I promised on my Adoption FAQs post last week to give a bit more detail behind our motives to adopt. So this is the candid truth...
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage…
It’s a funny thing when you unknowingly allow a silly nursery rhyme to shape the expectations of your life. So after a year and half of marriage when Kevin & I sensed it would be an appropriate time to welcome a little one into our family, we figured we wouldn’t be any different from the slew of other young newly-weds we knew who were decorating nurseries and reading up on birthing techniques. But in our case, neither my childhood imagination nor my college-educated reasoning could predict that life would take a drastic divergence.
After year one, year two, and going on year three of trying to conceive, we realized that it’s not as simple as a song-and-dance to go from a family of two to a family of three. (Well, maybe for some people all it takes it one “dance!”) We’ve grieved the loss of two unborn babies, who are almost always just a thought away from me.
But our adoption journey isn’t only a story of loss; it’s a story of great gain.
Before adoption can be considered a gain, we have to see its origins for what they really are: a fallen and broken situation. Ideally, every couple should be able to enjoy the fruits of conception. Ideally, parents should be able to care for and be outlived by their children without the evil interference of disease, poverty, or indifference toward life. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world ransacked and marred by the effects of sin. Effects that end lives prematurely, leaving defenseless babies alone in the world. Effects that keep hopeful mothers from feeling the first butterfly flutters from within her womb.
Our struggles to conceive are not the primary reason we’ve chosen to adopt, as if a biological child is our best and only option and anything else is just Plan B. We’ve always loved the idea of adoption and knew it would eventually weave its way into the fabric of our family. Ever since Max from the Ukraine served as ring-bearer in our wedding; ever since we gathered at the airport to meet a flight from Vietnam and welcome William & James to their new home; ever since we prayed for little Ethiopians Elijah, Meseret, Benjamin and Asher to join their forever families; ever since Makaria came on the scene as the only black baby in this great sea of yellow that we call home. Ever since those kids left indelible marks on our lives, we knew.
But the most important reason that we desire to bring children that have no biological connection to us into our home is because we ourselves have been adopted. Long, long ago, into a dead, lost world burst a beam of hope: a perfect father who paid a great price to bring strangers into his family. The father is God; the price is Jesus’ precious blood shed for our sin; the strangers are us. An inextricable relationship exists between the gospel and adoption. To put it simply, the gospel is the foundation of adoption; adoption is but one of the foundations of the gospel.
So maybe my life isn’t such a divergence after all. Maybe my life fits into the sing-song tale after all. There will be a baby in the baby carriage—two at that! Thankfully, our God is not a God of my “expectations.” He is the God of more than I could ask or imagine. Adoption first and foremost blessed me by bringing me into the family of God. Soon enough, it will bless me again by bringing me into the role of mother. And along the way, as more expectations fall as casualties to the wisdom of God, I hope to gain not only a few notches on my mommy belt but a better understanding of the mystery that informs all of life: the beauty of the gospel of Jesus.