When I was 18 years old, I told my then-boyfriend I knew my future family would one day be built by adoption. It was a desire God placed on my heart long before then, and one I had never shared with anyone.
So when that college boyfriend became my husband nearly four years later, we knew adoption would one day be a part of our life. But as young newlyweds, we focused our attention on graduating from college, getting jobs and paying bills. Three years into our marriage, we decided to start our family—the “traditional” way. Month after month, we were met with disappointment. It was then my husband reminded me of what I had shared with him eight years earlier—adoption. I was scared to say yes, to take the leap. I was already so discouraged and disappointed, but I promised him I would pray about it. I prayed daily, but I had so many fears.
I was scared of the cost. Adoption can be extraordinarily expensive and we aren’t rich.
I was scared of the process. The adoption process is long and intense, filled with paperwork, physicals, background checks, interviews, and reference letters. I didn’t want someone to come into my home to “evaluate” my ability to parent.
I was scared of open adoption. I worried my role as mom would be undermined if another woman was still in our lives.
I was scared of rejection. I worried our profile book would be passed over for more exciting families. I worried we wouldn’t be chosen.
I was scared of the unknown. I was frightened to step out in faith and trust the calling the Lord had placed on my life eight years earlier.
I was scared to say yes and take a leap.
But I’m so glad I did.
Because I could have missed seeing our friends and family surround us with love and support. I could have missed understanding the meaning of “community”—watching loved ones hold garage sales and bake sales and buy adoption t-shirts to help us grow our family.
I could have missed the opportunity to hold my son’s birth mother’s hand as she gave birth and to kiss her on the cheek and tell her how strong she was and is. I could have missed the look in her eyes as she handed me her son and entrusted him to me.
I could have missed those precious moments in a hospital room in the middle of the night—two mothers, biological and adoptive, sitting and talking and marveling over a five-pound boy who captured both of our hearts.
I could have missed the sweet smiles, the middle-of-the-night snuggles and the sleep-deprived commute to work every morning.
I could have missed the bedtime stories, nighttime prayers, and footie pajamas.
I could have missed the slobbery kisses on the cheek, the toddler temper tantrums and the little voice that calls out for “Mama”.
I could have missed his squeals when I walk in the door from work, his giggles when his daddy chases him and the endless amounts of Cheerios I find underneath the couch cushions.
I could have missed the closet filled with more clothes than I will ever own myself, the playroom littered with toys, and a house that just never seems to stay clean, no matter how hard I try.
I could have let fear win. I could have missed this life.
But I’m so thankful I didn’t.
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