• MMH Press

The "A" Word


“Adoption has the dimension of connection — not only to your own tribe, but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, ties and family. It is a larger embrace. By adopting, we stretch past our immediate circles and, by reaching out, find an unexpected sense of belonging with others.”

– I. Rossellini



Six years ago, we finalized the adoption of our son. After being his guardian for eighteen months, we stood in front of a judge as she smiled and proclaimed, “Congratulations! It’s a boy!” This whimsical moment was a glorious exclamation point in our journey as a family.


Previously, we were a family of four. One boy and one girl, three years apart, had created an illusion that our family was complete with a neatly tied gingham bow. What others didn’t realize was that there were eight miscarriages in that story.


There was a longing for a larger family that just couldn’t happen.


Adoption put a fast forward on my understanding that my children are His, not mine. They are a precious gift on my journey towards eternity. If I allow them to become my monastic bell, and welcome any interruption as a chance to serve with love and obedience, they will help to purify and refine my selfish desires.

One night in 2012, we wrote down our goals for 2013. “Look into adoption” was on the list. Little did we know that those three words would change the trajectory of our family into a crash collision with mercy and grace.


As we navigated the uncertainty ahead, we began to practice opening ourselves to His will instead of clinging so tightly to the illusion of control.


We faced the usual fears.


Firstly, that we would risk changing our family dynamic too greatly. But if you’ve met my older children, then you know that this journey shaped them into unconditionally loving, selfless, amazing young adults.


Secondly, that we would never be able to afford the financial burden that comes with adopting.


God met every need and continues to give us exactly what we need when we need it.


Friends who stepped forward to help with fundraisers and photography jobs at just the right time provided extra income that seemed impossible.


And finally, we wondered how we would tell him one day. When would we tell him? What would we tell him? We were given beautiful advice by a counselor to always answer any questions truthfully, succinctly, and tenderly. This advice has been a guidepost for every discussion. It has given him the confidence that there is no shame in his story. It is just that, it is the story of his life. There is nothing to sugar coat, fast forward through, or be embarrassed about.


Adoption put a fast forward on my understanding that my children are His, not mine. They are a precious gift on my journey towards eternity. If I allow them to become my monastic bell, and welcome any interruption as a chance to serve with love and obedience, they will help to purify and refine my selfish desires.


For me, adoption put into true perspective that filling a calendar with activities meant nothing compared to praying every moment for our children that they come to know, love, and serve our Savior. The illusion of controlling their character and free will disappears much faster when there are so many unknowns to the sweet little child you are hugging.


When your biological children are born, they go everywhere you go. They go to bed when you tell them (well, most of the time). They eat the food you prepare and they live in a home where you control almost everything.


When you adopt, even if it is an infant, there is a history that you don’t know. There is a family story that you may never know. And there are people that you may have never known otherwise. And this, this widening of our circle, has become the greatest gift to our family.


My children now have a dear great aunt that treats all of my children as if they were hers. My children have a new foster sister that they adore because we stepped out of our comfort zone and we were willing to hear the stories and meet the families that needed someone to stand in the gap.


It may have been much more predictable and even easier to stay right where we were, but my heart has learned of a love that is less about controlling, more about obeying, less about appearances, more about serving, and all about eternity.



Warmly,


Kate


Kate is a professional photographer and the author of Songs Kate Sang, a lifestyle legacy blog in which she documents her days in the form of a living scrapbook for her family. She enjoys handwritten correspondence, and may break out into musical numbers at any time. She and her husband Brian have been married since 1999. They have five children - Julia, 20, Nate, 17, Riley, 9, Mary Alice, 5, and Sebastian, 3. Kate is a Texas girl and has lived in Arizona for 12 wonderful (and hot!) years. Kate writes from the heart about adoption and miscarriage. She is passionate about encouraging and serving others!

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