Often over the last several years, we’ve been asked if adoption and foster care is really worth it. Granted, this question usually comes from people outside of the journey, who are peering into our lives wondering. But our answer is pretty solid. YES! Here’s why…
It was one of those long days, yesterday, where you’re doing a million things but not really getting anything done. Ever had a day like that? No margin, no time to take a breath, just running, and running, and running. By the time I finally made it home last night with my teenagers, around 6pm, I was completely exhausted. So exhausted, in fact, that I had been thinking about my bed, and the the 3-inch memory foam on it, since I had crawled out of it at 5am early that morning! Yeah, that exhausted.
But as if the sun came out warm on a snow-covered day, my exhaustion melted when I walked through the door. “Hi daddy,” I heard my son say from the other side of the kitchen. Then I was blind-sided by my youngest son, who came running full-speed from the other room, to jump into my arms. A little while later, Kristin and I sat on the sofa with our 16-year old daughter, talking about the day, and giggling about the crazy, weird, and “shocking” stuff that happened at her school that day. That’s when the thought hit me, “My goodness…this life is just…beautiful!”
It was one of those rare moments when a surge of energy filled my body and I was suddenly wide awake…at 10pm….way past my bedtime! I watched my beautiful girl kiss her mother on the head as she trotted upstairs for bed. No one saw me smile as she did this. I couldn’t wait to pull my laptop out and let the words flow.
Now I know what you’re thinking…. “too good to be true.” Or, “Gosh, wish I felt like that ever about my journey!” Perhaps you’re about to zone out and go back to mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram because you feel like you can’t relate. Hang in there with me for a minute. Here’s why…
I’m telling you that our life is beautiful, yes. Because it is! But it’s also been really, reeeeeeally hard over the past few years. We have a child who can’t live at home because he can’t keep himself or others safe. That’s hard stuff. We love him so deeply that we would bleed ourselves dry for him. But he can’t live in our house.
We’ve had to navigate the difficult, and complex road of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It’s often taken a violent, destructive, and emotionally draining turn…that lasted so long we thought there would never be an end.
We’ve had to wrestle away the guilty feelings that our children’s struggles were our fault, or that we were failures as parents.
We’ve cried enough tears over our children to fill an ocean.
We’ve taken some of our children’s attachment disorders personally.
We’ve almost given up on the idea of ever finding any hope.
And all of this has been within the past 5 years. Heck, even the past few weeks, if I’m honest!
Yet, I tell you, with all of my heart….in-spite of all of this, this life is beautiful. So, incredibly, vibrantly beautiful! I love these precious children of mine deeper than anything on this earth. Any trial, or challenge, we’ve gone through with them, is not their fault. And we don’t hold any of it against them.
Because true love never does!
Over the past few years, we’ve had people attack us and our blog in droves, claiming that all we do is whine and moan about how hard adoption is and how terrible our children are. They’ve attacked our name saying things like, “What do you need to confess that’s so awful?”
Truth is, we’ve never thought any of our children were terrible….and we never will. Even when their behavior was out of control. And just because we’re honest about the hardships, doesn’t mean that we don’t want to do this, or that we don’t choose this. We choose our children! Yes, adoption has been hard at times, but not because of our kids. Nope! Not even close. It’s been hard because of past trauma that our children experienced, and are trying to process and live with. Trauma that wasn’t their fault. Even on the hardest days with our kids, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it’s not their fault….and their past trauma does not define them, or their future.
I love them the same through the hard, painful moments…that I do in the peaceful, beautiful moments. And I love this journey. My goodness do I LOVE this journey. I didn’t create a one of a my children biologically but I love them deeper than if I had. They are my sons…my daughters…my children!
So yes, it’s been a hard road at times. Yes, it’s been exhausting. Yes, we’ve struggled quite a lot with our kiddos. But no, we wouldn’t trade any of it. The beautiful and hard moments combined have made us better people and parents. And yes, this journey is worth it. And it’s filled with beauty. Even when you can’t see it clearly.
Last night, as I tucked my sons into bed, and was closing their drapes, I peered out of their window to see a gorgeous sunset. We haven’t seen the sun for days. It’s been raining here for the past week. But I realized that even with the clouds and rain, the sun has been there the entire time. The beauty of it was momentarily covered by clouds and storms. But it never left. And consider this truth: No storm lasts forever. Eventually the clouds move on and the sun begins to shine again. It will always happen. The sun is the only thing that’s consistent.
What makes me say with no hesitation, that this is beautiful, in-spite of the hard moments, is knowing the sun is always shining, clouds covering it, or not!
Question: Where have you discovered beauty on the adoption or foster journey? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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