I’m going to share with you a snippet of our adoption story. It is the less-often shared part of the story, but it’s the part that shows the beautiful truth that every wonderful gift also has a cost element to us in the earning of it – but oh, how worth it!
If you told me in the year 2010 that I would be sitting here writing this, kids in the background, shouting to some music they have blasting in their rooms (possibly the soundtrack to Disney’s ‘Cars’), I’m not sure I would have believed you, as my husband and I were in the middle of a tough journey through infertility at that time. Our road to becoming parents was not an easy one to travel, made all the more difficult for me because for my whole life I have felt a real call to be a mother and that I had something of a mothering grace gift on my life. I remember a good friend saying to me once, “Katie, to not make you a mother would be like putting toilet rolls into a beautiful fruit bowl. It just would not make any sense!” But nonetheless, there I found myself – living the life of a toilet roll-stuffed fruit bowl! I felt I wasn’t able to be who I felt I had been made to be all along: a mother.
What Ian and I noticed in ourselves, quite soon into the journey, was that when there is a deep desire within your heart, especially one God has given you, there is very little you won’t do or go through or ask of God to see it fulfilled. It becomes a constant longing and is always on your mind. Not a longing coming from a place of lack, but from a place of feeling called. In the quest to become parents, if there was something to be done, we did it, and at times at great personal or financial cost. We consulted with specialists, we asked for prayer, we longed for prophetic words, we beseeched God. We asked our friends and family to pray for us, we even prepared our whole baby room in faith before a baby was in sight! We felt to be ready and to sow in faith to the call over us to be parents.
The adoption process can be excruciating. Every element of your life is under scrutiny
Shortly after the baby room was completed, Ian felt God say we would be adopting our first baby….and then came the real cost! The adoption process can be excruciating. Every element of your life is under scrutiny: your finances, home, family and friends, your mental health…it was painful, and I sobbed through much of it, but we knew it was worth it for the gift to come. Throughout the adoption process, I said, “God, I may not have physical labour pains, but I’ll honour this painful process and cost as if it were labour, because the end result is the same and worth it!”
And it’s expensive financially, very expensive! We gave up on owning a home and rented one for a season in order to free up finances, we gave up holidays, we gave up eating out, we gave up new clothes, I filled out forms for days, so we also sacrificed time. During all this, we felt we were paying a high price and everything seemed so costly, but looking back, we would have sacrificed much more if we had to. You see, when you have received the gift, you suddenly realise there is no cost too great in the earning of it!
To parent natural and spiritual children is costly, yes…but it’s a joy and a gift
The day we collected our son, and 2 years later our daughter, it felt like I had all of heaven celebrating with us over the end of a costly season to become a family. I cannot describe the joy of feeling the weight of those little baby bodies in my arms for the first time. I remember looking down at my children, and even thought I didn’t know them, I knew within seconds that I would die for them and go through this process a million times over!
And even today, that spirit of adoption and that heart to bear whatever the cost for the person’s rescue, in a sense, into family, has spilled over into how we walk with the people God adds to us. I was sitting with one of the young women with whom we walk the other day and she said to me, “I hope I am not being a burden on you.” And I replied, “Please don’t ever think you are a burden – you are a reward and a gift to me. I prayed for God to add people like you to our family!”
I love this quote from Derek Loux that sums it up perfectly:
“My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.”
To parent natural and spiritual children is costly, yes. It will take up most of your time and finances, and much of your emotion, but it’s a joy and a gift, and I believe that we are not only called to it, but made for it!