Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Joy of Adoption

It’s funny. I haven’t really talked all that much about adoption on my blog and yet it is such a huge part of my family’s story. I think it is because it has often been hard for me to put accurate words to the experience and it’s hard to feel like you fall short in describing one of the most important things in your life. I shudder to think that someone might misunderstand this most intimate of experiences. And then, to try and describe it in a literary world where there are no gestures or facial expressions or tears in the eyes to drive home your point. It’s just harder.

After all, how do I explain the bittersweet experience of seeing your child come into this world attached to another mother and yet fully yours? The experience of sitting on a hospital bed with your baby’s birthmother, each of us holding one of her tiny hands and fully grasping the glorious uniqueness of this moment…and then, one knowing she has to let go? How do I explain the ache I get leading up to my children’s birthdays, wishing I had memories of holding them in my own womb, and yet not desiring, for a moment, that their stories were any different? How can I even begin to tell you what God has revealed to me and continues to reveal to me through the beauty of pain and struggle, the beauty of adoption, the beauty of our multi-colored family, the beauty of birthmothers?

Ahh…the birthmothers. How do I explain how an experience that shatters the hearts of these beautiful women brings an irrevocable joy to my own? How in their brokenness I get to see a reflection of Christ? What I wouldn’t give for that to be able to take away the ache in them…the ache in me for them. How do I make it make sense that every new achievement by my children brings about twinges of guilt as I acknowledge the fact that two beautiful women are missing these moments so that I can have them. “Greater love hath no man than this…”

Mostly, I wish I could explain the miracle that God worked in our lives when he took these children, who were separate from us, and placed them within our hearts. The fierce love that was immediate. The miracle of that instant when we became parents of babies who were not our own and the understanding that it brought so unmistakably that they are His, and are never our own.

Right now, I am sandwiched in between two very special dates. September 7 marks the day that Bella’s adoption became final…a little more than eight months after we brought her home. October 4 marks the day that Hope’s adoption became final…almost ten months after we took her home. On these days they were declared official Kolmans, and the true heirs of our vast fortune (suckers!). On these days, the courts made official what we felt in our hearts from the moment we laid eyes on them. We were a family. Both days, we were surrounded by family and friends and were filled with thanksgiving and a deep rooted sense of joy, which comes from our belief in God’s goodness.

We are deeply grateful that God has chosen this specific path for us. We really are. We know that we were uniquely equipped for this purpose long before we ever were ready to have children. We are humbled by his grace and his abundant blessing…by his good plans for our lives. Our children, just like anyone’s children, are a reminder to us of his love. We see his heart reflected for us in the passion and enthusiasm for life that fills Hope’s spirit and in Bella’s sweetness and the tenderness of her heart. He declared us a family long before the courts ever did and even before we met our sweet girls. No doubt, he dreamed our little family up before the foundations of the earth and promptly declared, “It is very good!”


Melodie said...

that put a big ole lump in my throat. i can't imagine your family any other way! love you!

The Coopers said...

how sweet! and look at those beautiful miracles! thanks for finally posting

Miss Jen said...

I agree completely with Mel. I will try to write past the lump in my throat. I really appreciate the fact that you tackled this subject. Only you could put such beautiful words to all those feelings.

Jennille said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the pictures of your beautiful girls (and beautiful you!) that are with this incredible and touching blog! You are such a gifted writer. Glad to see you blogging again...;)

The Milfords: said...

What an incredible post. Thank you so much for sharing. While I don't have my little girl to hug and kiss and watch just yet, I do have that fierce love for her. I've never seen her face, but my heart aches with the knowledge that in His time I will get those hugs and kisses.

Becky said...

so so precious ... the writing .. the pictures .. you ... thanks for sharing.

Oh .. what did you think of Little Earthquakes? that's on my short list of "books I've read in my life" :)

Phyllis said...

You know how I feel about adoption. Of course, it was different for us not "being there" when Britt was born. But I must say as soon as he was placed in my arms I knew he was our baby and I was his mother.
Joy unspeakable of full of glory!
Praise God for a birth mother who gave unselfishly! I think of her at every birthday and holiday.
Love you!

michelle said...

Amanda, you expressed how difficult it would be to describe the adoption process in words... you did it so beautifully! I don't know the last time I read something that was so from the heart- so honest (it was probably on your blog!!) You have such a lovely heart Amanda, and your girls are blessed to be your daughters... You write so wonderfully- but more so, is your heart. I miss you!