In her book Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis wrote, “Adoption is the gospel in my living room.” I know I have posted that before, but I’m realizing how wrong it feels out of context. The full quote doesn’t sound as nice, but there’s a reason Katie wrote every word of:
In an effort to be real, I will tell you: It was hard. . . [Adoption is] the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also difficult and painful. Adoption is the gospel in my living room. And sometimes, it’s just hard. (72)
I haven’t talked about the hard side of adoption here that much, mostly because I want to protect my siblings. I don’t want others, people who can’t understand how hard their road to family was, to judge them. Because of that I’m not sharing specifics. But I’ve been avoiding posting about the grit of adoption, and I feel like I need to face it.
Adoption is like the gospel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean what we want it to. When we think of the gospel, we like to think of nice things–forgiveness, healing, life. Crowds of people with enough bread and fish to eat, men raised from the dead, women healed, children sitting happily in Jesus’ lap.
And that’s all very cozy, but there’s more to it than that. Some parts of the gospel are not so pleasant, and some parts are downright nasty. The gospel is rough; it is blood, and sweat, and tears.
The gospel is stains, and scars, and grime under my finger nails. Redemption is my lungs constricted with sobs, and dust clinging to my sweaty palms. Adoption is jumping ship and walking on the water, and realizing the waves are tall and the wind is strong, and feeling my faith flicker like a candle caught in a draft.
Adoption is not running to the pain–adoption is bringing the pain home with me, into the stronghold that was my only safe place.
It took me so long to fully understand how every adoption has and always will start with tragedy and heart-tearing sacrifice. I can look into a child’s eyes–wrap my fingers around five smaller ones–and whisper yes, because someone looked into the same wounded face, answered no, and opened her hands. My joy and my gain is, and must be, tainted by their grief and loss.
Adoption is a kind of warfare; against pain and shame, and injustice and abandonment.
“Adoption is redemption. It is costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed him.” –Derek Loux
Adoption will cost you. It will hurt you. In a way, it will kill you.
Adoption will leave you on your knees, breathless; staring into Jesus’ face, that shines with radiant light.
My name is Hanna Rothfuss. I am 14 and in eighth grade. I have lived in the suburbs of Omaha, Nebraska for my whole life. My interests are reading and writing, mainly about fantasy and orphan care–often adoption. I have four siblings, two of which are adopted. I’m a homeschooler and a child of God. I pray that all my writing is encouraging, empowering, and brings glory to Him.
You can read more of Hanna’s writing on her blog: Taking My Time.