Friday, April 25, 2008

The Good Stuff About Adopting

In the subsequent discussion resulting from the post regarding the tough stuff about adopting, Anna Maupin said that she thought it would be good for us to share about the some of the pleasant surprises that we have had. It is hard to pass on a good idea like that, so hear are some of the things for us. Please leave a comment and share your good stories with us, too.

First, I have been surprised by the good it does ones heart to love yet another child. I know in my head that our hearts have an incredible capacity to love, but it is an entirely different thing to experience your heart loving more people. And when you experience it, you realize that it does your heart good.

I have been surprised by how much I like brown skin. In the past when I had thought about brown skin my thoughts were dominated by racism in America. Now that I live with brown-skinned kids, I get to enjoy the qualities of brown skin without always thinking about racism. Also, I love taking pictures of them and working with the richness of color that there is as light spills across their skin.

I also love seeing the things that are largely universal in kids. All of our kids are different, but all of them have some things that are the same. Seeing the things that transcend culture, race, and nationality is a real treat.

When I asked CrazyMom about this she said she loves the diversity of culture that is now in our home and the perspective that adoption brings to all of our children.

Also, when CrazyMom hears K.D. complaining about not having a toy or not getting a second piece of candy she smiles inside. It is just so satisfying to see that he no longer has to complain about a lack of food or a lack of clean water.

These are a few of our fun surprises. So how about you? What fun things have surprised you?

9 comments:

Anna Maupin said...

Hi,

Thank you so much! I'm humbled you thought it was a good idea. We've just started our homestudy so, of course, we're telling everyone. All I had heard all day long was people questioning my sanity. One lady asked me if I was sure I knew what having a baby and a toddler at the same time would be like (that's what we've requested). I tried to graciously tell her that at one point, I had a 2 year old and premature infant twin girls! Yes, I do know what it's like.

It's not actually people's questions that bother me. It makes for pleasant chit chat. I feel people ask the wrong questions, though. No one asks if we're ready spiritually to shepherd more children. No one wants to know if we trust that God's grace will get us through. No one asks if maybe we will be blessed by more children.

So, as wise as it is (and it is!) to learn from others' hard times and as good as it is to have realistic expectations, that day in particular I really longed for the balance.

Thanks for sharing some of your happy times!

Anna M.

Jim & Laurel said...

We received pictures of our 3 new children, for 8 months. While the eldest had a smile that encompassed every picture ... the youngest (age 6) could never find a smile. We would look deep into her eyes, in the photos, and wonder what pain she was trying to hide. (We found out later there had been a failed adoption where she had been "returned" for misbehavior.)

We also received a video of the children, where they each talked to us. She looked like the most scared child I had ever seen.

During our 6 weeks in Ghana with the kids ... the smiles were still hard to come by. When we got the 300+ pictures back of our time there together, I pointed out to her that we were so sad that she didn't hardly ever smile.

Now ... 6 weeks after returning home ... Rachel smiles. She jumps up onto my bed in the morning, to snuggle and tickle. She crawls under my desk while I type, to "hide" and to smile at me. She hides her face behind whatever she can find, so that I will say, "Where is Rachel's smile?" To which she responds, with a BIG smile.

What is the Good Stuff ... the simple SMILES ...

Laurel :)
mama of 13

Katie said...

"No one asks if maybe we will be blessed by more children."

This touched me, deep down to the bottom of my heart... Anna.. thank you. I am refreshed to hear another mention that same sort of thing.

(if she reads this!)

Pam and Brian said...

The good stuff...
Everytime I look at my son, even now 2 years after bringing him home, I am amazed at God's great handywork in bringing our family together. Despite some behavior issues, Ben is a perfect fit for our family. And I can't give credit to genes or heridity, only God gets the credit for how well we have come together as a family.

We are now waiting for a court date, and Ben is aware that he gets to go on an airplane to Russia to meet his sisters. I am touched by how much he longs to bring them home. I believe he knows how great it is to have a home and a mama and papa and he is anxious to see others enjoy those things as well. At that same time, he is 4, and I know he is VERY excited about riding on an airplane!

Raskell Party of 8 said...

So, what surprised me? The very idea that I could love a child that is not part of me. That God has called ME, lowly ME to care for them. The biggest thing that still moves me to tears, is that these precious children have an even bigger capacity to love, be loved, and adapt. It is like they have been here forever. I love brown skin, too. It is so beautiful!

I love how easily they fit into our lives. I love how they made our home chaotically beautiful. I have never had biological children, but my heart knows no different. They are mine in all ways.

Another surprise was trust. They trust us. Why should they, though? Would anyone trust a complete stranger, let alone someone with different skin. Yet, from that first day, they trusted us. They believe in us. They love us.

Adoption is so beautiful and I am so grateful for God's example to us by our own adoption into His family.

Blessings,
Sandra

thecurryseven said...

The good stuff? Adopting an older child, I was a bit saddened to miss the typical firsts...smile, tooth, word, etc. But we had different firsts: first time to the beach, first trip to the zoo, first Christmas, first Easter. Watching an older child experience something I have always taken for granted is a gift. I have also learned things about myself, both the good and not so good. I am stronger than I thought. I have experienced giving unconditional love and the joy that comes when the love is finally returned. It is so, so sweet for having been fought for. And finally, I have learned something about how God loves me. My love of my raging child was just a mere shadow of how much God loves me...even when I am that raging child. I am overwhelmed by it.

CrazyD said...

I love your comments! Thank you for sharing. As I read them I was reminded of when many of these very things happened to me and it encouraged me greatly.

CrazyD

Darcy said...

I love that I now appreciate all the differences in others. Our family does not "look" the same and I can now look at other people and appreciate how awesome God is to give us all special and unique qualities. How boring the world would be if we were all the same.
I also love that although adopting a toddler was tough, God got us through and I can now look back on the grace of God as an ever-present and very real thing.

I WOULD GATHER CHILDREN said...

A great stuff moment....
A few days ago my 9 year was sick and I had asked him if he wanted me to pray for him and I did. While in the middle of my prayer Major Cutie (our 4 1/2 year old Ethiopian princess) walked in but didn't interupt. About an hour later I walked in on her, praying over my son, out loud, that he would feel better. God always blesses us when we need it most.
Smiles,
jen in MI