An Adoption Story: Falling in Line

I’m not sure quite what I expected when I told my family and close friends that I had decided to adopt.  Fireworks, maybe.  Or sirens.  What I got instead was the distinct impression that I was the last one to find out.

After a crash course in adoption (read: obsessive internet searches and devouring every adoption-related book in the public library), I decided that foster care adoption might be a good fit for me.  After attending an informational meeting held by the foster agency in our county, I was convinced.

“You’re adopting from foster care?” I heard, again and again.  “Oh yes, yes of course.”  Um, friends, if you all knew this, why didn’t somebody tell me?

The closest I got to fireworks was when I told my Pop Pop at lunch on Father’s Day.  After hearing the news, he prayed a prayer of blessing over my daughter loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear.  We would bury my Pop Pop the next Father’s Day.  One full year he spent praying for my little girl who he would never meet.  One day not long ago, snuggled in my lap before bedtime, she asked me to tell her all about my Pop Pop.  Every detail.  “I’m sad I didn’t get to meet him, Mama,” she said.  “I think I would have liked him.”  Yes, Love, I know you would have.

And sirens?  I have to admit that I was a little on the defensive when I first started sharing the news.  And though a few brave, honest friends raised some questions about my motivation at the outset of this journey, most of the struggle came from inside of myself.  Was I rushing ahead of God and choosing a path that might not be his very best because I wanted to be a mom so badly?  Just because my life didn’t follow the “normal” trajectory (at least in my conservativish leaning circles) of husband then babies, would that make my family less than ideal?  And what about that “take care of widows and orphans” thing—was that reserved for married couples?

I wrestled with all of it.  Hard.

And I realized this:  In our post-Eden world, life isn’t about waiting around for ideal.  It’s about loving well.  It’s about living redemption.  It’s about hearing the call of Jesus and doing the next right thing.  And then the next.

For me, the next right thing was to fall in line with what everyone close to me seemed to already know.  My baby was in foster care.  And I needed to get ready to bring her home.

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