My husband was adopted when he was just 22 months old. My in-laws already had six biological children. We adopted our youngest son, Jack, at 11 months of age. We already had four biological children. Not long after Jack joined our family my father-in-law told my husband, “You know, the best thing we ever did was adopt you.” My husband responded, “I know it was the best thing for me.” His father then responded, “No, I mean it was the best thing for us.”
Adoption can bring numerous blessings to those who open their hearts and homes to a child. Jeremy Olivier has written a wonderful song titled, "Beautiful" which tells the story of how adoption blessed his family. One line that stands out is this, "From something so broken, something beautiful grows." Adoption does make something that may be broken into something beautiful, something overflowing with blessings.
One blessing adoption brings is hope. Hope for those who may be suffering from a desire to have children, hope for a better future for the birth parents who are not yet prepared or able to raise a child at that time, and hope for a better life for the adopted child. Olivier's song also says, "What you thought was lost can be found and made beautiful." That is what hope is — it is recognizing that that pain is not permanent and looking forward. Our son, Jack, came from a broken home. He had been in foster care since birth with no chance of reunion with his birth family. His birth parents gave him hope when they chose to place him in our family.
Welcoming any child into a family brings great joy. Joy often feels sweeter when it is preceded by heartache and difficulty. Such is often the case when a child is finally placed in a home. A dear friend, Heidi, said the only way to describe her daughter's adoption is joy. "This sweet little girl has brought our family so much joy." I remember the first time my other children were able to meet Jack. They were ecstatic to finally hold and play with this little boy we had waited so patiently to join our family. We had spent years waiting to adopt and when the opportunity finally came it was truly a joyous moment in our lives.
When I asked my daughter, Hope, in what ways adoption has blessed her life she responded, "Having an adopted brother teaches you that family isn't just defined by blood. You can open your heart and home to anyone, regardless of where they came from." Our son, Spicer, has autism and so establishing close relationships with others can be difficult. But he bonded with Jack as he had with his other siblings. In fact, he created a special bond with this brother as he loved to carry and hold him everywhere we went.
For some children, adoption may be the only way they have the opportunity to be a big brother or big sister.
Recognizing God's Hand
One of the biggest blessings we have come to realize after going through the adoption process is how God's hand is ever in our lives. So many things had to fall into place in a certain way for Jack to have been placed with us. His birth mother had actually selected another couple to place him with. Our case worker, who was working with our family as well as with Jack's birth mother, was actually supposed to move the month before he was placed. When the other placement fell through, the case worker, knowing of us, led her to our profile. She recognized that Robert would be a wonderful father to her son. Everything fell into place quickly. Jack was meant to be in our family, just as my husband was meant to be in his family. We know this is not just coincidence. It is the hand of God working in our lives.
Trusting in God's Plan
We often feel we know what is best for us and how things should work out. Fortunately we have a God who knows us and knows what is best for each of us. The song "Beautiful" also has this wise phrase, "She understands this is so much bigger than she planned." It is hard to understand why we must go through such pain and suffering, but we do not have the big picture, we only see our small part. My husband was raised for the first two years of his life in a less than ideal setting. His birth mother did not have the means to care for him properly. And yet, I do not think his family would have been ready to adopt him sooner. The time needed to pass, so that they were ready and able to take him into their home. We recognize as well that the wait we went through was necessary for us to be available for Jack to be placed with us — before that time his birth mother was not ready to place him. I am forever grateful that God has a plan for each of us.
Adoption truly is beautiful. It creates opportunities for those children and the families with which they are blessed to take what may be broken for both into something beautiful: a loving family. Adoption truly brings blessings from heaven.