I remember the first time I heard the term “adoption loss”. I had never, in all my years of wanting to adopt, truly stopped to consider the loss that comes with it. I knew there were orphans in the world, kids who needed forever families. But I hadn’t stopped to think about the past that brought them to that point. Maybe I wasn’t ready to face it.
I am now.
When I receive my referral for a little girl, I will probably learn some of her story. She will have had a first family. She will have lost them to death, abandonment or simply because they were unable to care for her. It will be her story to tell, not mine. But it will be very real. And it will always be a part of her story.
Aaron Ivey, gave a sermon at the Austin Stone Church that I saw on youtube, called “Adopted: the Cost of Love“. In it, he spoke of orphan care as actually joining in the suffering of the orphan. That bringing an orphan home and parenting them, requires a person to join in the orphan’s suffering and feel it with them. I know I will never fully grasp how much my child’s heart will hurt over this. But I also know that God can heal. And that God is already bringing me closer to my child. Not knowing who she is doesn’t matter. I love her. And my heart hurts to know all she has been through and is going through now. Yes, it may seem crazy. But maybe crazy love is how God heals us.
This scripture keeps coming to me:
“This is what the Lord says — he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Forget the former things; do not
dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up;
do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and
streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:16-19
He parted the seas once. He will do it again. He will part the seas and bring orphans to the forever families that are waiting for them. We will acknowledge the past, but not live in it. And we will see God doing a new thing. In us. In our family. For His glory.
Sometimes I wonder how God does it. Only briefly, because I know I’ll never understand. But He knows ahead of time what we will need, when we will need it and how He will provide it.
Case in point:
We held a fundraising concert for our adoption a couple of weeks ago. Not a huge crowd, but those who came were very generous. Some even gave us money for “tickets” days after the concert, because they hadn’t been able to make it that night.
Two days ago, I got the invoice for the next small supplemental fee for my agency. It was a little less than I thought. Yesterday, I got the invoice from the venue for our concert. Again somewhat less than I thought. And guess what. The concert raised enough to cover the venue fees and our supplemental fee, with $20 left over.
Exactly what we needed, when we needed it. I don’t expect God to provide for the adoption all at once. I think He takes great joy in showing us that He has this. I don’t need to worry for a moment.
He so has this.
It’s official. We have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”. We have been through 7 months of interviews and paperwork and approvals and fingerprints and government seals. And we are finally on the list. The elusive list of waiting families who have conquered a mountain of paperwork are rewarded with. The list that lets us take a break from paperwork (for the time being). The list that lets us rest in the goodness of God and how He has already brought us this far.
Now we get to wait. We get to plan and prepare. We get to dream about the day our little one is finally home with us. We won’t know her name or see her precious face possibly for many months. But we have overcome such hurdles already.
My daughter and I climbed a mountain together when she was 5. I can hardly believe we made it, but we did. Clingman’s Dome in Smoky Mountain National Park. It was a long, hard climb. And we took many breaks. We would catch our breath for a few moments, look at the road we had already traveled, then look ahead at where we were going. And we would start climbing again. It was so important to me that we make it to the top.
And we finally did. We took pictures. We laughed. We cheered. The view was great, but the best part was really accomplishing it together.
So here we are with another mountain to climb. We have been walking diligently, faithfully. We have made amazing progress and can look back at the path we have covered so far and how God has walked with us every step of the way. And we get to look ahead to the great adventure before us, knowing He will continue to be with us, every step of the way.
But for the moment, we get to rest and celebrate.