I wrote this letter at the end of 2018, as I reflected on how far we'd come in a year. I'm sharing it again, as we are knee-deep in the adoption journey once more and battling the very same fears of the unknowns and knowns.Dear Year-Ago Self,It is the end of 2017 and you are staring at a new year full of unknowns. You are elbows-deep into dossier paperwork and up to your eyeballs in emails. You don’t know which paper to start working on, which appointment to start making, and which email to start responding to. And you are afraid. Afraid of the unknowns, like your son’s possible medical needs, and the knowns, like the dollar amounts next to each step in the adoption process. But, oh self, I wish I could fast forward time to let you see a glimpse of December 2018! I wish I could tell you that you will literally laugh at your fears in twelve months from now and that your only regret is that you wasted so much precious time and energy fearing the ominous “Goliath” you’ve concocted in your mind. And I wish you could know you that this “Goliath” will turn into the most adorable little boy you’ve ever seen. As you kiss his cheeks every day and hear his sweet little voice say “mama,” you’ll just smile and ask yourself, “Why in the world was I afraid of this?” But right now, right now you are consumed with an almost paralyzing fear. Fear that this unknown“Goliath” will somehow destroy your finances, your family, and yourself. But, just hang on, you don’t want to miss this.
"Mom, can we adopt the loneliest boy or girl in China?"
I turned from making dinner a few months ago and ran over to our precious daughter coloring at the table. There will be so many moments I'll forget about this adoption journey, but that question. Never.
"Yes, of course sweet girl. God will show us who the loneliest little boy or girl is and He'll bring him or her into our family."
"We'd like to adopt, but we just don't want to hurt our biological kids."
"We think adoption is great, but maybe when our kids are out of the house.".
"We know adoption is Biblical, but we're just not sure how our kids will react."
If we had a dime for every time we've heard these, we'd be able to fund our own adoption. But, if we had a dime for every time we personally have worried about how adoption will affect our children, we'd probably be able to finance a hundred adoptions. So, if these serious concerns have flittered across your brain and put the brakes on diving whole-heartedly into the wonderful, mysterious, difficult world of adoption, we are right there with you.
When I see my two precious children finally playing nicely together (51% of the time, at least!), I get anxious thinking about adding a third to the mix. How will they react? Will having another child tear their adorable best buddy relationship apart? Will one become attached to the new sibling while the other might not? What if this next child messes up all the hard work of bonding and attachment we've worked on for months? Ugh, yep, we're right in the boat with you.
But, the funny part is that I have to actually remind myself that this is deja vu. I was worrying about this same exact thing last year: Would my daughter attach to her new brother? How would he treat her? What if he hurts her? What if we can't give her the attention she needs? Wouldn't it just be better for her to have a biological sibling?
What are we doing to our child?! Are we crazy, irresponsible parents to bring a completely foreign child into our house?!
And I can't help but smile now. I can't help but laugh to think that we "messed up" our daughter by adding our son to the family through adoption. They are more alike, from their dislike of bread to their love of dogs, than they are different. They play, and yes, fight, just like any "normal" siblings do. Thank God, by His grace, He carried us through our first adoption and now our daughter is completely "messed up"...and oh, are we thankful for that!