We have been blessed though this adoption journey to have extended family on both sides who support us. Incredibly blessed, because it could have been otherwise, and I have seen cases where it was otherwise.
From the moment we started this journey, we felt strongly that we wanted our family to reflect the family of God. Both spiritually and physically, we wanted our family to be one that mirrored the family of believers of which we are a part. We felt strongly that the decisions we made regarding our potential adoptive child should reflect, to the extent we were capable of managing, God’s adopted family. Practically speaking, that meant (for us):
- We would make no ethnic, racial, or cultural restrictions;
- We would be open to special needs, to the extent we could foresee that the impact on our biological son would be positive;
- We would limit age to all ages younger than our biological son (to preserve birth order);
- We wanted all cases where we were being considered as a potential adoptive family presented to us.
With our first attempt, before we moved to our current state, my confidence had not caught up with my convictions, and I (not my husband) made limitations on our criteria that I almost immediately regretted. But it was done, and even though we still allowed for more flexibility than most families seeking a private, domestic adoption, nothing came to fruition.
That all changed when we moved. This time around, all of our criteria reflected what was in my heart…and is in my heart to this day. And I wrote this. Nothing like making a public statement to the world (or at least, the blogging world) that holds your own feet to the fire.
So as it happens, our sweet baby, from the moment he was born, looked uncannily like our biological son. They both strongly resemble my husband. So much so that our birth mom’s mother (who was in the room with her when she delivered), mentioned it more than once when she showed us the pictures of his birth. We hear it all the time from family and friends, who marvel at God’s handiwork. We hear it from strangers…so much so, that many times I just agree and say nothing of his adoption. But sometimes I do tell them, and remark on God’s exquisite design (and his sense of humor).
And you know, our family exactly reflects God’s family. Both spiritually and physically. It always did, I realize, and it continues to now.
Our extended families? They have been supportive from the beginning, and they are thrilled with the beautiful little man who became a part of us. I knew from the beginning that he would be loved. I knew it even before I knew we would have a him and not a her. I knew that, whatever child God provided for our family, s/he would be loved. I knew, because our families have demonstrated that kind of love – on both sides – for us. And they have demonstrated that kind of love – on both sides – for previously adopted children. I knew, and more importantly, God knew, that our child (whomever that may be) would be loved. And that, really, is the most important thing.