Adoption is disruptive

The most common question I get when I’m interviewed about adoption is: “what would you tell families who are considering adoption?”

I want to be encouraging and at the same time realistic. Helpful and down to earth. But adoption is such a personal experience. No two adoptions are the same. No two kids are the same. Even the same family, adopting twice in a row, will experience it differently. Sometimes wildly differently. So what is to be done? Do we not move forward? Do we get stuck in fear? Fear of change? Fear of challenge?

If you feel like you have a grip on parenting, and you enjoy parenting our kids. You have a groove. You have a good rhythm of life, know that adoption will make you trip and stumble. You may scrape your knees …sometimes it may even feel like a car wreck or a ship wreck. Life will never be the same, but you may not want it to be the same. There will be depth and width in your life. There will be purpose. There will be the joy and satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life, saving their life, a difference that nothing less than giving your life for theirs wouldn’t make. And we do. When we adopt we give our life as we knew it. And the fruits of our labour may come timidly at first. We may question our sanity and our decision. But living wholeheartedly and sacrificially, giving freely of the life we ourselves received so generously, our mind gets aligned properly to the Truth. Adoption only reveals the brokenness of the world, and disrupts our safely guarded sense of peace and normality. But these are elusive. They are always only temporary, even if we feel like we have a grip on success and peace. We change, our kids change, our health changes, our homes and cars get old and decay. Our mind looses its sharpness. Adoption only heals us in an abrupt way of the illusion that we have any control. And it is totally worth it!

On Saturday we are surprising Jackie’s foster family with a reunion of sorts. Three families that adoption from them will meet and celebrate their love and commitment to all the children. They currently have three more kids in foster care. In total we’ll have seven kids around their table.

These are my rambling thoughts on this fine Tuesday morning at the end of August. A very rainy month. After we celebrated both my parents birthday yesterday and the day before. And I am convinced that giving your life freely for another is the most joyous, freeing and gratifying act in this life. At the end of mine, I will look back and realized nothing else matters than the fact that at the right time, when my kids needed it most, I gave my life for theirs. When dentists needed to be visited and large amounts of money needed to be paid so they would have healthy teeth when they grow up. When the orthopedist needed to be seen twice a year and corsets needed to be made every year. When kineto-therapy was needed and pursued. When we played games, when we went to school, when we did homework. When we couldn’t go on vacation to relax for a few years. Life is not about us, but what a wonderful gift that is, to forget ourselves. It is the cure for a stale life.