Monday, November 9, 2015

World Adoption Day

I spent most of last night looking through old Facebook posts from when Xiomara was first born. I cried and laughed looking through those posts of how tiny she was. I read old blog posts, and watched videos of her cute little laugh. I cried thinking about how fast it has all gone. I also smiled thinking of how life changing adopting her was.

No one, and I mean no one, prepares you for how life changing adoption is. Adding a child to your family is always life changing. As a mama to two biological girls before we adopted Xiomara, I knew that my life would change when we adopted Xiomara. What I didn't realize was that it would not only be Xiomara who changed me, but adoption itself.

Today is World Adoption Day. A day to celebrate and advocate for adoption worldwide.

You don't have to ask me twice to do that. :)

If you are considering adoption, but you've been waiting or unsure, let me give you some reasons that you should adopt.

1. Your heart will expand with LOVE

I love this little girl more than any of you could possibly imagine. She is mine as if I gave birth to her. She brings a smile to my face daily, she makes me laugh, she exasperates me when she looks at me and doesn't listen, she melts me in a puddle of tears when I look into those big, brown eyes. If any of you who are thinking of adopting, or interested in adoption, but are worried if you would love that child, please let me tell you now: there is NO difference in my love for my biological daughters or adopted daughter.

Adoption has given me a different view of love that I would not have had if we hadn't adopted Xiomara. Her birthmama was really who first showed that selfless love in choosing to selflessly place Xiomara into our arms. I learned so much from her that hot, July day. Not a day goes by that I haven't thought of that love and more times than I can count, I have changed how I love others because of that selfless love.

2. It strengthens your faith

I have never gone through a more difficult faith journey than that of adoption. We had a two year adoption wait. There is nothing worse than waiting on God, but there is also nothing better because your faith in God is strengthened. We had a failed adoption. In my pain, I had no one to turn to but God, who wrapped me in His arms and assured me that our little one was coming.

Almost daily I have someone tell me that they would adopt if they could afford it. I get it, I do. We adopted Xiomara with next to no finances available to us, yet I have said it again and again, if you are meant to adopt, God will provide. I can promise you that! We struggled trying to figure out where our finances were going to come from. Here is the one thing I tell everyone who is wanting to adopt: If money is holding you back from adopting, please don't let it do so. If we had let money hold us back, the biggest joy in our life would not be here today. There are grants, there are interest free loans, there are options of raising money. Please, don't let money rule in this area. Instead, let God strengthen your faith and guide you in this journey.

3. You will gain a heart of compassion

Adoption does not come without loss. Loss for the birth family, loss for the child. Grief unspeakable at times. However, in that grief comes God's great redemption, and you gain a heart of compassion as you watch God work His story of healing through the brokenness.

There are 154 million orphans worldwide! An absolutely staggering number! Every year, I wish that number would go down just a little.

If God has adoption in His plans for your life, He will make a way. In the meantime, look for ways you can help those around you who have adopted. Support them in prayers and/or finances (the smallest amount may be exactly what they need).

I realize adoption is not for everyone, but if you can't adopt please consider fostering, praying, sponsoring an orphan, helping out financially, coming along side a family and supporting them in whatever way you can. Lastly, advocate for adoption. The more we talk about it, the more change can happen.

Happy World Adoption Day!