Thursday, August 30, 2012

a hard truth to grasp, a hard post to write

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A call to love the orphan is a call to suffer with the orphan.
-Brandon Hatmaker


I had a hard time writing this post. I feel like if I had to, I could possibly sum it up in just a few words:

We will gladly accept any baby that is handed over to us, and will love him/her with all his/her flaws, challenges, disabilities because God set the example for us and loved us first, and we trust Him with the growth of our family.

But the truth is, i want to expand on the previous sentence. So, here it goes...not eloquently explained by any means, but I'm afraid if i don't hit post now, i may never do it.

***

Over the last few months i have become acutely aware of the fact that the adoption of a baby you haven't carried and know nothing about is as uncertain as all the what if's of pregnancy and labor and childbirth.

Yet, with this realization has come with it not only some anxiety, but also a greater peace in the certainty that God is totally in control of who he places into our family.

Whether pregnant or adopting, there is little that we actually have control over. Yes, I can choose not to drink or smoke or take certain drugs while pregnant, but in the end, it is God who gives us the baby our family needs. The one we need as much as he/she need us.

And here's the reality: there are women who do drugs and drink that birth perfectly healthy babies and on the flip side, there are organic eating, daily exercising, overly careful women every day who give birth to premature, sickly little loves sometimes too. It's in those situations that we become more and more aware of the fact that it is out of our hands.

So, in light of all that, we aren't praying for the perfect healthy baby (although of course it's every mother's wish to welcome a healthy baby into her arms) But ultimately, a perfectly healthy infant isn't the end goal for us. We just want the baby that God wants to join our family, the one that will make us a family of four.

There have been moments where i have thought that because we are adopting an infant there are certain "issues" that we may be able to bypass - attachment disorders among other things. But the truth is, while we might not have to face attachment issues (although there is always that chance as well) there is also a good chance there will be other issues that will arise down the road if not at birth. a very good chance. I'd say the likelihood is high that our next child will have "issues" by the world's standards. Issues that scare me and make me break out into a cold sweat when i think about it too much or too long. Issues that i may not have even thought of, and issues that may cause some to turn around and head back in the other direction.

And that's where Brandon Hatmaker's quote (above) comes in. We are not only called to love the orphan - our child, an orphan no longer, once we pick him/her up from the hospital - but to suffer with him/her too - happily suffer for the rest of our lives for this little one.

I am increasingly aware of the potential challenges that may come. drug addiction, low birth weight, mental/physical disabilities, emotional issues, and the list goes on and on. They were the same possibilities that were there when we were pregnant with Micah (minus the potential of drug addiction), yet we chose to love him before we ever knew or met him, because we knew he was meant to be ours. And we will continue to love and accept him as he grows - and with his growth could come health issues, learning disabilities, behavioral concerns - for Micah as much as our next son or daughter. These are the risks we take as parents - whether through adoption or pregnancy and childbirth. The risk to say, I'm gonna love you no matter what because you're mine.

And while we may not be prepared for all the unknowns ahead, i'd like to think we're ready only because of the faith we have in Christ.

Because we know that the exact baby that is supposed to join our family, will. Just like with Micah, we didn't know him, but we knew that he was just the kid that was supposed to make us parents.  And it's sobering but also a truth that brings peace. That the Lord cares for every child. orphan or not - healthy, sick, overdue or premature, jaundice (like Micah) or substance addicted, deaf or born with down syndrome - all of them. He loves them, and cares for them, and because of that, we can too.

We don't know what the future holds for us, but we hope it holds a baby (whatever the health or weight or skin color) that is meant to crawl up into our sometimes timid, often fearful hearts and laps. A baby that will teach us how to love in a new, entirely different way, not because we share the same biology, but because we share the same heavenly Father who has adopted us as His sons and daughters.

So if some people think we're crazy because we're open to accepting an infant that needs to go through drug withdrawal, or a baby whose birth mom drank or smoke or was mentally ill - it's only because we know God's grace will be ever present through it all.

Yeah, some nights we may lie awake because of all the uncertainties of the choices we're making, or anxious because of the many what if's - but most nights we just can't wait for it all to happen already. whatever the "ifs" may be, we just want to meet our baby.




7 comments:

Amanda Brdlik said...

Awesome post, Jess. I'll be praying for you and your little family as you make this leap of faith.

Amie said...

Jess, you and curtis are such a beautiful example of Believers in Christ. Your convictions are so real and so strong. I admire you. Your strength, your faith, your outward love of the Lord. You four will make one awesome family!!!! We wont stop praying yet!!

“Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.” D.L. Moody

valerie rose said...

What an awesome post Jess---it challenged my spirit as I read it. I'm so excited to welcome this baby into the family as well! So glad he/she will be yours.

evan said...

praying praying praying!

Judy Schenk said...

There is an authentic wrestling in this post that takes you to another place in faith and grace. The wrestling hurts, is hard and places you in positions you can't release from or don't want to occupy...but it also builds muscle...muscle for the journey...and a satisfaction that blessings come in the morning if we hold fast.
Gen: 32:24-28
oxox
JS

Kate said...

Yes, you are ready because of your faith in Christ. And only because of Christ!

Curtis said...

"A baby that will teach us how to love in a new, entirely different way, not because we share the same biology, but because we share the same heavenly Father who has adopted us as His sons and daughters."

Nyla has truly fulfilled this task! Love reading these posts years later.

 
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