Adoption, Selah


March 6, 2015

March 6th.

She was the chubbiest little 5 month-old. Leg rolls for days, and a smile accentuated by the most adorable double chin… The kind that’s only adorable when you’re a baby. And that fat little baby in that polka-dotted dress completely rocked my world.

When I opened my eyes that morning, there was so much excitement.
Excitement for finality.
A readiness to be done with supervised visits.
A longing to officially call her mine.
Anxious to see this baby…my daughter…this person have her place in our family, and her identity in our society acknowledged as something more than just a first name.

I knew where she belonged. Jeremy knew where she belonged. Those so close to us knew where she belonged.
But as individuals…
Don’t we all have this thing deep down inside that aches to know, and finds comfort in knowing exactly who we are? And where we come from?

Most of us don’t have that gaping hole void of information of what our beginnings were.
There’s such comfort and security in knowing.

But what if you don’t? What if you don’t know the who? And the why?

So as I dressed that round little body for court on that sunny Tuesday morning, as much as I excitedly wanted finalization, I wanted protection for my daughter even more. My momma heart wanted, and still WANTS, nothing more than to protect her from the hurt, and confusion, and insecurity of the unknown. Because there are just some questions that cannot be answered on this earth.

As we sat around that round table, the judge across from us, and a sea of people bringing up the rear, there our baby sat on our laps, playing with a loud toy and banging on the table with all of her five months of strength. He asked us many questions, and we cried, and we vowed, and we signed, and it was official. Our skins might not match, but boy… our last name does. And I just knew that the protector in me had won.

Same last name. Officially. She belonged.


IMG_7357Now here we are, and three years have happened, and I sit in her room writing and reflecting because she cannot play alone. And I remember that day, and the joy continues to grow.. But I realize the humanity of my desire to protect and shield this beautiful child of mine from any pain or struggle associated with her beginnings. The truth is, I cannot do that. Hard as I may try. I recognize the lack of dependency on God who entrusted her to us. Because if there’s anything that is going to guide us in every way to parent her how she needs, it’s the One who created her in the first place. And I have since learned that “protection” doesn’t always protect. Sometimes it’s necessary for us to feel pain. It’s beneficial for us to understand suffering. And to experience the process of healing and restoration. To suffer, that we may know God in His suffering.

While she may not be there yet at the innocent age of three, she may be some day sooner than I can imagine. And what disservice would I do to the author of this testimonial life, if I respond to her pain by trying to shield and deflect? Or brushing it under the rug? Or sugarcoating? Or trying to place answers where I truthfully cannot?

“Because when we ignore suffering – we ignore the Suffering Savior.” – Ann Voskamp

I might not be able to soothe the pain of all the why’s… I might not ever be able to make it all make sense. I might not always be able to comfort her when or how she needs it. I might not… But I can sure work with all my might, every single day, to lead her in the way of The One who can. I can model for her what it means to take the unknowns of life, and alllllll the things that make holes in our heart, and lay them down in surrender before The One who suffered first for us. And I can pray that in knowing The Lord, that she can use her story to further THE story of The Father. That she will not just be adopted by me, or her Daddy. But oh that she will also let The Adopter take her in as His.


Because {that} is the true beauty of her beginnings. It’s not just that she shares our last name. That isn’t what makes anyone truly belong. It’s not a signature. It’s not a certificate. It’s not a public acknowledgement. No group of people. No social status. Nothing. None of this earthly stuff can validate. It’s only Jesus. It’s only His sacrificial love for all of us that really gives us a place.

That’s the crux. And I believe for my daughter that she will be able to grab hold of such deep truth and be okay even in the midst of the grief. So while I can’t shield her – and don’t want to shield her – I can go with her. I can enter into it with her. I can grieve with her over all the hard stuff. And I can entrust her into the arms of a good God who will heal and restore the things that earth cannot.


At her sweet age now, she knows today as “Family Day”. It’s the day when those very special papers were signed, giving us total authority of guardianship over her on this earth. We celebrate this day. This anniversary. The honor. But it’s about so much more than just the papers and the legality.

We get to partner with God and the message of His love for His children. And I pray that will be what my Selah comes to know… That we didn’t swoop in and rescue, per say. We aren’t any sort of heroes. And it wasn’t this thing of, “you needed a place to go, so we took you in…”
It’s so much deeper… So much more spiritual… And so divinely orchestrated how we were chosen, and she was chosen, and God knew long before we did. And she wasn’t ‘given away’… She wasn’t unwanted… And she is not an orphan.

She was loved.
Loved right into our arms.
Loved right into our family.


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