Adoption is

In the beginning it may seem like adoption is…

mounds and mounds and mounds of paperwork

a desire to help homeless children

a longing for more children in your life

becoming intimately acquainted with a local social worker

fingerprinting and background checks

fundraisers and grant applications

arriving home with a child who sees you as a stranger

reading 101 books on the importance of attachment

wondering what your child will look like

pouring over every adoption blog you can find

a desire to be faith in action

doubting yourself continually

stalking the mailman to see if your I 800 has arrived

payments made to an agency or to government offices

parenting and training classes

worrying about the needs your child may have

scaring yourself with all the “what if” stories

waiting, waiting, and more waiting

preparing a room and buying clothes

being disappointed

filling an empty place in your life

falling in love with a face on a picture

giving a child a good home

And, while the above do enter into the adoption equation, you need to know that there is more. Much more.

Adoption is also…

learning more than you ever wanted to know about sacrifice

a commitment to love a child even if/when they reject you

a choice to raise a child whose life started with loss rather than joy

stepping out of your comfort zone

making yourself vulnerable

knowing your not the only family your child has

seeing everything from a different perspective

deepening your love for others

enlarging your view of family to include those you’ve never met but play a role in your child’s life

long nights holding a screaming child who is grieving the past

creating new family memories

delight over seemingly insignificant things

faith, lots and lots of faith, practiced daily

being alright with a child that doesn’t know how to trust you…yet

answering tough questions about birth families

helping your child to embrace their past

taking baby steps toward a great future

braving new territory which frightens you in the deepest part of your being

guessing at the needs of a child who can’t communicate

having no medical background to help doctors make a diagnosis

holding a child that longs for love but doesn’t know how to give or receive it

listening as your child tells another that you aren’t their “real” mom

overcoming great odds

joy unspeakable

fear, overwhelming and uncontrollable, turning to faith and strength

giving up your childhood vision of home for something far better

acknowledging life will never be the same…not ever. And…realizing that isn’t bad after all.

~ Regina

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