Throwing Timelines out the Window & Other Things I’ve Learned About/Through Adoption (So Far).

This post was originally planned for November, which is National Adoption Month. However, between holidays and other writing projects, it sat in my drafts for a while. Though National Adoption Month has passed, all of these lessons are still heavy on my heart. As a way to celebrate and honor adoption, I’d love to share these with you, along with ways we can pray.

We brought each of our kids home a souvenir from our cruise, including our daughter!

Adoption isn’t a race, and no two stories are the same. Honestly, I envisioned a certain timeline when we began our adoption process. At Christmas 2018, we were so hopeful our daughter would be home by Christmas 2019. For us, things have gone much slower than anticipated. Adoption can simply be unpredictable. While our family’s story is a slower process, others’ move more quickly. I’ve been reminded of the important truth that everything will happen in GOD’S timing, not mine. A faster or slower adoption process isn’t better or worse; God has a unique plan for each family’s story and timeline. Isn’t our God so creative in how he orchestrates all our stories for his glory? Pray for hopeful adoptive families in the wait, that we’d fully trust God’s timing to be perfect for each of us.

Adoption is joyful, but it also has grief and loss. There are hard parts of stories, questions with difficult answers, & questions with no answers at all. Every child and family’s story is unique in the way they arrive at adoption. As adoptive parents, we have to protect their stories, as parts of them aren’t ours to share. Pray for adoptive families, biological families, & adoptees, that they’d navigate the grief well, and that the Lord would redeem it for his glory.

The adoption process won’t end on our “Family Day”. I can’t wait for the day when our daughter is placed in our arms. Thinking about her meeting her brothers in the airport brings tears to my eyes. I know the wait will be so worth it. However, that won’t be the end of our process. Instead, that’ll truly be the beginning, learning to navigate being a family of 5 and bonding with our newest addition. With biological children, we have 9 months as they grow in our wombs to bond. In our education, I learned how crucial this is. Since we won’t have that with our daughter, we’ll all work together to bond with one another, teaching her we’re mommy and daddy, and she can trust us. Pray for our family (and all families), that the Lord would be at work now in our hearts and our daughter’s to create that bond between mommy, daddy, brother, and daughter/sister. Also pray adoptive families would have wisdom, resources, and support as they navigate their new normal.

The way we handle and talk about adoption matters. As believers, we should do everything for the glory of God, including adopting well and ethically. We should converse well in the way we talk about adoption, biological families, and countries of origin. We’re thankful for our agency’s help in this, and I’m also thankful for social media accounts like @adoptwell that advocate for adoption and bring different voices to the table. Friends, adoption education is something everyone can do. We should celebrate and honor birth families and countries of origin. We should speak with compassion and word things the correct way. Pray for everyone involved in adoption to be educated and discuss things in a way that honors adoptive families, adoptees, and biological families. Pray the Church would be aware and advocate for adoption rightly. This podcast episode from Adopt Well is an excellent resources as it gives a brief overview of adoption and things families might face.

What the Father has done for us in our spiritual adoption is beautiful. I’ve known that to be saved means to be adopted into God’s forever family. However, our adoption process has brought the Gospel into a fresh new light. Jesus’ work on the cross to transform me from spiritual orphan to daughter and co-heir is humbling. Adopted for Life by Russell Moore is a wonderful book on our spiritual adoption and how that should effect our heart for the orphan. Pray that all people would know of Jesus’ work on the cross and be brought into God’s forever family. 

I know the Lord has more to teach me as our adoption journey continues. As far as an update goes, there really isn’t one. We’re waiting to be matched with our daughter. Our agency said to expect to wait 6-12 months, and we’ve been waiting almost 6. Like I said, pray for us to trust God’s timing. Truly, this is all hard, but we know God is with us, and all the hard will be worth it. Most of all, pray for our daughter and her caretakers. Pray for their salvation, and also pray the Lord would begin working in all of our hearts to create a sweet bond in the five of us.

Friends, not everyone can foster or adopt, but everyone CAN do something. This month, we focus on the sanctity of human life, and to be pro-life, we must value life from womb to tomb. I challenge you to pray and see how God would have you live out the command in James 1:27 to care for the widow and the orphan. As believers, we have a God-given opportunity to display the love of our Savior by loving and caring for the vulnerable, as he first loved and cared for us. 

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