November is National Adoption Awareness Month. As such, there is much discussion in our country and around the world about the beautiful mess that is adoption. Many arguments for and against the entire concept. Recently there have been so many articles written about the hardships, the injustices, the faulty governmental systems, and the ugliness that can sometimes be associated with adoptions. While I do not disagree with all those posts—in fact I have written on my blog before about our own struggles as a family—today I want to share something positive because in the end, there truly is something uniquely amazing that is experienced when you are an adoptive family.
I wanted to share a glimpse into the joys from recent conversations in our family….
We were at the grocery store a little while back to buy pumpkins for Halloween and some other random items our family needed. I was trying to navigate around the grocery store with all five of my kids during the evening time rush. It is always in these crazy moments when something profound comes out, something that stops the world for a few brief moments.
Elie: Mommy, when I grow up I am going to be a mommy and I am going to have lots of children.
Me: Uh-huh … (not really engaged yet)
Elie: And I am going to love them forever and forever and forever. When I grow up I am going to be a mommy and I am going to love them forever and forever and forever.
Me: (she had my complete attention now as I desperately tried once again to not lose it in the middle of the grocery store) Baby that is awesome. And you will always be my baby and I will love you forever and forever and forever.
Me: Yes, sweetie, forever and forever you are my little girl and I love you.
At this she started jumping up and down and cheering…as she does everytime we talk about her being a part of our family forever.
And then this Sunday at church Eliana was helping me to tell people about Operation Christmas Child and also to hand out waiting children story books. There is a little boy on the cover of the storybook, “Y,” who is about the same age as Elie. He has hemiplegia just like Elie. He loves art just like Elie. I explained to her what the books were for and that the little boy on the cover was waiting in China for his daddy and mommy to find him…just like she once was only a little over a year ago. She looked at his picture and said, “That’s really sad that he is still in China.” She then proceeded to hand out the booklets to anyone who would pay attention to her.
We are watching Eliana come out of her shell and begin to let us in. She and Faith have a very special bond with each other. What a huge difference from the nightmare that unfolded when we first came home from China. Faith has missed Elie so much this year. Everyday Faith will tell me, “I miss my sister, she is my best friend.” And everytime I just marvel at how much has changed.
I share these stories to give hope. Some days are really hard but then there are days that just take your breath away. There are moments where you stand in awe of the miracle unfolding before your eyes. You realize that not only are your children changing but being their mother has changed you forever too. You see God like you never did before, you understand His love in a whole new way and your faith, while at times seems stretched to the point of breaking, in reality is growing as each month passes.
I do not have all the answers for the broken adoption system. But I do know that these two little girls had no future where they were living, no hope for the treatment they needed, and no family to tell them everyday just how special and valued they truly are. Adoption does make a difference.
About the Author: Sonya Judkins is an adoptive mother and frequently posts about faith, motherhood and adoption on her blog “The Overflow.” This post was originally published in 2013 and can be viewed here.