Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How adoption has changed my life

Have you ever had an experience that dramatically changed your life? I'm not talking about something like getting a new job, moving to a new town, etc., but an experience that completely altered your life from the inside-out? Adopting Andrew has changed me in this way. In fact, it has changed our lives in such an overwhelming way that I have found that I have had a hard time putting our experience into words.

I had a similar experience with my first trip to China in 1999. This wasn't my first time traveling internationally, but it was the first time I had been to a country that was radically different from the United States. That trip completely changed the way I viewed the world, made me realize how blessed I was to live in the U.S., and gave me a love for people in other cultures. It changed me in so many ways that I had a hard time putting all this into words when I came home. Whenever someone would ask me, "So, how was your trip?" all I could say was "It was good." That seemed like such an inadequate answer, but how was I supposed to convey all the emotions, changes and events that had happened during my time there? It was too overwhelming of a task to try and put it all into words, so "It was good" was all I could manage to say.

That is how I have felt since we brought Andrew home. Andrew's adoption has changed me in so many ways, and I have had so much on my mind since he has become our son. Whenever I hold him in the middle of the night and look into his sweet little face, there are many thoughts and emotions racing through my head. But because of the overwhelming task of trying to put all this into words, I have once again given very inadequate answers to people's questions. I want to share with everyone all that this little boy has brought into my life, but where do I begin?

Despite the difficulties of this task, I'm going to start trying to write about some of the things that have been on my mind because I want everyone to know the blessings of his adoption. I'm still processing a lot of things, but here are a few quick glimpses into what I have been thinking/feeling over the last month with Andrew. (I hope to write more on each of these ideas at some point.)

-I didn't realize how indifferent I was to racism before Andrew. Before Andrew, I didn't condone racism, and definitely didn't appreciate when people around me made racist jokes or slurs, but I don't think I took the sin of racism seriously enough. Now that I have a child who is African-American, I understand the ugliness of racism. Andrew is this sweet, adorable little baby who I hope and pray will someday grow into a godly, intelligent and respectful young man. When I think about how some people will judge him simply because of his skin color, it breaks my heart. It has, at times, brought me to tears when I hold him and think about this ugly truth.

-Since adopting Andrew, I feel like I have learned to love more deeply. I'm still processing this in my mind, but there's been something that has happened in my heart since his adoption that has made me feel like I have learned to love in a deeper way. Maybe adoption was God's way of teaching me how to love deeper and be a more compassionate person.

-God's Sovereignty should always be trusted! There were many times during the adoption process when I got a little impatient and wondered what God was doing in this area of our lives. I never should have doubted! He brought us a beautiful, baby boy whom He picked out for our family, and there were so many reasons why Dec. 23rd was the perfect day for us to bring Andrew home. I could write an entire post about how we saw God work through the timing of Andrew's adoption. (Maybe I'll do that sometime...)

-My faith has been strengthened through seeing God's provision. Many times I have prayed for God to strengthen my faith because I realize my weak faith is often the root of my sins. We have seen God answer prayers and provide for us in some pretty dramatic ways throughout the last month, and each time my faith has gotten a huge boost. It is so awesome to see God work in ways that only He can!

So...there's a quick glimpse into all that has been swirling through my mind since Andrew has come into our lives. I hope to write more, as I have the time and energy, and share with all of you the great blessings God has bestowed upon us through adoption. I'll definitely try to say more than just, "It was good."

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