Silas stood on a chair by the counter while I made dough for cinnamon rolls (I think I killed it. Not in a good way.) while Calvin sat at the island reading facts about the Korean war to me from the book he checked out at school. Ruby stood behind Calvin, channeling a little JLo while she watched her (questionable at times) moves shadow-dance across the wall.
My kids are a little bit like me. There are pockets here and there, and we go looking for them. We all have brown eyes. I had the same problem as a child that Calvin has - reading so fast that you don't always absorb or retain what you're learning.
But mostly they are nothing like me. Not in appearance, personality, quirks, or sensibilities. It's a crap-shoot and it's so much fun.
We're a family. Tough as nails, together to the end.
God put us together in such an amazing way, he plucked us up and tied us together, knowing how each piece would complete the puzzle.
Adoption, for all of its roadblocks and heartbreaks, is the gift of a lifetime. I had no idea when we went to that first meeting how this would come to shape our lives and mold our worldview. We just wanted a baby, man.
But now we get it on a different level. Now we force ourselves to face the plight of the orphan. We won't look away. We lock eyes with the flinty truth that there are children tucking themselves in tonight, all over this world. Or maybe they're cared for and loved tonight, but it's temporary. It was never a real solution. They don't have a family. They don't have a future.
They might be disabled. It doesn't matter.
They might have scary things in their medical history. So what?
They might not be the cutest or the smartest.
They might be hard to love.
They deserve a family.
And that is just one of the reasons my mind is changing about what it is that I deserve.
People ask us frequently if we'll adopt again. Our answer varies, mostly based on the kind of week we're having with our wiliest. The truth is, only God knows and He'll tell when he needs to. But our obligation is still to the orphans and our kids aren't orphans.
So it's important for us to support friends and family taking the leap of a lifetime.
I remember carrying home overflowing bags of one-piece outfits from the baby shower for Calvin and bawling my eyes out because now I had 30 pastel summer outfits that he might never wear, but I had no idea how I would pay to get him home and into my arms.
Of course, it came. It always comes, one way or another. In our case, it came in the form of a ridiculous, perfectly-timed pay raise. God provided when it seemed impossible.
But I personally like the idea of coming alongside a family and making my love and concern tangible. I like the idea of grabbing hands and showing them that we stand with them, come what may. Sometimes we are able to give more than others, but God honors the intention of the heart. Little is much.
Lunch at Cracker Barrel!
My friends Kevin and Layla are on this journey right now and it thrills me to walk with them. They're in that excited-trying-to-not-be-overwhelmed stage, where the whole future lays just out of view but they know it's good.
Kevin wrote and recorded the most beautiful lullaby/love song to their future child called Love Collides. It made me weepy in the very best way. They are accepting donations for their adoption fund in exchange for a MP3 download of the song. You can listen to it here.
I want everyone I know to hear this song, but even more, I want everyone I know to find someone scraping everything together to give a child a forever family and support them. The amount is irrelevant. Your out-loud support will bless their socks off and you'll be a part of something so much bigger than yourself. Win-Win!
Mad Love to You Tonight,