I have the honor and privilege of walking with some amazing families. And sometimes I'm lucky and they become dear friends. This was the case with Brandy, an adoptive mama with an amazing story of how their daughter came into their family. If you missed it, take a quick moment to get the back story here. After Thanksgiving, Brandy recently shared these thoughts with me about their adoption, it's impact on those around her, and her insight from this side of her journey....
It's all about perspective...
This post will be a nice little mix between personal story and insights. In my life it is difficult to divorce the two. My best insights come from living my life and learning along the way. I do confess, though, that there are times I would rather learn the lessons without the living it first. But we all know life doesn't work like that, right?
So, several weeks ago we celebrated Thanksgiving and as usual, I wrestled all month to be thankful...not because I didn't have things to be thankful for, but because gratitude is not my primary mode of emoting. I normally get caught up in the day-in-and-day-out of living that I forget to be grateful. And even more than that, I often forget to direct my thanksgiving to the Lord - the Giver of Everything.
We traveled to see family for the holiday. And while I love visiting family, it is always a test of patience with five kiddos. This year, though, we were able to take along our newest kiddo and introduce her to several family members and friends for the first time. Obviously, all these people knew we were adopting, had brought home a baby, etc. etc. What I didn't realize, though, was the magnificent affect our obedience would have on different people around us.
We were asked question after question, many times the same ones we just answered. I was tempted to feel a bit like a broken record or like I was trying to prove that Eden was as wonderful as she is. But then, perspective hit. These people were rubbing up against our decision of love and obedience and now had to decide how they were going to respond - to either be pressed on in their journey with the Lord or to hold back and shut off the opportunity. It was actually interesting to watch peoples' faces. And I am very grateful to have married into a family that generally wants to press deeper into God's heart - to obey and try to count the cost. Personal obedience to the Lord always affects those around you. It is never really just about you. Just as iron sharpens iron, our choices to obey make a witness of the Lord to those around us.
Another epiphany struck me over this past holiday. I was at my in-laws holding my new bundle of joy (she really is so joyful!) and I realized, God really does know what He is doing. Twelve months ago, I was a jumble of hurt and disappointment and was ready to just give up. Then as the year turned and we matched with a birth mother rather unexpectedly, my hopes soared. Then they were crushed again as that birth momma delivered her daughter without contacting the agency and walked out of hospital rightfully choosing to keep her baby. That was so hard for me as I would never ever want to separate a mom from her child, but I had placed so much hope and expectation in that potential. So many other things this year came cascading down. And it was a real war in my heart to trust the Lord and His plans for our lives.
And then there I was, sitting at my in-laws, holding Eden, and the Lord sweet reminders began to sink down into my mind and heart. God knows...He knows what He's is doing.
He knows the process He is taking each of our families through. He knows the why. He knows the how. He knows the length of time.
He knows the hurts we will walk through and He know the joys He will explode in our hearts.