Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Word About The A-Game of Adoption.

A little more than ten years ago, the beauty of adoption became very personal to me.

My cousin and his wife, who are much more like siblings to me and my sister, had suffered multiple miscarriages. After much prayer and preparation, they visited a desolate Russian orphanage. During that visit, they met not just one, but two of their sons.

Beautifully, one of my closest friends who was a true sounding board and prayer warrior during my cousins' adoption process got the call 10 years to the day from my cousins' visit to Russia that the baby she and her husband were adopting was being born. (Without thinking every little thing is "a sign," I just refuse to believe that some things are coincidence.) :-)

Within the last few years, several other dear friends and family members' lives have been enriched through adoption, and I'm so thankful it's such a growing and accepted means of family expansion. Many companies -- including the military -- allow for maternity and paternity leave for adoption as well as natural births.

I'm truly grateful not to have experienced what must be unbearable pangs of wanting to have a child, but not being able to. (Yet. Even at 35 9/10, I am certain those wants could still come for this late bloomer -- if not because nature intends it, because my grandmother is willing it day and night from her home in Mississippi.)

Even though I don't have personal experience with those longings, I can only imagine how hard being physically restricted must feel for those who wish to grow their family. I do know from talking with friends who have dealt with these issues, subsequent treatments, and miscarriages, that the resulting hurtfulness is much deeper than anything I could imagine.

For all of these reasons, I love the concept and act of adoption even more. No, an adoptive mother does not experience months of gestational growth, and I can imagine that must be very difficult for those with a desire to fulfill that purpose. But if physical barriers prevent natural childbirth from occurring, I believe adoption is a wonderful, miraculous option that should not be overlooked.

That side of my family had never had an adopted member before my cousins' boys joined us, but we all agree without hesitation that our days, heartbeats, gatherings and stories have been forever changed by those two precious lives, their biological parents' willingness to do what was needed for their situations, and by my cousins' openness to grow their immediate family beyond their physical means at that time.

There are obviously extensive reading materials and research on this topic that I wouldn't pretend to be qualified to match (including by that cousin himself), but for what it's worth, here's my two cents on the subject: Through adoption, I've seen so many barren couples' tears not dry up overnight, but eventually be soothed by this beautiful means of welcoming lives -- who are in need of loving arms -- into their worlds.

With each friend's process, my heart smiles a little wider for this beautiful A-Game that appears to be more and more commonly accepted.

You go, girls. (And guys.) Open those minds and hearts and homes. Share that love.

It's a beautiful thing.

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