Had one of those sweet conversations with my boys last night. The kind that make you all warm and fuzzy about being a parent. It was bed time and I was impatiently telling them to turn off the light, stop talking, get under the covers, no more drinks, when Keaton asked me a question. Now, he very well could have been stalling; it worked.
He said, “Mom which one of us kids do you like the best. I know you love us all, but which one do you like?” I very much wanted to say I like you all the exact same now go to sleep so I could run into my own bed and start reading my book or flip on the TV. But, I decided to take a deep breath and explore what he was really asking me. So, I told the boys that I have so many things I like about each of them, but I would share one thing about each of them tonight. And, we began. And, in case I don’t tell them enough I will put them here in cyber-print…
Keaton, one thing I love about you is that you were my first child. You taught me how to love like a Mommy.
Kayden, one thing I love about you is that I see so much of your father in you and it reminds me why I love him so much.
Laney, one thing I love about you is you were my first daughter and have been so fun, girly, and full of life.
Keaton interrupted me and said, “I know what it is you love about Macy, Mom. You love that she is adopted. Right?”
My instinct was to jump on that and say I would love Macy if she wasn’t adopted, and I don’t love her differently than you because she is adopted, and you are no less special to me because you aren’t adopted, and ask them do you love Macy any differently than your other siblings? and so on…But again, I was still and listened.
He went on, “because you are in love with adoption, Mom, and you have been ever since we brought Macy home.” Kayden jumped in and said, “because we are all adopted Mom if we choose to love God.”
And, there it was. They said these things with such admiration and clarity that I was humbled. I hadn’t signed them up for an Adoption 101 class, hadn’t made them read a book about it or write a paper, or even made them sit down and talk to me. God was revealing Himself to my boys through me. Through my love for adoption. I was about as giddy as a mommy can be.
And the truth is I am in love with adoption. Sure, I love what it brought to our family in Macy. Sure I go crazy about orphans and figuring out what I can do to help God set them in families. But more than that, I love what adoption has taught me about God. I don’t know anyone else’s story, just my own, so I can only speak for myself. My adoption story isn’t about becoming a mommy to Macy. That was a miracle and a gift, but my adoption story is that God used this time in my life to draw me to Himself. My adoption story included a loss of one of those gifts. A death. And that makes it all the more life changing for me. Because in Gaby’s death, Macy’s twin sister, not the concept of it, but her literal physical death, those last 20 minutes with her on this earth, I experienced the physical presence of God in a way that I have never before in life. I felt the eternal. And, I am forever changed.
This year, I have moved from being a lifelong Christian who God blessed through normal life. I was all high and mighty about my faith and that it could never be rocked no matter what. When in all reality, He had never let anything come into my life to test that. Now, I am someone who saw and experienced pain and hurt that I believe God could have prevented and stopped but chose not to. And, I am okay. I love Him. I believe in Him. I trust Him. And, I still believe that He couldn’t take or do anything that would change my faith in Him. The ONLY way that I can say those things is through His strength and power.
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has to offer. Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this so that the kindness he had given us in his dear Son would be praised and given glory. Ephesians 1:3-6
Macy, one thing I love about you is that you were my first glimpse into the miracle of adoption.
Shelley has been married to her best friend, Gabe, for 11 years. They have 5 children–3 the old-fashioned way: Keaton (9), Kayden (6), and Laney (4). Their family adopted twin girls, Macy (1) and Gaby in 2010. After fighting for 7 months with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, Gaby is now in heaven with Jesus. Shelley is a preschool director of a Christian school part-time and Gabe works for a Christian insurance company providing insurance for Missions trips. Their family enjoys the adventure God has them on and is always looking to follow Him and give Him glory in all things. Check out their family blog.