Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Tragedy of Adoption

Sometimes our Isaiah's face fills with pain and sadness...his lip pouts out and he begins to cry. As a momma I pull him close and sing to him softly. I tell him it will all be ok and that he doesn't have to be sad. My heart aches when I think about anything making him sad; in those moments I can't help but remember the tragedy this sweet, tiny 7 pounder has already endured in his 2 months of life.

Adoption is beautiful, adoption is Godly, adoption is all about choosing life but adoption begins with tragedy. Isaiah has a birth mother and a birth father; two people who loved him and in my imaginings I imagine they still do, very much so. Two people who chose not to parent their son. Two people who chose to give him a better life than the one they could offer. When I look at Isaiah I see the gift we have been given and when that look comes across his face I wonder if he is remembering them. Is he remembering the awful way he came into the world? Is he remembering looking into his birth mama's face? Is he remembering hearing her voice? Is he remembering her touch? Is he remembering her? Is he remembering her tears?

Adoption is tragedy at it's finest; adoption is born out of loss.

I laugh at all that God has done with our life. Oh, the places he has taken us. God knew the timeline of our entire life, from beginning to end. He knew that Isaiah and all of the loss he endured would require parents who know what loss is all about. He knew that Elle's death would begin a process that would change our lives forever. He knew that it would open our hearts up to his plan of adoption. He knew that Wesley, Isaiah and I would walk this road of loss together. He knows that we will all be able to teach each other what life after loss looks like. Our losses have brought us together, people say that all the time but it is oh so true in our case. The loss had to happen in order for the joy to begin. Oh, has the joy begun...I cannot explain it all to you in words.

Isaiah is so many things to us; I write in a journal for him and I wrote this on December 14th 2012:

We know that out of our heartache came a beautiful picture and we know that your life will be the same. The heartache that brought you into this world has been and will be made beautiful, my sweet Isaiah. I promise. God has such a HUGE plan for you and your big life! Every time I look at you I will be reminded of the incredible plan that God has for each life. I will be reminded of the humor, the joy and the LOVE of our Jesus; you will always be that reminder our precious son...

Something had to be lost in order for us to have him...something for him and something for us. For him it was his birth mama and his birth daddy and for us it was our sweet Ellersley. The Lord is making that more and more evident with each passing day. We will tell him all about his birth parents and how the loss of them brought him to us. We will allow him to grieve that loss in whatever way he chooses to do so. We will show him all that God has given out of the loss he has endured and we will make sure that he knows that joy is always available to grab. We will tell him all about Ellersley and that because of the path Jesus chose for her, we were led straight to him. He will know that loss does not always mean sadness. He will know that mourning only lasts for a night...

Jesus, thank you for adoption. Thank you that you have adopted us into your family. Thank you for the loss we endure because of that, loss of our sin and loss of this life. Thank you for Isaiah and the reminder that he is of your humor, your joy and your love. You are in every smile and every cry...Thank you for loss and that it brings more than just sadness. Help Wesley and I as we teach Isaiah all about sadness and all about joy and how to dance gracefully in between. You have given so many gifts in one tiny little boy...great is your faithfulness...

Elle and Isaiah's Mommy


Naomi Rice said...

Tears... This is soooo good. I love how you put it. Adoption is beautiful but there are painful parts and hard parts. But God always has a plan and I know he has that for jas and I also.., waiting can be hard but seeing the joy from others who waited is encouraging.

Erin said...

Nicki, This is such an interesting perspective. It's so important to acknowledge loss and sadness rather than push them away. I'm so glad that the three of you found each other.

Bambi C said...

This is so beautiful. It really is such an eye opening perspective.

Hannah Rose said...

Oh gosh, you have me in tears over here, loss brought you all together.

I have such a place in my heart for adoption, both international and domestic. My cousin, Hope, was adopted at 17 months old from China. She is 17 now.

And one of my dearest friends named Bex placed her son, Kip, for adoption when she was 18. He turned 4 in November. Through walking this journey with her, and also after seriously and prayerfully considering adoption when I was pregnant with Lily, I love adoption and all it stands for...I know it is part of God's plan for lives...but ah yes, the loss that comes with it. Is heartbreaking. Eric and Leslie Ludy who run Ellerslie Leadership Training where I went actually adopted Kip. They did a beautiful "Entrustment Ceremony" when he was born. It is an open adoption, so Bex goes to his birthday parties and other things and is involved somewhat in his life. You can see his precious Entrustment Ceremony here:

This is a beautiful song about adoption that they played at the Entrustment Ceremony:

Bex and I have a precious friendship because of both going through unplanned teenage pregnancies and choosing LIFE. And also, both of us losing our babies...her through adoption and mine through stillbirth, but losses nonetheless. We share our hearts with each other, laugh and cry. We share songs and letters and other keepsakes. It is such a gift from the Lord.

I am so thankful that the Lord brought Isaiah into your life through loss and you into his life through loss...Thank you for being a powerful and beautiful voice for adoption! God certainly chose you and Wes specifically to be this little guy's mama and daddy!

You may already know this song about adoption, but it is one that I found and wept to when God walked me through the process of being willing to choose adoption if He asked me to. It is just precious:

Much love and hugs, Nicki!