A NOTE TO THE READER: This is one post in a series of posts that will share the story of how I came to know and grew to love my daughters who were adopted at fourteen years old, mere days before they aged out of the adoption system. It does not reflect my feelings now. If you are joining me in the midst of the series, you can access the whole story by clicking on The Silent Months on the top menu bar of my blog. I choose to share my story to address a topic that is taboo in the adoption community. I share it to normalize the feelings that so many feel and yet are too ashamed to share. I share it to provide support to those who feel alone because there’s a big white elephant in the room, and no one can talk about it. I share it in support of adoption, in support of every single precious child waiting for a family, every one of which deserves to be loved and is lovable, every single one. Why can’t we talk about it? The feelings are real. The process of attachment can be easy and it can be painful, and the more we support parents who experience the painful side of adoption, the more we help the children. There are far too many disruptions, especially of older children, and if we as a community can come to see the feelings and the process as normal, perhaps we can provide support to those families and in doing so, help the children. Adoption is rooted in pain and loss, and often the process is painful. AND it’s okay. Before you offer your criticism, please read, Eliza Today, A Preface, and God’s Heart and Workers for His Harvest Field .
Many of you have been aware of a painfully long silence on my blog.
For the most part, I have been very quiet about my silence, primarily because before I opened my heart to the world, I wanted to be certain that what I had to share could be presented in an honest and positive light, with a pure heart before God, and in an earnest spirit that would be helpful to others, and not in any way discouraging to those who are considering adoption, and, last but certainly not least, in a way that would protect our daughters’ privacy. All these things were extremely important to me because God’s heart is for the orphan. and so ought ours to be.
I have decided to share our story because I know our family is not alone in the struggles we’ve experienced. The pain and hardship of adoption are often hushed and only discussed in secret circles, while fairy tale blogs paint dreamy pictures of warm fuzzy feelings and long awaited dreams come to fruition. Yet the struggles are real and are an integral and all too frequent reality of redeeming the lives of these precious children.
The secrecy doesn’t help. It only further isolates those walking an already lonely road and creates a shame that has no place in this incredible ministry. Following God’s calling in our lives is hard sometimes, and we fall beneath the weight of it. And it is okay. Jesus fell beneath the weight of the cross, and Simon carried it for Him. Was His falling enshrouded in shame?
Absolutely not. God often calls us to do things we cannot do in our strength, and yet we do not rest in knowing He is strong in our weakness. We expect of ourselves what He knows we can not do alone. When we suffer and break, loving and pouring out our lives for the fatherless, shame and secrecy have no place amidst the pain.
Shame is for those who fail to follow God’s calling in their lives. Shame is for those who see and do not act. Shame is for those who close their doors and homes and refuse to welcome the least of these. Shame is not for those who try and falter beneath the weight of loving these hurt children.
From it’s very beginnings, adoption is rooted in pain and loss. We who step out in faith to meet the needs of these precious abandoned children, willingly choose to carry their heavy crosses of pain and loss. Sometimes the road is beyond hard, and yet we are called to care for these dear children who are so very close to the heart of God.
There is no place for shame and secrecy in doing God’s work and sometimes falling beneath its weight.
Today I saw a post from a dear Facebook friend and I share it with you here.
I am very down today….. I know it’s only been three months, but I am beginning to wonder if it will ever get better. The cruelty toward her little sister and outright rage when she is called to the carpet for it are wearing on me. I am sad to admit that today I don’t like my daughter very much. Can you give me some encouragement?
Over the next days, I will begin to tell the story of the very dark valley we walked through last summer and well into the winter. It will take several posts, but I feel called to share it now that I have come to understand it and to feel God’s merciful healing in my life, in our family’s life.
We are the body of Christ, we, His hands and feet. We are broken and human, mere earthen vessels made in God’s image, and yet He does great things through us if we let Him.
Oh that we would trust Him through the valleys to do the miraculous in our lives!