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 writing...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!”