Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Family Is More Than Blood

Before we adopted for the first time, I had only a vague idea about "orphans". I knew they existed in damp countries where townspeople wearing shades of brown and gray stood in line for bread rations. I pictured dark-skinned babies with distended tummies and Chinese orphanage rooms lined with rickety cribs.

Not in a million years did I picture faces that would one day form my family.

One of the magical things about adoption is that God always knows. It doesn't come as a surprise to Him. His walls are lined with family pictures that would take our breath away if we were to get just a glimpse. We think the one hanging on our wall is it. We think we know things, or that our family is already complete. But we don't even know the half of it.

Fifteen years ago, I daydreamed about knobby-kneed, fair-skinned kids with sticking-out ears and (fingers crossed!) Cory's blue eyes. But God had already decided something better for me.

Our family grew, and I forget sometimes that we don't share blood. We share time and space, a history that is whole enough to carry us home. We share laughs and germs and rants and prayers. We are a family.

And still, we grow.

This afternoon I rushed between dinner prep and homework when the front door opened and Robert and his best friend Fernando tumbled in, all long limbs and pierced tongues. They sat at the island for not nearly long enough and somewhere in between their stories and nonsense, Fernando referred to Cory as "Dad". Oh, I saw this one coming. It made me smile.

Because family is so much more than blood. And no one was meant to be alone.

The needle draws us together, pulls us near, and with every stitch, we're closer to what we were always meant to be. And with every stitch, our love grows, covering us and all the ones left standing cold around us until the shivering stops and we know that what we are together is real.

I can't say for sure that you're meant to adopt. But chances are, you're meant to be impacted by adoption. In one way or another, I believe you're meant to see that what the world calls brokenness can be a thing of sure beauty, adorned in the best possible ways, unexpected and entirely holy.

It could be a niece, a nephew, a grandchild, a godchild. Maybe your best friend will adopt, or your neighbor.

Maybe you're not as close to "done" as you thought.

This week, I'm partnering with one of my favorite companies, Sevenly, for a campaign to raise funding for the adoption of children with Down syndrome

Though not all birth families feel equipped to meet the needs of a child with Down syndrome, there are families who want to knit these children to their hearts through adoption, but struggle to afford the high cost.

Your purchase of the rad tee I'm wearing, or others, like this one (another favorite of mine!) helps a child with Down syndrome find their loving forever family through adoption grants funded by International Down Syndrome Coalition. (They even have Kiddo Ts!)

Help change a life and be cute & comfy while you do it!

Outtake :)