“God places the lonely in families..” Psalm 68:5-6
My journey into motherhood, like so many of my journeys, started with Jesus. Jesus gently leading me to acknowledge the loss of never going to be able to have biological children. Jesus leading me to mourn, to cry, to surrender and to allow Him to heal me. This was hard, but when it was done I was free, free to move on, free to adopt.
Sadly the process of adopting a child in South Africa is marred with tons of red tape, over-worked social workers, a fair amount of prejudice and even what
one would call bureaucratic sabotage. Potential adoptive parents are often left feeling discouraged, powerless and unsupported, especially when trying to finalize the legal aspects of adopting a child.
When we adopted our daughter, who is turning 11 this month, the process was long, laborious and invasive, but I still consider us as one of the lucky ones, in that our adoption didn’t drag on for years and was not hindered by bureaucracy
and grave incompetence. It was however filled with many hours of probing questions, a long list of paper work we had to get done and an extensive waiting period.
We worked with a well known Johannesburg Adoption Agency and after 7 long
months our application was finally submitted and the waiting period started. I
found this period especially tough! We had no feedback from the agency and I
often felt very alone during this time. It takes a fair amount of faith to wait for an
unknown baby. To choose a name for this unknown baby. Prepare a room for
her. To pray for her. An unknown baby from a stranger who we would never
know, but to whom we would be forever connected. There are so many
unknowns when adopting, so many “ifs”, so many questions, doubts and fears.
An overwhelming degree of the adoption process is out of your control, you
really just have to let go and trust God.
The adoption process is emotionally draining. I will never forget the day that our session with our social worker consisted of the following questions: ‘Would you be open to adopting a child with physical disabilities? Would you consider
a baby who’s birth mom was raped? The baby of a drug addict? How about adopting a baby who has a history of mental illness in her family?” One answers these questions prayerfully and with a great deal of sadness and a weighty sense of responsibility.
One Friday morning we got, what is known in adoption circles as “The Call”! We had been matched with a baby. The wait was finally over. Now I finally knew that our little girl was nearly 7 months old and we could finalize the shopping list
and announce the long expected and wonderful news! It is a mad rush to get everything ready, a wonderfully sweet rush! The following week, we flew to Durban to meet our precious little one. As she was placed in my arms the long wait became a distant memory. It was done. Our daughter. At last! The next morning we made a quick court visit and then we brought our prefect little girl home….forever. The wonder of adoption is truly that this little person I have never met before is instantly connected to me. A connection planned and executed by my Heavenly Father. It is really difficult to put into words, but it is as if your heart just opens and receives this precious gift, no questions asked. I accepted and embraced her as my daughter 100%.
Having said that, bonding with your adopted baby does take time. When your baby comes home all is new and the journey from ‘strangers’ to mom-and-baby that unfolds is beautiful and in many ways sacred to me. All relationships take work and attachments take time to form. When we adopted our third baby, my then 5 year old son asked me: ”Mommy how will the baby know you are his mommy?”. I loved the honesty of his question. I told him the the baby would learn to know that I am his mommy as I care for and loved him[eltdf_blockquote text=”The gift of Adoption has taught me that when My Father says we are His children, it means that we are instantly and completely and forever accepted as His. It has taught me to trust God deeply and fully. ” title_tag=”h2″ width=””]. I have learned that when I surrender and allow Jesus in, He becomes intimately involved in the details of my life. I have learnt to ‘go with God’ no matter what, no matter where He leads me. And, whether it makes sense to me or not, I have learnt to trust that He knows best, even and especially when it hurts.
I am now, mother to my four beautiful children and I still stand amazed at how God has worked out the details. How He took 4 motherless children and a childless couple and put us together ….in a family, perfectly matched in Him, forever.
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