For me, adoption isn’t a beautiful concept, a scary word or even a nice idea. It’s four living, breathing siblings. It’s four relationships that have come about as God redeemed broken lives. It’s four extra people to hug and laugh with, love and cherish, fight for and with.
Adoption has four names close to my heart, four people that are so intertwined in my life that it seems impossible how nearly we were strangers to each other.
Adoption, I once read, is beautiful and sad simultaneously. It reminds us that something was broken that needed fixing but it also reminds us that there is a possibility of redemption in the worst situations.
I am the eldest of six and four of my siblings were born from a different mother’s tummy. Our genetic pool is crazy (I think we tally three mothers and five fathers between us?!). And that matters. It’s silly to think that people’s past doesn’t matter because it does. Our past makes us what we are now and adopted siblings need to know that they are accepted with their broken pasts and loved and valued. It breaks my heart to realise what my siblings went through before they came into our family. There are things that, for all my love for them, I cannot truly understand regarding what they have been through. They need space to grieve what they lost. Space to realise their anger at the unjustness of the situation is allowed and they need to be able to work through that in a healthy way. But I am so so so blessed to realise I get to be a part of their present and future. That God brought us together as strangers and has plaited our lives into each other’s. I get to celebrate (or commiserate!) exam results with them, they were at my wedding and I’m looking forward to embarrassing them at theirs (;-) ), we’re going to hold each other as we hit some turbulent times, we’re probably going to bicker with each other for the next….oooh…six decades? At least. But woe on anyone who attacks my siblings – they’ll have a fiery big sister on their case asap! I’m excited to share life with them.
God brings people into families in different ways. I have parents who gave birth to me and all the extended family that entails, I have a sister who was born the same way I was (and who was definitely easier work than me throughout toddler years!), I have siblings who were adopted into my family, I have a husband who I married and that also brought a whole range of family, and I have family who are not legally connected to me in anyway but we belong together – family is not this rigid, “You enter one way only” thing. Family is so much bigger than blood and genetics. I think we miss out on a lot if we insist on creating families one way.
Today is Adoption Sunday and I would encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to family. Not everyone reading this will or should adopt but be open to how God might want to expand your family. He’s not as stuck in the mud about these things as we often are.
Adoption is redemption in action.
Written to celebrate Adoption Sunday. For those who want more information, I thoroughly recommend this website: http://www.homeforgood.org.uk/what-we-do/adoption-sunday. It’s not just for those thinking of adopting but for all who want to support those who foster or adopt. The book “Home for Good” is also a great read (although not an easy one, hardly surprising given the topic).