As I write this, I think of the scars and wounds in my own life, but I’m drawn beyond that to something far more important. As you all know, adoption is a huge part of my life and my family. What some may not realize is that the hubs and I didn’t come about this whole adoption thing the way you typically think. We didn’t work through an adoption agency or interview with potential moms. No, not even close. And here’s why:
We had always toyed with the idea of adoption. Through our faith we are called to aid the widows and parentless. Did you know that God commands this 47 times in the bible? 47. I think he meant business. So adoption had never been a foreign thought to us. Then in the midst of our whole conception complications I began working at a girl’s home. All of my girls were between the ages of 12 and 18 and nearly all were in or had been in foster care. For most of them, their future beyond their treatment program was completely undecided. And for those who may turn 18 while in the home, well they had nothing. See, when you’re in FC and you legally become an adult, the system pulls your number and any assistance, wishes you good luck and kicks you to the curb. We had more than one girl scrapping together donations from staff and pennies from her minimum wage job at Micky D’s so that she could have a towel and silverware, bedding and PB&J. Others weren’t so lucky. One of our kiddos was pretty severely fetal alcohol syndrome. The home was literally kicking her out as her therapist secured a placement in another group home. But then what happens to these kids? Where do they go for Thanksgiving? Who do they trim the Christmas tree with? Who bakes them a birthday cake or checks in to make sure they are eating? No one. No one watches out for them. No one makes sure they are okay. They are utterly and completely alone. It was understanding and watching this that spurred us to adopt from foster care. To create in our family the safe haven so needed to these lost children.
It breaks my heart to think of all those kids out there, crying themselves to sleep because they are lonely, or frightened. Because their mom dropped them off at the babysitter and never came back. Or their daddy hit them and they were taken away, all the while thinking that it was their fault. Remember what it was like when you were little and you stayed the night at a friend’s house, but it just didn’t feel right? The blankets smelled different or the rules were strange. Whatever it was, you just couldn’t wait to get back home. Can you imagine living this every day? Not knowing when or if you are ever going to have a stable place that is yours. I can’t. And I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be tossed around from placement to placement, losing yourself in the pain of unwant and wondering what you did that was so terrible that no one wants you.
It breaks my heart. There are hundreds of thousands of kids in FC right now, and many are waiting for that family to take the next step. To step forward and be willing. Willing to understand that they are hurting, and because of that they will lash out. A family to love them, even when they feel unlovable. A mommy and daddy to hold them, when they have never been held. A family to see their scars and bruises, be willing to help them heal, and love them regardless.
We all have our own hurts and telltale signs of pain. The question is, can we grow and learn from ours, and take a chance on helping someone move beyond theirs? Can we see beyond our own hurt to give love to someone else? Can we be a home for the homeless, a lover of the disregarded, a mommy to the motherless. We’ve been called to aid the widows and orphans, can you?
If you would like resources, I have many and I’m happy to share. Just let me know.