The Grace of God in Adoption
Each day this week we’re featuring a post from women in different stages of life in regards to Mother’s Day. Our prayer is that you’ll be encouraged by how each woman is trusting God with where He has her.
We were enjoying the last day of an impromptu beach vacation when my phone rang. My husband and I had decided to load up our daughter and take a road trip to see my sister and spend some time by the water. It was just the relaxing, memory-making getaway we needed, but the ringing phone made me jump, and my heart quickened with anticipation. Could this be the call, the call that would change our family? I looked down and saw a number I didn’t recognize, but I picked up the phone and answered.
After all the paperwork, meetings, classes, appointments and waiting, this phone call was another step in God’s plan to make our family. Someone had chosen me to be the mother of her child. Just two weeks later, I was at the hospital for the birth of a dark-headed, wrinkled, squishy, beautiful baby girl. A courageous woman placed her in my arms, relinquishing her right to be called mother and giving that responsibility and privilege to me. She entrusted me with a most precious gift, the life of her child. And that is how I became a mother for the second time.
This Mother’s Day, as I think about the women that gave birth to my children, and the gift of life they gave their daughters, I can’t help but marvel at the way God built our family. If you are considering adopting, or are in the uncertainty of waiting, let me encourage you by sharing three elements that sustained me as I waited for motherhood not knowing how God was going to put the pieces together.
The truth of the Psalms. I call Psalm 34 my “baby Psalm.” Before the adoption of our first daughter, I taped this Psalm to the closed door of our empty nursery. The times I was afraid, the times I was crushed, the times I needed to remember that God was in control, I would walk down the hall, lay my head on the door and read Psalm 34.
“God, I feel like a failure as a wife because I can’t give my husband a baby.”
Those who look to the Lord are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:5)
“We’ve been waiting for so long, and I’m afraid that this adoption will never happen.”
I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)
“I thought she was our baby and everything just fell apart. I don’t know how we’re going to go on.”
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
The Psalms provide words to express our deepest sorrows and remind us that God is in control. Soak yourself in the Psalms.
The love of community. You need people. People to put their hands on your shoulder and pray, people to let you sit on their couch and cry, people to love you when you doubt, and to believe with you that God is good and kind and that He can do amazing things. There was a night when we met, and a held a newborn baby boy, only to watch things fall apart before our eyes in the hospital room. We called some close friends and they left a wedding reception early and invited us to come and sit on their couch. They listened to the story and cried with us. They didn’t offer quick answers to our problems. They entered into our suffering, and it was a beautiful reminder that we were not alone. Many of us are quick to meet the needs of others, but we’re often slow to say that we have a need. Let people love you! It’s why God gave us the church.
The sufficiency of grace. While I waited for motherhood, it was easy to imagine all the challenging scenarios we might encounter and to become burdened by fear. However, God’s grace doesn’t exist for our imagined hardships only for our present reality. I learned that I had to walk with God just for today, one day at a time. There were days when the struggle felt like too much to bear, but God promises that His strength is made perfect in our weakness and that His grace is sufficient. Boast in your weakness and let go of self-dependence, for when you are weak in self you can be strong in Christ. (2 Cor. 12:9-10) God will give you Himself every day in perfect measure, and that will always be enough to sustain you. (Psalm 55:2).