When I stumbled out of my room this morning, white caught my eye through the living room window. Today is the first snow. While I am far from ready to batten down the hatches and hunker down for full blown winter, there is something magical about waking up to snow for the first time each season. There is something so redemptive about it. It’s like a constant reminder of the verse that says we are washed clean to become white as snow. I don’t think anyone needs that more than me.
It is early, friends. So early for this mamma who is not a morning person. I’ve made the coffee and have gulped it down like my life depends on it. But it is a good day. I just spoke with Angie Austin on Daybreak Radio about battling infertility and building our family through adoption. Her show was live at 0635 ET and here in the Big Sky State, that means 0435. It’s early. But it was worth it.
I love talking about adoption. It is one of my most favorite things and my heart still aches for those who are waiting for their forever family. Some days I wish I could live in a big ‘ole house on a big ‘ole chunk of land and just fill it to the brim with kids. A safe place where they can run and play and fill their bellies and their souls. A place to call home, where they don’t have to worry about shoving their belongings into a plastic garbage bag in preparation for just another move.
When our daughter came home with us for the first time, she was understandably quiet in the backseat of our car. I asked her if she was nervous and told her that it was okay if she was, that we were nervous too. But her answer broke my heart. She said that no, she wasn’t nervous because she’d been adopted before. Sweet girl.
Sweet girl who hadn’t been adopted but had been in different homes. I looked at my hubby and his tearful eyes mirrored my own. But how can a child understand this? How does a child fathom move after move after move, when as an adult I can’t wrap my mind around it? They don’t. They can’t. And yet they do know that there is something sacred about the permanent.
For each of my three oldest, adoption day was a golden lamp that hung in their future. No matter their age, they knew that if they could reach that day, go through the ceremony and the steps, that life would be different. Standing in front of a judge would take away the suitcases and the bags that always meant change. But that didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be hard times.
It’s been a rough week, friends. I had hoped to be in this place often this month as November is National Adoption month. I wanted to fill this page with stories and encouragement, but I’ve been lacking. There have been times in this life of motherhood when I’ve felt tested and stretched and pulled to breaking and this week has been one of those times. No one ever told me mommyhood was going to be so hard.
This morning on the radio I talked about hard days, but that looking back in retrospect it is so clear how God is so good, and he is. Even on those hard days. Because each day I can wake up and know that this is a new day, that his mercies run so deep they never end. And this is what I have to remember as a mom. That each day is a new day with new chances and new choices. For me and my kids.
I don’t know what today will bring. I’m expecting a call from the school at some point and I know I will cringe and sigh at the number that plays on my screen. I’ve been told that this is Kingdom work, this motherhood. And I think that it is. What I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter if your kids are adopted or biological, sometimes things are just rough. I’m not the candy-coating type of girl. Adoption isn’t easy. It isn’t a band-aid fix for infertility and it doesn’t come with perfect situations and there are parts of it that will break your heart.
This quote from Jody Ianders has always resonated with me. The magnitude of adoption is astounding.Adoption comes with strings attached. There will always be ties to birth families and biology. There will be easy questions and tough questions. There will be wounded hearts and broken pieces. But there is also love. So much love. And there is hope for a new life and for a new chapter. Each day is a new beginning and each child deserves a family. At the end, that is what is important. We all want a loving home to call our own.
Here in a little bit, after the first pot of coffee is gone I’ll go and wake up four children. Four kids who my body told me I would never have but my heart told me I would. One will pop out of bed like a Jack-in-the-box, two will crawl out of bed like me, and the babe will wake wanting breakfast first. I’ll wait for them to realize that there is snow, and then let the excitement carry them for a bit. I’ll hunt for jackets worn and lost in the last twelve hours. I’ll track down hats and backpacks and lunch boxes and missing shoes. Then I’ll watch as they head out the door and make the first tracks in the blanket of snow. They will carve their own path, these kids in an unlikely family. And one day I’ll look back at all things we’ve been through and I’ll see it again: God is so good.