But I will never not speak up when someone says that peace can’t be found in the adoption process. I will never not speak up when people speak uncharitably and/or judgmentally about birth mothers. I will never sit back and keep my mouth shut when people talk down about adoptive parents. I will never keep Amelia’s story from her. She will always know how much T loves her. She will always be given all the information I have to share with her.
Adoption is chock-full of more emotions, messiness, and beauty than you would possibly believe. I can only share what I know. I can only be a voice for one side of the story. But I will always do my best to educate myself on how to walk through life with a child who was adopted, and how to make sure that her birth mom is always aware of how loved she is. I know that us having Amelia in our family is the reason her birth mom’s heart breaks. But I believe, because of so many things that I will not be sharing with y’all, that God brought Amelia and T into our family. And for that I am forever grateful.
Please, if you are touched in any way by adoption, learn more about it. Learn how to speak about adoption, and more specifically birth mothers, with charity and gentleness. But if you only learn one thing, learn this: birth mothers love their babies. They don’t “give them away,” as we are so used to hearing. The decision to place a baby for adoption is the most painful, soul-wrenching decision a woman will ever make. She will live with that decision forever, and with the trauma that goes with it. It is not something done hastily or lightly. So be charitable and kind in how you speak about birth mothers.
Well, this turned into a more emotionally-charged post than I originally intended. Oh well. It’s important stuff, I think. I’m so thankful that I can share a little bit of what we’ve learned. I’m not an expert by a stretch, and I have a lot to learn, but hey, I’ll get there one day. Please pray for everyone in the adoption triad (child, birth family, and adoptive family) that we can navigate this path with love, compassion, and openness. Adoption is hard. But it’s also beautiful, because it comes straight from God. And that’s why it can also come with a certain amount of peace, for everyone involved. Pray for us as we continue to learn about adoption and prepare our hearts for difficult conversations in the future. I’m praying for y’all! ❤