Saturday, July 10, 2010


First of all, I am so glad to know that my post "From the Beginning" encouraged some of you.  I feel certain that Jesus will provide a way when someone feels called to adopt. Even when it seems impossible. Nothing is impossible when it is His will. So if you feel called, but just don't see any way it can happen, just pray. He will show you!

There are some other things on my heart that I would like to share. I am hopeful that it can be encouraging as well.

A year ago, when we began this journey, we were so excited! We were excited to be adding to our family, excited to be on God's path, excited to see what He would do to bring Willa home. When we told everyone, we fully expected everyone to be excited for us. That was not the case. In fact, we couldn't have been more wrong. 

As months progressed, we began to see, hear and feel just how wrong we were. It has been, in a sense, devastating. It has hurt more than our words could ever express. Some of our relationships have changed over this. Some relationships will never recover. It literally breaks my heart thinking about it.

I never expected everyone to understand. I never expected everyone to "get it". I knew that people in our lives would have questions and doubts. I am sure it seems crazy to a lot of people. I mean, gosh, we have three kids already! However, instead of coming to me or Brad and expressing their concerns or questions, they just chose to brush it under the rug or talk about us behind our backs.  If we had been given a chance, we would have gladly explained our hearts. 

I guess I thought, or hoped, that as time went by, they would come around. Their hearts would warm up to the idea. At the very least when they saw Willa's face, they would see that she is real child with a real need. They would come to understand the bottom line - that no matter how they felt about adoption, international adoption, large families, etc...they would see this precious child that needs a mommy and daddy. They would also see without adoption, this child may very well never know that Jesus saved her. Saved her not only from an orphanage, but saved her very soul. By her being adopted, she gets a chance to hear His word and make a choice to live for Him. In China, she may never have gotten that chance.  So, I hoped when they saw that real little girl, desperately needing to be saved, they would change their minds and hearts.

However, once again, I am wrong. It hasn't made a difference. Our "loved" ones literally can't look past their own disapproval to see the big picture.  It is heartbreaking. And honestly, I have no idea what this means now that Willa is about to be home. What do I do? Knowing they way they feel about her, what do I do? I would never want to put her in a position that would be hurtful to her. Gosh, even writing that makes me want to burst into tears. Regardless how she joined our family, how could anyone disapprove of her? She is a child. One of His. 

On the other hand, there have been many loved ones that have supported us from day one. Many people that love us, and Willa, for the children of God we are. To all of those people - thank you. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you. Your kind words, hugs, support, excitement - it has touched us so deeply. We can't wait to share Willa with you. She will be a joy in all of our lives. Thank you for wanting to be a part of something bigger than us. 

I wanted to share all of this because I want people to know that on the adoption road, you will face opposition. You will face prejudice. You will be ridiculed and mocked. You will be treated with hate. Does that sound familiar? Remind you of anyone else? 

Yeah, it's worth it. 


Janet and Kevin said...

When God called us into our first adoption journey, we had just sent our oldest son Ted off to college. Life was set for us as we headed into retirement someday with our empty nest.

But God - He had other plans. Suddenly we were on the path to our second child rather late in life. Both Kevin and I were in our late 40's when we began the journey. Both of us were extremely close with both sides of our families who had always supported us in everything we had ever done.

That is up to that point.

Only a handful of our family supported and/or even tried to understand how important adoption was to us and how desperately we still longed for another child to join our family.

Our moms - whom we loved deeply - reacted the worst. One was very scared and kept telling us over and over how this was not right and that we shouldn't do it because of all of the things that could go wrong. The other mom became SO VERY angry at us, even going as far as to send us a letter stating why this was wrong. She could barely talk to us for months civilly because of her anger.

It just about killed us and brought us to our knees on many occasions. How could something so wonderul and amazing as bringing a new child home to be loved by our family cause SO MUCH division, anger, and worry?? We had never had this kind of reaction from people we loved so deeply.

So we prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And little by little God gave us the right answers - His answers.

One night in particular, Kevin was reading a Max Lucado book. One of the chapters was about following God's leading even when it appeared the wrong thing to do to others around you. It asked the question of what do you do when others are very opposed to your following God's leading.

The answer it gave was this. Give them space, grace, and time.

During those tough months when our moms were SO opposed to our adopting, it would have been VERY easy to turn our backs on them. In fact, we were so shocked at their intense and prolonged reactions that it took everything in us not to do so. That's when we had to pray for God to take over. He gave us the ability to love them even though they were not showing us love at that time, and He gave us the ability to give them time, forgive them, and then give them space to come around.

And come around they did! At first and for many months I couldn't even share any details of the adoption with them because they simply didn't want to hear it.

But God - He worked a miracle in both moms who now dearly love their Chinese grandsons Philip and Elijah as if they have always been here. It didn't happen for quite a while and not without many tears and heartbreak for us, but what a miracle God provided for our family.

It is my prayer that as you give your loved ones space, grace, and time, they, too, will come around and fully support your adoption and welcome with open arms your precious new child. I will pray that God gives you the ability to handle this heartbreaking situation and see someday what a miracle has come of it.

Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Elijah

julie said...

I have been following your story for the last year. Your situation is very much like mine. I had the desire to adopt for many years, but my husband wasn't on board. I remember reading one of your first posts to him, the one where your husband changed his mind-I was trying everything to get him to reconsider. Little did I know things were stirring in his heart at that time. On December 30, he said we should do it!! So we are now well on our way to our new daughter. Our homestudy is complete and we are waiting for the state of Illinois' endorsement. Sometimes it feels like a dream. We too, have encountered the hateful comments from strangers and friends alike. I can't understand it either. I love reading your blog and I can't wait to follow your journey to Willa. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Tara Anderson said...

Yes, it does remind me of Someone else...and I thank you for reminding me! We've recently had "the comments" begin (again..sigh) and we're just baffled. It seems like everyone else "gets it" and is supportive of us, except for a couple of the ones sharing our last name. You're not the only one hearing these things...we were actually "jokingly" told last weekend that we can't adopt anymore or they won't be able to afford to buy Christmas gifts. And, that instead of adopting we could be using our money to be doing something for God. Two separate conversations, at two totally different times of day. By God's grace, I was able to remain tactful. :)

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing your concerns about peoples' reactions. Once they meet your sweetie, they may change their minds. We had one family member who wasn't supportive yet once they met our little gal they became her biggest supporter. Her uncle buys her stickers and calls just to say hi and see how she's doing. Another family member ignored us completely yet on our last visit home she came and brought DD a Build a Bear she had made her. God can move mountains and hearts.

Beth said...

I just cannot simply imagine the hurt you must feel when people you love do not support this wonderful decision you've made to adopt Willa. How can you look at that beautiful face and not love her. Being an aunt to two wonderful adopted children, it just amazes me that people can react any other way than with love. Praying that their hearts will be open to the blessing of Willa.

TanyaLea said...

I truly don't get it when the people who are supposed to love and support us most, often do not. Even despite their own 'personal' thoughts or feelings, they should embrace the fact that God led you down this road in the first place. But you are so right... it DOES sound familiar, and our Father will be by your side every step of the way...ready to embrace you when family may not! PRAY for their hearts to be enlightened and pray for protection over Willa's heart. She is an amazing gift...and she ALWAYS will be YOUR DAUGHTER!!