November is National Adoption Month.

And I’m here for it.

Because . . . I would be lost without adoption. Adoption made us a family and gave our life so much depth. Becoming a mother through adoption taught me about life in ways I would have never even considered.

Adoption reminds me of a beautiful mosaic. The kind you envision with a stained glass window. Colorful. Broken edges. Cracks of light.

But, adoption begins with loss, brokenness, and sharp edges. And those three things will always be a part of an adoptee’s lifetucked back deep in their hearts.

Beginnings that start with loss often seem backward to life. We usually expect loss at the end of someone’s life . . . not at their beginning.

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Many babies go home with the mama who birthed them. But in adoption, there’s trauma for babies being born to one mom and leaving the hospital with a different one.

And when your life starts out stress-filled and in survivor mode, it’s hard to stop. It’s hard to fix. It’s hard to even consider a thing called beauty.

The sharpness in the edges of the soul reflect fight or flight. Much like a stained glass window reflects light and dark.

And to start out in life that way is overwhelming. And it’s hard to retract and rebuild the foundation.

But in the depth of the overwhelming hard, we get to experience overwhelming beauty. Depth can bring us to an end of ourselves and make room for something new.

Because in the depth, we learn to replace every hard place with a strand of beauty.

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We just have to look for it.

Identify the beauty.

Replace the hard with it.

It takes time, and it takes grit.

It is detective heart-work plus backward beauty which equates to soul transformation.

Because in the backward beauty, we get to declare that the hard places in our hearts can be met with the soft love of this world . . . and the broken sharp pieces can still come together to make something beautiful.

A stained glass mosaic.

Finding beauty backward is the bridge to hope. Rebuilding our hearts. Retelling our souls. Reconnection.

There’s an adventure in being backward in beauty. Because when your life starts out beautiful, you don’t always look for beauty. You already have it.

But when your life starts out stress-filled, we have an opportunity to find glimpses of beauty that lie in the cracks between our broken edges. We get to claim it.

And a beautiful, brightly colored mosaic represents all the ways beauty is created by connecting the broken pieces. The light shines through the cracks and the result is usually breathtaking.

RELATED: Considering Adoption? Lean In.

And as I learn with my daughter how to proclaim beauty in fight or flight, how to read her soul when she draws pictures, and how to connect with her when her emotions speak volumes and she needs reassurance of our emotional bond.

I’m learning backward beauty is the heart of the matter in adopting a child. It is soul transformation at its highest.

And my daughter is teaching me way more than I’m teaching her. She takes her strong will and independence in the adventure to find beauty, yet combines her soft love to the process.

We are learning together. She’s giving me unconditional love, grace, and joy in the adventure. She using her sharp edges and creating light by how she loves others, without realizing it.

And maybe that’s why she’s an artist. She’s creating colors, spaces, and shapes to make life beautiful. She’s exchanging the loss and the stress of her beginning for a picture of a life filled with the beauty of a mosaic.

Loving and living in backward beauty through adoption is way more beautiful than I imagined.

And I’m here for it.

Sue Volikas

I've been married to my high school sweetheart, Tim, for 16 years and became a mom 4.5 years ago through adoption to my adventure seeker, Elle. I'm trying to see the beauty and bright spots in broken places. I write one glimpse at a time about grief and loss, mother-daughter relationships, adoption, and faith.