1. We live in the tension. We celebrate adoption holidays with joy and gusto, we embrace our son with all the hugs and affection every child deserves and we tell him how incredibly blessed we are that he is ours. And then in the next breath we stop and thank God for his birth mom and his birth dad, we pray for their hearts and the pain that I imagine never goes away when your child is calling someone else Mama. We let our son see the joy and we let him see the pain because it teaches him he's safe to question, safe to feel sad, and safe to feel joy exploding out of his being, all at the exact same time. This, we believe, is how kids grow up to do great things.
So I walked out of church on Orphan Sunday, sat at lunch, and I cried. Why? Lashauna, Michael, Caleb, Helen, Terry, Michael & Greg. 7 children whose portraits and a mini bio hung in the hallway of our church. 7 kids who live right in our county who need families. Rights terminated. Waiting. Waiting for someone. Anyone, to call them "mine." It's simple. They need a family. Out of 600+ Christians we should be able to find families for 7 kids. What would those children have burned on their minds about who Jesus is, if they knew that on November 2nd, they were presented to a group of over 600 Jesus-loving Christians and not every single one of them were ultimately given a family by the end of that day. My heart cannot even handle the ramifications. You see, we also support a ministry to homeless teens in our city. We bring meals, we volunteer, we do other ministry things for this organization. But we miss the biggest part...preventing the need for these kids to ever walk through the door of that ministry in the first place. Kids need families.
We often sit back and think, "Maybe it's us. Maybe we are missing something? Are we the crazy ones?" But I don't think we are. These are children! Not some justice cause. Jesus was radical. Why aren't Christians? It seems to us, that the families with older children, with highschoolers, and children just off to college would be a perfect fit for any of the 7 older children in the hallway needing families. But instead, we are left wondering if we are supposed to do something radical. In the textbook world of adoption, our current very young family, is not the prime setting for domestic older child adoption. BUT...children shouldn't be without families, especially among hundreds of Christians. Maybe one of these days, you might wake up to us doing something crazy. If I've learned one thing in my short 31 years it's, "never say never."
And back to adoption. It's glorious. It's messy. It's filled with pain and joy. It's really no different than life in general. I get choked up every time I think of how gracious God is that this child calls me Mama. And it's days like today, when I get his kindergarten school picture and I cry, because his birth mom is missing another milestone.