A Preface

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 .

Over the next days and weeks my untold story of the silent months on my blog will unfold upon the yet blank pages before me. I share it freely. It’s a story of adoption, its pain and its joys. It’s a story of the overwhelming guilt and shame that consumed me as I struggled to remain faithful to God’s calling to mother two older girls with special needs who had grown up in two separate orphanages. It is a story of God’s faithfulness in our lives as we walked a difficult path. And most importantly, it is a story of redemption in the lives of our precious daughters and in the life of our family who struggled under the weight of the cross we were, without a doubt, called to carry. It is a story of the beauty of adoption, an intimate picture of how God weaves the broken pieces of our lives into something beautiful.

I do not share it because I think my story is like someone else’s story. I do not share it because I can somehow ease the pain of others who may be struggling too. I do not share it to draw attention to myself or to boast of anything I may have done right. I certainly don’t share it to elicit pity for I am blessed beyond measure.

I do share it to lift the veil of secrecy in the adoption community of the far too frequent painful side of adoption, to normalize the feelings of guilt and shame and inadequacy that so many carry, because, try as they may, they cannot feel the motherly feelings they hoped they would feel for their precious child. And I share it to let others know they are not alone if they have travelled a similar path.

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I share it in support of adoption. God’s heart is for the orphan, and we, as a body, must do a far better job caring for them in the future than we have done in the past. Sharing only the easy, beautiful adoption stories does everyone a disservice. It does not help the orphan, and it doesn’t help the families who are choosing to love these children. Secrecy helps no one. It is the truth that will set us free, and perhaps the truth will set the children free too. God will call workers to care for His children, and better prepared parents can only bless the fatherless. So then, perhaps I share it, too, for those who will choose to adopt, for those who will be traveling soon, and who may find that things are not as they expected or had hoped and find themselves in a place that feels so lonely. I share this to support those who will struggle. I share it to say they are not alone, because, in a way, I think that was the hardest part.

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We felt so alone in our pain. The shame and guilt that consumed us was far too heavy a load to carry. No one should ever have to feel shame because they have stepped out in faith to meet the needs of the broken, abandoned and abused children of society, and found it to be beyond their ability alone to meet all the needs, or to produce the warm fuzzy feelings of motherly and fatherly love. Loving these children is not about the feelings. It’s about the work of it. It is about God calling people to care for His damaged children. It’s about choosing to be faithful to love when the feelings don’t come.

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So come along with me on a journey of love and loss, of pain and redemption, of sacrifice and blessing, and may you find a fellow sojourner for your pilgrimage in my willingness to be vulnerable to you. And, last but not least, may God use His story written upon our lives for His glory.

…37Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38″Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field.” ~ Matt 9:38

Blessings!

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5 comments

  1. Amy says:

    Although I’m hoping for more of my own someday, I have felt The Lord put adoption on my heart. I’m so glad you are sharing!!! Thank you.

  2. Holly says:

    Thank you sweet Mama for your willingness to share in your pain and in your victories. You are so not alone. There are more than you might even imagine who are carrying shame and guilt and wondering if they misunderstood God’s call because nobody else seems to be having these struggles. Jesus please protect Diane and her family as she shares her hear for Your glory. Have Your way Lord. You ARE the light in the darkness, the lifter of our heads and the redeemer of the lost and broken. We are desperate for YOU. Be glorified and help us to remember to extend grace to one another as You have extended to is time and time again. We are all part of ONE BODY.

  3. Claudia Huisman says:

    Beautiful and vulnerable, Diane! You are not alone indeed 😉 Remember love is a verb. It has to grow and be worked on constantly. It should be unconditional. And then it is very rewarding, as you have noticed with Eliza and Evangeline, and with the rest of your family.
    Much love from me, Claudia x

  4. Penny says:

    Diane, you are an amazing woman. I’m sure you will deny that hotly 🙂 but it’s true. Not only do you have a huge heart and a willingness to be vulnerable and extraordinarily honest, but you write beautifully too, with a feeling for words and a sense of rhythm and pacing that is definitely appreciated by this musician. My prayer is that you and your sweet family will be as blessed by sharing this story as you are undoubtedly blessing others by sharing it.

  5. Baby Girl Stephens says:

    “Sharing only the easy, beautiful adoption stories does everyone a disservice.”

    Perhaps a few guest posts from adult adoptees might be in order if you’re truly committed to giving voice to the difficult and painful parts of adoption.

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