Let me begin this firstly with, No!, Mason and I are not ready to start a family! With that being said, let me share with you some thoughts that have been swirling in my brain the past few days.
I’ve always wanted to be a mom, I was born with that gene and sometimes it comes on a bit too strong, but I think that I was born and destined to be a mom. Knowing that sometimes your dreams don’t always take the easiest route, Mason and I had started discussions long before we were engaged/married about families. We both want a family – size is still being debated – but we both want at least one boy and one girl. I hesitantly mentioned to Mason one day that I wanted to adopt a child (or two…) if we are unable to naturally have children. To my surprise he was completely supportive. He sad that he would be sad if we can’t have children naturally when the time comes, but that he would be happy to be Dad to our children weather they are naturally ours or not. My heart swelled with pride at this man’s willingness to not only father our children, but father them no matter how they are conceived. It takes a very special man to be willing to father children that way, and God has blessed me beyond belief with a man like Mason.
The other day I threw a curve ball at Mason and he didn’t so much as flinch when it hit him. We were in the car on the way to work and I told him that I’ve really be thinking a lot lately about some of the people that we know that are either adopted (some of our youth, a dear family friend, etc.) and some of our friends who are in the process of adopting. I mentioned that I might like to amend our family plans – maybe we should/could adopt a child regardless of our ability to conceive naturally or not. He simply replied with, “Okay Babe.” WOW! I mean, WOW! He didn’t even flinch!
Now obviously we’ve got a lot going on in our lives right now and to even be thinking about this is crazy, right? I’m always thinking about my future family in the back of my mind…and especially now knowing that the adoption process takes a while and we’re on the downward slope to finishing school. We both would like to start our family after we graduate from seminary, and I’m just starting to explore options. We haven’t really had “in depth” conversations about it, but something about me knows deep in my heart that my husband and I are on the same page right now.
I’m not kidding myself, adoption is not going to be easy no matter the point in our lives that we begin the process if we really do. I’m watching a college friend build her family though adoption of her two children, a son from Guatemala and a daughter from Ethiopia, and I’m also watching a high school friend and his wife start their family through adopting a daughter from Ethiopia as well. I’ve really been strengthened and encouraged by some of their stories, but have fallen hard with them during the hard times, too. I’ve also watched Mason work closely with some of your youth who are struggling as teenagers with the whole “being adopted” thing. He has been so patient and loving, kind, generous and supporting of these teenagers who are struggling with feeling like they are truly their parents’ children. A hard reality for the child and the parent!
Needless to say, its not an easy process and I’m not going to pretend that I’m even close to thinking its an easy process…but it is one that we are all called to through living our lives as children of God. In thinking of Mason’s cousin who has opened his home to multiple foster children over the years and has fought hard to adopt each child, I am constantly amazed at the process that so many families go through to bring a child into their family and claim them as their own. There are tears, lots of sweat and hard work, and sometimes just plain heartache to go with the joys.
But it reminds me all to much of the blood, sweat and tears that were shed for us to claim us as children in God’s family. We have all been adopted by God to share in the love, grace and mercy that comes with being a child of God and a brother and sister of Jesus Christ. If there is one thing that Tom Currie and Karl Barth have taught me in my time in theology its that we are only able to know our savior and Lord because of the adoption that Christ bought for us – the adoption that God so graciously gives to each of us in giving up his Son’s life so that we may live eternally in the family of God. It’s incredible to think about, and it makes is all so much sweeter to think about as we prepare to celebrate again the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior. A small little baby was born into our sinful world to live amongst us and know that we would eventually condemn him to death, but he willingly lived the life that he was sent to live all so that we can live forgiven lives before God – eternally. I just can’t wrap my head around it sometimes…but I am completely unworthy and doubly grateful! (What a fantastic thing to think about this Christmas season!)
Adoption is not an easy thing, but then again Christ did not have an easy life, either. My high school friend’s wife says that on the hard days she recites to herself James 1:27 to remind her that she is doing this in response to God’s call on her life. I’m sure there will be more musings on this subject from me if this truly is a calling on our lives from God. But in the meantime I’d ask that you be in prayer for all adoptive families and their children. Follow their journeys and provide them the strength and support that you can through fervent prayer for them on the journey. And remember the orphans…that you were once one yourself, too.