I am the mother of six children: three biological and three adopted. We started on this adoption journey over eight years ago and our children came home to live with us seven years ago. My husband and I knew it would not be easy adding three children and essentially doubling our family size overnight! Yet, nothing prepared us for the reality of how hard it would really be: we are Christians after all, suffering should last a little while and then go away right? We thought God would repair all of our brokenness and we would soon be living the “happily ever after.” He didn’t.
He chose, in His sovereignty and wisdom, to allow us all to suffer through a lot of major growing pains. But these were the kind of growing pains that not only stretches the muscles, but rips them. The tears heal eventually, but not before causing some major pain and disabilities in the mean time. Life became very, very difficult. I became angry: I raged against God who would choose this life for me. I became bitter: I resented the fact that I had stepped out in faith, done as God had asked me, and now I was stuck with this rotten lot! I became depressed: I truly lost all hope for the future, forgetting the promises of God.
Even in my raging, God never left me (even though He probably should have.) I tried to seek solace in food at times, searched for like minded families who wished they had never embarked on this journey or at very least a book by an adopted mother that told me I was not the complete failure that I felt like. But, in the end, I found solace in nothing, except God. He didn’t fix my life, but he gave me incremental strength to make it through the very next moment. I survived the first four years after our adoption because God gave me His strength for one moment at a time. Slowly, very slowly, my anger began to subside, the bitterness went away and I heard the Holy Spirit’s voice reminding me of God’s unfailing love for me, giving me hope for the future. Each day became a little easier than the last.
Yet I still struggled, feeling alone in this journey of adopting three older children. At first our lives felt so very hopeless, but as I look back over almost eight years of the struggle, I can see the redemption and healing that has gradually been taking place. And that even in the day to day chaos, their runs a river of grace for all of us. And while God has promised me healing for our family (without a clue as to what this will look like) I can still not with any certainty claim that these children, despite my prayers and striving, will not decide to walk away from God and live a life apart from our family values. I am learning, learning and relearning, to do everything for an audience of One, allowing conviction to turn my heart when I have sinned against my children, or resting in the Lord’s sovereignty even when I have done what I know is right and yet there seems to be so little fruit for my efforts.
In living this life and having seen other families struggle, I share my heartaches and failures as well as my joy and the grace He offers to me so frequently because even when the healing God promises is painstakingly slow, He gives me the strength just for the next moment to keep walking purposefully down the path He has chosen for me. He will give you that same grace, conviction and strength, but only for the exact moment you need it so that you can learn to rely on Him at all times and for the praise of His glory. I write because the only true hope for our family’s healing is through Christ and Christ alone.