Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adoption is hard, but that's okay

During both of our adoption processes, more than one well-meaning person has commented on our adoption by saying, "You're having a baby the easy way!" I know what they mean -- we are bringing a child into our family without morning sickness, stretch marks, or labor.

Sometimes, I've joked right back that my labor will be the 24+ hours of travel, planes and airports with a child who just met me, who may or may not get airsick all over my shirt (I'm lookin' at you, Anya Rashi!). Other times, my patience wears thin, and I want to be brutally honest and tell them exactly how "easy" it is to wait 2 1/2 years, and be no closer to our daughter than when we began.

But we weren't expecting it to be easy, and most days we actually feel some measure of peace about the wait -- because our daughter will be worth it. I recently read words from a mom who said it much better than I ever could:

Adoption should be hard. We are glad it is hard. And no matter how hard, how painful, how steep the cost . . . It doesn't come close to the value of the life of this one precious human being.
-- Susanna (Katie's mom), www.theblessingofverity.com

It occurred to me that her words also reflect the heart of God about each one of us. Christ willingly endured the steepest cost so that I could be adopted into God's family, and He waited patiently, lovingly, for 21 years until I joined His family at last. I'm sure that He even shed tears during that wait, wondering why I was taking so long to come home to Him . . .

Much to my amazement, the God of the universe thinks that you and I are worth it, worth all the pain and waiting, worth the terrible cost of Calvary. And there is rejoicing in heaven whenever one of us joins God's family at last.

My mom always told me that anything worthwhile is usually hard. Adoption is hard. Susanna knows that -- and we know it too. But that's okay, because she is worth it.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Inspiration from the Solomon family

Last week, we received an early "gift" of 2 inches of snow. Usually we get our first snow in the 'teens of November, but it melts right away. Not this time! Anya Rashi and Nathan LOVE snow, so while I shoveled they created a snow jack-o-lantern. I just had to jump in and help make a snow rabbit. Meanwhile, Peter was at a conference in Florida, and kept e-mailing us pictures of palm trees.

In the midst of National Adoption Awareness Month, I wanted to pass along an amazing story. The Solomons adopted their son Daniel from Romania at age 7, after he spent his entire life in a truly terrible orphanage situation. While most families have an easier path to attachment and bonding, they did not. Their story is one of relentless love, perseverance and refusing to give up. It is especially compelling because Daniel talks too -- is it a rare chance to hear from an older adoptee about the sometimes difficult journey to becoming a family.

I feel a need to share their story because I have read so many celebratory adoption posts this month. I love adoption, and I am happy to celebrate it, but I"ve noticed how most of the blog posts have presented only a rosy picture of adoption. I know there are families out there who are really struggling now that their kids are home, and often they feel like failures . . . and they feel so alone. Please pass along this link to anyone you know who is having a difficult adjustment with their child. I would love to help people know that there is always room for hope in seemingly impossible situations, and that other people have had huge struggles too.

The Solomons' portion of the program begins about 9 minutes into the broadcast of This American Life, and lasts 27 minutes. It is so worth listening to. Here's the link:


*I'm having trouble with the link! If you copy it, it should work though.

Monday, November 7, 2011


November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

If you're a long-time blog friend, you might remember that I pulled a nightstand off the curb last fall. Someone was finished with it and put it out on trash day. It had obviously been forgotten in an attic or basement for a long time, and had the cobwebs and grime to prove it. Underneath the dust, however, was good solid wood, so into my van it went. While the fall weather was still nice enough, Anya Rashi and I spent part of an afternoon washing, sanding, and priming it.

After a few months deciding what to do with it, inspiration hit. I gathered supplies and I began creating a mosaic on the table top. It takes a long time to cover 12" x 18" surface with bits of glass and tile, but it's so worth it. Inch by inch, I can see a beautiful treasure emerging.

This is the perfect time to work on it, before another inquisitive toddler joins our family. It's also been a powerful symbol of adoption for me as we wait.

Like the nightstand, our new daughter has been left alone. Through tragedy, poverty, or situations I can only guess about, she has no family to care for her. Despite her circumstances, though, she is not forgotten. She is valued and remembered by the One who created her, and she is longed for by everyone in our family. Inch by inch, as slowly as the glass and tiles cover my table top, we are getting closer to our treasure -- and she is so worth the wait. If only the journey to her was as easy as driving by and scooping her up . . .

And then she will be alone no more! We will lavish our love and attention on her, and after time allows her to trust us, the treasure of her personality will emerge, inch by inch. And that will be more beautiful than anything I can create with my two hands.