Monday, November 30, 2015

Doubly Loved {A Post About Older Adopted Kids}

It may be CyberMonday, but it’s STILL November, Adoption month— and I am determined to say something so here I am, slipping in at the last hour.  It’s a big deal- this adoption thing.  Memories of finally holding long-awaited babies are some of the sweetest I have. Those days of dreams fulfilled will NEVER lose their magic on me.  Jeff and I love to tell Julia and Brighton about those days.  There’s hardly any of our other family stories that can beat the telling of when we first saw them, held them and kissed their tiny faces.

As Julia and Brighton have gotten older and as I have wondered about how to handle certain things specific to their personal story, I have found there is very little writing on older adopted children.  First, let me say, I am NOT the one to do it.  Not at this stage anyway.  Hearts and questions are too tender and both of my kiddos’ birth moms know about this blog so I’d never want to write anything to cause those sweet ladies anxiety or confusion.  However, I do feel I can share some “generic” thoughts on what I am finding out to be true when you add an adoption piece to a middle school/junior high puzzle.

Each year, I print out a book of this blog with all the pictures and it has to have a name, something on the cover, one that sums up the year for me. I had some trouble with it this year because I could only come up with dumb stuff like, The Year that FLEW BY or TEENAGER IN THE HOUSE, or Where Did the Time Go or Why Did I Ever Think I Had Control or, my favorite, Let It Go.  Ha!  Never.  {I’ve only seen the movie once.}  And I didn’t want it to be entirely negative so this morning I typed “Never Could I Have Imagined”- trying to express a double meaning.  There have been wonderful, surprising things that have happened— a year full of blessing, but also things I never expected, like so many inches added to both of my kids, questions I was NOT prepared to answer,  how much they changed from last year’s picture, conversations that I didn’t know we were quite ready for but apparently we were and how my heart could ache with such joy AND as much hurt.  All you parents before me know exactly what I am talking about, but me?  I am just starting to learn it.  And I thank God for all of it because in it, He’s making us all more like Him.  {Just don’t ask me about that at midnight after one of those conversations I wasn’t expecting.  I am only thankful when I am well rested. Wink.}

I think these years my kids are in currently is naturally a time for wondering about many things personal— Do I measure up?  Does everyone like me?  Am I pretty or handsome?  Do I have what it takes?  Why are my parents being unfair?  Did I really need consequences for that?  Did I choose the right outfit?  Why is it again my birthparents placed me for adoption?  Bam.  It’s all a tangled mess—- adoption questions right after should I wear these shoes or these boots?   We’ve told them their stories from the beginning— as much as we thought wise— but if they ever asked beyond what we had revealed, we answered them straight up.  Some of those questions came earlier than we had anticipated but we kept our commitment and answered fully.  And it stirs up their hearts.  Of course it does and that’s okay.   That’s expected, however,  It just gives them more to process, more to factor in, more to settle in their hearts and minds during these impressionable years of figuring out who they are and how they feel about their entire story.  And what their response to it will be.

At the heart of all of us, we want to be loved— whether you are a middle schooler, a brand new teenager, a 45 year old, 95 year old, adopted, or born to your birth family.  We all desire to know how loved we are and that there are NO restrictions or limits on that love. They will all ask themselves {and hopefully in a vulnerable, safety laden moment, ask you}, can my parents love me as much as a biological child? {That is extremely difficult to type.}  Satan knows that and I believe he sees an opening, or rather a possible opportunity in adopted children.  He tries to slither his way in anyway— and it makes me sick.  {Come, Lord Jesus, come. Quickly.}  I John 4 says that God is Love and verse 19 says that we love because He first loved us.  It all stems from the Father so that is where our children must be led to go.  To Him.  We can reassure them.  We can bare our hearts before them.  We can love them with words and deeds, but only a keen, intimate understanding of the perfect Love of our Heavenly Father will they ever be a whole vessel to contain all the love offered to them.  I think we all have cracks that we allow love to seep out— and we have to remind ourselves often, WE ARE LOVED.   Maybe our adopted children need to hear it more.  Maybe we need to focus our prayer for our children in that direction more often.  Maybe we need to engage them in that conversation on a regular basis.

Mine know how loved they were while in the womb and even now, even though they don’t see their birthparents.  We’ve told them time and again that LOVE- God’s love THROUGH their birthparents—  is what made the decision to place them with us.

Complete, generous, sacrificial love. No restrictions or limits.

They are doubly loved and I pray that one day soon their hearts can hold it.


Chris said...


Alyssa said...

The word that always comes to mind when I read your words and see your life is "intentional." You get what is important, and I love that! And I really love the joy depicted on your face in the picture of you hugging J & B!

Sarah said...

Your words are beautiful, and so is your family! And so are J & B! Love you all...

TJ Wilson said...

"We all desire to know how loved we are and that there are NO restrictions or limits on that love."
So true. The adoption dynamic is no doubt unique and I learn much watching the dynamics in your family and in others we hold dear. Precious words, precious kiddos!

lizzy said...

oh wow. I know we've never "met", but after the Lord led me somehow to your blog years ago, He continues to use it to encourage me when I need it most. Our stories--so similar, but yours are 2 years ahead, so I glean much. My younger, so content, never seems to have the questions--once "does she know Jesus?' and that was all he needed. My older, she (we) has always struggled. So this was in all bold caps for me today: "I think we all have cracks that we allow love to seep out— and we have to remind ourselves often, WE ARE LOVED. Maybe our adopted children need to hear it more."
Thank you for sharing your heart so vulnerably. He uses you--across many states :)

Emily said...

Thank you for willing yourself to type the hard words. They are often the ones that have the biggest impact. Thank you for using your story to encourage others. Thank you most of all for allowing me such a front row seat. I'm constantly humbled.

Unknown said...

Every year I come to your blog spot on Mothers Day not only to see how yall are growing as a wonderful family but to also read the heart wrenching wonderful sweet inspiring words you write to Julia....and even after ALL these years it makes me realize what an awesome decision God made bringing yall into our lives YOU and JEFF were hand picked by God no matter the obstacles put in our way it was meant to be....thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for loving her and raising her into the wonderful beautiful (inside and outside) young woman she is today....I'm crying writing this but not be of sadness by any means but because you are TRULY the best decision I have ever made in my entire life! I love yall so much and THANK YOU