This past weekend I was blessed to be able to spend time time with some great friends and 450 other adoptive moms. The Created for Care retreat is an amazing ministry. I rode down to GA with a friend who wanted to go a day early to just relax and hang out. I was excited but also cried every time I thought about leaving the kids for four days. It was such a good experience and when I came home it was so neat to see how much fun the kids had and especially how much Chad and Moses had bonded. I think it was good for all of us.
The weekend was packed full. Once Friday started there was hardly a minute to spare. We had wonderful speakers, worship, and breakout sessions. Poor Chad...I didn't really have time to process everything while there so I came home just overwhelmed and crying non stop.
The weekend was educational, inspiring, challenging, hopeful, and HARD. I've struggled with guilt over feelings that I've had and it was good to hear other adoptive moms voice the same feelings. To know I'm not alone felt so good.
One of the main speakers was a woman who was adopted as an infant. She is very passionate about giving "orphans" a voice. And that she did! She spoke the truth...sometimes harshly....but, in love. It was what we need to hear, although it was hard to hear. She spoke boldly about some touchy subjects. But, if this really is not about us, we will be willing to listen. There are things we want to believe that just aren't true. Like, children adopted as infants don't suffer trauma and won't have issues like older kids. It's scientifically proven that even if there is stress while the child is in the womb, the attachment cycle is disrupted. This adoptee very eloquently shared how this affected her life...even though she was adopted as an infant. Imagine what a 6 year old goes through! She also gave a voice to birth parents. I've always hurt for our kids' birthmom. I just can't understand or imagine her position. It's almost too hard to think about. And the thing is, our kids feel that too. They can't verbalize it more than likely. But, it's there. We all know how it goes...no matter what they did to you or how bad it was, they love their mom. THey want her love in return. That's the way God made us.
I also realized that some of the ways we think...the things we say...the things others say to us....it has to stop.
This was not God's original plan. Adoption was not God's "plan A". I've heard it said that it is Plan A and just couldn't believe it. But like Carissa said this weekend..."so you're telling me that my birth mother was just some catalyst...some machine used for you to have me in your family...what child is going to trust a God like that?". She challenged us to hold the broken and the beautiful at the same time. That's the only way we can help our kids walk through this. That's what God does. There is pain and brokenness. But, he brings healing and redemption from horrible things!
I've been guilty of at least thinking this way and probably have said it. But we are not rescuing these children. We are not saving them. For every adoption, there is at least some loss and pain. For a child and for a mother.
As I think about our kids, I think about how heartbreak led to a decision. That decision changed so much. In an instant, one little heart is in a whirlwind...fog...confusion...why? Is it me? Am I not good enough? Why didn't she fight for me? Why didn't he stay? Why does everyone want to hurt me? Will I ever be able to trust anyone fully? A mother's heart is forever broken and a piece will always be missing...the precious treasure she carried close and brought into this world. This is a pain that I cannot even imagine. No mother should have to endure this. She is missing so much. Every laugh that brightens my day is one she will never hear. Every time I see them hug each other, I wonder if she's missing them.
How can something so beautiful and wonderful be so ugly, painful and broken? How can something so painful be so beautiful? Only because we serve a God who understands the brokenness. He picks up the pieces and redeems us. He makes something good and beautiful. I can't forget the pain. It's something we will have to walk through for a long time. It brings me to my knees for someone half way around the world. It challenges me to do something. I'm also blessed with the beautiful...every single day! We must be willing to hold the broken and the beautiful at the same time. I know this is where He wants us. It's a place that's not comfortable, but, where we need Him.