I have some dear friends who recently brought into their home a new baby. Sometimes I get lost when I am watching the mom and the dad and baby J interact: there is such intensity, such love in their expressions, my heart wants to break for it.
You see, baby J came to their home after months of prayer and waiting and has become their child through adoption. He is not their child by birth, but knowing the difficulty of the road they walked to bring him home, he is their child, a child of their hearts.
And I marvel at this. Because it is obvious they love him deeply, they enjoy having him there, they are thrilled he is a part of their wonderful family.
But what I marvel the most (and have been thinking about quite a bit lately) is the deep love they have for baby J. Their love for him is equal to their love for their other kids.
And that is what doesn't make sense, sometimes to me, sometimes to the world: how can you love a person enough to sacrifice everything if they have no ties to you except your commitment to them?
That is what I think the essence of adoption is. I think about our kids, the ones we are waiting for. And right now our waiting feels patient, it's manageable. Eric and I talk in broad terms about what our family might be like when they finally come home. But right now it is purely an academic exercise. Sure, I feel some sort of affection for whoever they are, this vague idea of a boy and girl who are coming home to us. But it surely isn't real.
It is a lot like before I ever had children. I had no idea I could love so deeply, so instantly. Kids were actually a scary idea: they ruined your marriage, took away your personal time and money, sucked away your joy and energy. Even during pregnancy, I wasn't one to wax deep loving thoughts over that little one who was growing inside me. But the minute I met my son, the love was fierce.
I know that when we get that referral, everything changes . The kids will then have names, faces, stories. They are on their way to becoming ours. Our love, concern, and care for them grows. And then the moment we meet them for the first time. Well, although those two kids might not understand what is happening, tears of joy, relief, and thankfulness will be shed. In fact, I can make myself cry just thinking about it.
And now as I look at our adding to our family, I know I will love these kids. I know I will be willing to sacrifice anything and everything for them to be safe and whole and loved. But as I read about the trials that we might face, I question this love: why would anyone want to do this? Why do I want to make it that we stick out in a crowd? Why do we want to deal with the struggles of adjusting to life in this family when (usually) we like it just the way it is? Why should we voluntarily make life harder than it is, taxing our physical, emotional, and mental resources?
See, it doesn't make sense.
Does it make sense?
Yes it does. Don't worry. I don't know how it happens or how it works, but I know it does. I will love those kids enough to break my heart.
How do I know?
I seen it in the examples of many, many families with adopted kids, both young and old. I have heard the tears and anguish of when a child chooses the wrong path, the pain of a child removed back to a birth mother, the joy felt when a child has reached a milestone. God has a way of weaving families together.
I also know because God is in the business of adoption. He adopted me. He used his Son to bring the two of us together. I did nothing to deserve a place in His family. And even though I have fought him and grieved against him and not trusted him to do what's best for me, he has always remained my Father. Nothing can remove me from his family. Not height nor depth, nor life nor death, nor things present nor things to come, nor things in heaven or on the earth or below the earth will be able to separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It's a love that doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense that God would love me in spite of who I am and I how I fight his goodness. Just like it doesn't make sense that I will love a child who will fight me (well, sorta like I am loving children who are fighting against me now!) But it is True. It is real.
It is a love that doesn't make sense. But it will. Because it does.