I remember it was January six years ago, one month before our fourth baby would turn one. Those were the days when four kids felt like a lot, because it was a lot. But there was an unmistakeable nudge toward adoption, from what we could only assume was God.
We went through all the normal thought processes:
Are we nuts?
Five children. Can we do five children?
We should read something adoption-ish. So we raided the library. We meaning me.
Now what? There are so many kinds of adoption.
If we choose domestic infant adoption, will a birth mom ever choose us since we already have four kids?
Finances. How will we afford the process?
Closed adoption? Open adoption? International? Foster?
If we ended up with an open adoption, what would we want it to look like?
It all seemed crazy and surreal, yet so right. So we continued down this path for a year and a half until a gorgeous 9 week-old baby girl was placed in our arms as a result of a surprising connection among people we knew. Born in our very town, at our very hospital. It all was so God-ordained. Now, these nearly five years later, our kid count is up to eight.
I’m still not quite sure how this all happened. But I am sure that every child, five by birth, three by adoption was hand-picked for our family. Hard? Yesss. Excruciatingly so at times. Brought to us to grow our own spiritual stamina and walk out God’s plan for our children? Worth it.
I know for myself that when times get tough, a piece of encouragement from someone who knows is just what I need. You won’t get any blank stares or lovingly well-meaning, yet unsure nods from me. I get it. You are doing a beautiful thing, and I want to encourage you in that.
Foster or Adoptive mom, I see your heart. I see the heart that beats to help and to serve, after all, that’s what brought you to this point in the first place. Your heart is beautiful. But sometimes we forget. We forget that original heart when we’re busy loving, working with, and bringing children in need into our lives and homes. And sometimes we feel buried by the weight of it all. But do not forget by whom you were called, and for whom it is all for. You are emulating God’s love and adoption of us when you care for these children. Well done. So well done.
I see your ability to move beyond the boundaries of race and ethnicity put in place by the world. You’re doing it God’s way, and I applaud you.
I see the way you provide safety and consistency. You are making a difference. For a child whose world may have once been out of control, you have provided something and have been someone he can count on. Something stable. It’s no small thing. It’s beautiful.
I see the way you live sacrificially. Your work does not go unnoticed. Perhaps by the world, but not by the Father. He is so, so pleased. You make Him smile. Your life reminds Him of the sacrificial work of His Son, Jesus. Thinking of the one before yourself. He loves that.
I see the risks you take. With your love and your heart. Love is always risky. But you take the chance, because that’s who you are. That’s who He makes you. C.S. Lewis once said, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” You’ve taken that chance. You’re a risk-taker for the sake of Christ. That’s just amazing.
I see how you are creative and willing to try new things. That new technique. That new way to speak calmly. The way you decide to sit on your bed and pray before handling a heated situation. You are persevering. You are a fighter. You are creative. You’re always learning. That’s a sign of humility. It’s how we all want to be. It’s how Christ calls us to be.
I see the boundaries you lovingly set with your children for their protection. I see the boundaries you have to set with your friends and family for the sake of your child’s optimum well-being and your family’s success. It’s not easy work. But you’re doing it so gracefully. Way to stick to it.
I see how strong you are. Through the loss, the pain, the uncertainty, the process. You have been through so much, yet you continue to love. To begin each day with an unshakeable resolve to love God by loving your family.
I see the way you speak to your child about their story. How you’re reminding them that they’ve been on a journey. One that has led them straight to you. Journeys are a gift. I see how you’re teaching your child to not be ashamed, but rather the recipient of a gift.
I see you mothering a child you didn’t birth. We all become mothers in a unique way, no story is the same. I see the way you search your heart in hopes to reconcile all of this. It doesn’t matter how you became a mother. All that matters is that you accepted the gift given. And you did.
I see your faith. I see how you hope even though you don’t know how it all will turn out. I see that trust you put in God Almighty, because it’s the right place for it. You’re doing so well. You not only have faith, but you’re faithful.
You’re doing a beautiful thing.
A beautiful, hopeful thing. Carry on. You are prayed for, thought of, and cheered for.
Amanda Bacon is the very busy mom of 8 children ages 2-14. After her first four children were born "the old-fashioned way" she and her husband Jeremy added to their family through adoption. One private adoption, two foster adoptions, and the birth of one more baby later it would be safe to say she is one busy mom. In her "spare" time, Amanda and her friend Anne-Renee Gumley maintain their family centered blog The Masterpiece Mom.