(This Thankful Thursday post is a little early, but I gotta post when I have internet!)
I’ve cried a lot over the last few days. And I’m not a crier, y’all.
It all started on Monday when I felt led to finally post something about our adoption and the struggle it has been. I read it and re-read it. I hesitated. I prayed about it. And I did it.
I had no idea what the result would be but I braced myself for criticism. My words were transparent, hard, and that’s not always well received.
Instead, I got an immense outpouring of love and understanding. I literally couldn’t keep up with my inbox for the e-mails and comments on my blog. I’ve never experienced anything like that before and it made me cry to think that there is a whole big community out there of people who are walking this same road, fighting hard for these kiddos that we love so much but feel overwhelmed with the day to day battles.
To all who read and heard and understood and spoke words of hope and healing or who shared your story and your struggle, you blessed me immensely. You thanked me, but I thank YOU!
To the few who read and didn’t get it but felt led to comment anyway, I hear you, too. I didn’t get it either. I still don’t most days. But God is faithful!
To the adoptees who spoke out, thank you. Your words are necessary to this story. You are our heart in this, after all. If my words hurt, I am sorry. The reality is I was not adopted as a child so I do not understand your perspective, but oh how I want to! I want to hear from you. I want to learn from you. Please be patient with us as we learn and we will strive to do the same.
To the one who suggested that saying to stop romanticizing adoption would be like saying to stop romanticizing marriage, I hear what you say. But what I’m trying say is that marriage is beautiful, but we still have marriage conferences and blogs and books about the difficulties it can and often does bring. Let’s do the same for us adoptive families who are struggling in this fight to help our kids see and feel this love we have. If you want to defend the kids (and praise God you do!), reinforce the parents. Admitting that marriage can be hard and addressing those issues does not keep others from getting married and I know that those who are called to adopt will no more let this hinder them than the mountains of paperwork and years of waiting. It will just help them be better prepared for the potential challenges ahead.
To the one who said they are “worried” about me, thank you for your concern. I’ve worried about me, too! But God is good and His grace is sufficient. Thank you for offering the resource suggestions. I will definitely look into those! I’m always open to suggestions and learning and growing on this journey that all too often seems like too much. I don’t have all the answers, I just have the one: Jesus. And oh how good He is!!
To the one who said I sounded self-righteous, oh how God knows that is not true. The times are innumerable that I have cried out to God and told Him he picked the wrong person for this job because I am so broken myself. I am filthy rags outside of the grace of God and I need His new mercy every morning. Please choose your words carefully, friend. I appreciate that you are knowledgeable but I pray our knowledge will never cloud our words of love and compassion. Knowledge without love is useless (1 Corinthians 13.2). Yes, this journey has been incredibly lonely (we live in the Amazon Jungle!) but God is ever present and meets our every need. That’s the beauty of grace that He can use sinners like my husband and myself to speak truth into the life of this precious child of ours. This was me reaching out for the community that you suggest and God in all His great goodness has provided it.
To the one who referenced their adopted child as “store-bought”, I respectfully had to delete your comment. It was offensive to several adoptees who were reading the comments and that is the last thing we want.
To the commenter who referenced me as “original poster” and said I made a mistake talking about the hard, hi, my name is Ashley and I am your sister in Christ. Let’s choose our words carefully and remember that just because we can’t see each other’s faces, there are real people on the other side of that screen. I actually had to re-read my post because I thought maybe I had missed something in there because your words were so intense. We live six houses away from the house where my daughter suffered all kinds of abuse and we see her biological parents and her abusers on a regular basis. I feel your hurt for your oldest who still remembers her mother, friend, and I understand. We’re in this together so let’s build one another up. We’re on the same team.
If you commented, I want you to know I prayed for you. Each and every one. I went name by name, even those who were anonymous (that were many) and I prayed specifically for you. That’s all I know to do at this point. Maybe God is up to something much bigger?
To all who e-mailed, I will respond!! The internet here is hit or miss, so it may take some time. Thank you for sharing your stories. They have given me a breath of fresh air on this journey and I am forever grateful!
God is so good. I feel like I’ve just come upon an oasis in this desert and now I’m surrounded by other families drinking in deep from the Living Water.
This journey just got a little more beautiful.