Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was recently asked to write our adoption story to share for a women's retreat at our church. Having experienced so much since the beginning of it and not wanting to submit a book about it as opposed to a short synopsis, I just asked God to lead me what to say, and it was give the nutshell of the how and what and then just write what I have learned through the process. 13 years is a long time to journey but as I began to write all that God had shown me through just this journey, I was suprised. Just thought I would share, forgive the spacing issues, copy and paste was easier than retyping:-)

Some days just stick out in your mind. Moments that upon entering into them seem quite mundane and regular
can in an instant become markers that put you on a different path, some how becoming etched in stone in your mind and heart.
Walking into our university library as a 19 year old college student to write an english 101 composition paper was one of
those times in my life. Given the freedom to chose our topic, I non-chalantly picked up a recent copy of TIME magazine,
and thumbed through articles on current events. Intrigued by one of the titles, I turned to a story that explained
the then recent policy institued in the nation of China that limited couples to bear only one child. I read on
about how culturally speaking the family in China was very much centered around the paternal figure, elevating and
valuing him above the female members of the house. This cultivated a strong desire for male children, and thus in
turn conversely resulted in many baby girls born only to face abandonment, rejection, or death. I read the accounts of
people who had stumbled upon these precious infants in garbage dumps and allys; stories of babies being aborted and
thrown into rivers. But I also read that there were some baby girls taken to orphanages. Babies allowed to live, but
without a mom to hold them and a family to care for them. And in a moment, as if upon my eyes being opened an invitation
had been extended, I instinctively told my Father, "I'll take one." In my mind, as long as there was breath in my lungs and
love in my heart, there was no reason why I couldn't adopt one of these baby girls and love her. My heart broke for the rejection
these little girls were feeling just because they were little girls. I would do it. I would step into this senseless horror
and love a child. I knew I could at least do that. Nearly 13 years and three biological kids later, I found myself along side
my husband in a taxi cab being shuttled quickly through the bustling streets of Kolkata, India, where we were lead to a small,
white, unsubstantial, building in the middle of many more buildings. It was all a blur as we were hurried in and up a flight
of stairs that suddenly opened up to a room full of cribs. Moments later I found myself staring down at two big, tear-filled,
uncertain brown eyes belonging to the daughter of my heart. Thirteen years I carried this child in my heart and all of a
sudden, here she was. To say this moment was surreal would be an understatement. However, the journey in between was anything
but. What I haven't shared was the twists and turns and the emotional ups and downs we encountered along the way. I will spare
you these details, but I will share what I learned as a result. First, life is NEVER about the destination, it is always
about the journey. It is not about where we go, how we get there, but WHO we go with. Moses and the people of Isreal did not
wander through the wilderness, they were lead through the desert with a purpose by God's Presence. Logistically it didn't need to take
13 years to bring home the child God planted in my heart as a teenager, but it was his best for us. I have learned that long-
suffering can't happen in a short amount of time. I have learned that I am more sinful and selfish than I ever realized I was
and that He is more wonderful and I could ever possibly begin to fathom. I have learned that while a desire to adopt may seemed
to have come from me, it indeed originated in the very heart of the Father. I have learned that as sons and daughters of the Father,
created to immulate His heart, and in the likeness and nature of Christ "do what we see our Father do", we should
not be suprised when our heart responds with a desire to care for the abandoned and orphaned children of this world, but instead
should be suprised when we don't. I have learned that God will finance what He favors. I have learned that to follow Christ is
at times inconvienient, uncomfortable, exposing, impractical, scary and unsafe. I have learned that to be misunderstood and
criticized is par for the course. I have learned that I was invited to go on a bus ride but not asked to drive or plan the details
of the trip. But, in all of this, I have seen deeper parts of the Heart of God and I ever even knew existed. I have come to
know more deeply the intimate love and grace he has for us and the lengths He has gone to to be with us. I have learned that
when I looked down into the eyes of this child whom I had never met and did not birth, I saw myself, and as I watched my
own arms reach down and draw her to myself I saw God's hands reaching out to me.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

Mandy, thanks for sharing. This is just what I needed to hear today. Sorry I haven't called to set up a time to talk. We've been traveling so much this summer. We have one more trip, leaving this Thursday, then we'll finally be home for a while. I'll give you a call soon!