Friday, February 12, 2010
NOTE: This was written as a tribute to my dear friends, J and S, who have opened their home and their hearts to children in need. May God watch over them as they step out in FAITH. Swim... if that's what it takes. I love you!
Nothing has had a greater impact on my life than the adoption of my two wonderful children, Nick and Sophie. For Joe and I, deciding to adopt was a fairly easy decision to make. Maybe what I should say is it was easy for ME - I so wanted a child - and as usual, Joe graciously agreed to take the journey with me. It was scary. So many unknowns...so many what ifs. We were picked by our birthmother when she was 5 months pregnant with Nick. We had no control over her behavior or her lifestyle. We had no way of knowing that Nick would be born healthy, or that she wouldn't change her mind once he was born. Yes, it was scary, and at times frustrating, but worth it? Oh my, YES. When the opportunity arose again for us 8 years later, the decision to say YES was made in a split second.
There are some people who find the idea of adoption very painful. It is sad to think about the circumstances that would lead any parent to give their child away, and impossible for most of us to imagine. Some people doubt they could ever truly love a child that wasn't biologically their own. Most people will never know the answer to that, because they won't have to. But those of us who had no other choice KNOW the answer. For me, adoption changed hopelessness to hope. It turned grief into joy. It meant Santa Claus and the tooth fairy had a reason to visit our home...and WELCOME they were! It meant sleepless nights, skinned knees, and permanant marker drawings on our walls. It meant enduring baseball games - which I wouldn't have missed for the world - when it was freezing cold or 100 degrees and humid. Life became a whole lot less about ME, which I admit was, and still is, hard to swallow at times, but that's what being a mother is all about. I know that adoption may not be right for everyone, but I believe it would be right for most people who have much love to give, and who desperately want a child they can call their own. Yes, it can be a long and difficult journey, with bumps in the road and expenses along the way that seem ridiculous and unfair. It can leave you feeling bitter and sad when you watch those around you make the trip without difficulty. You just have to stay the course, and keep your heart focused on the destination. It's such a beautiful place.
I'd like to share a Dear Abby letter that was given to me several years ago. If you are considering adoption, or know someone who is, I hope this will mean as much to you as it does to me. God Bless.
DIFFERENT TRIPS TO THE SAME PLACE
By: Diane Armitage
Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place; you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.
So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait - and wait - and wait.
Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!"
After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, but we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."
"By BOAT?!" you ask. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea, rather than by air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.
It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.
Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea, rather than by air.
People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy."
You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.