As a young teen, Jessica discovered her parents were planning to adopt. She shares the ups and downs of the adoption process and what it has been like to have two new siblings join the family.
I truly believe that everything in life has a purpose, an ultimate plan and goal. Through some periods in our life, it is difficult to see what that plan actually is or how it could possibly work out well in the end. Nevertheless, some are completely the opposite. It is in those moments when we see God’s beautiful plan so crystal clear it takes our breath away – and we know life will never be the same again. The birth of a child is one of those things, though it can be accompanied by difficult circumstances.
When I was fourteen I remember listening in on a conversation my mom was having with her friend. I learned that our family may be increasing in size. My family had always talked about adoption but it had never really resulted in anything. I didn’t think too much of it that night either because until then, adoption had only been just talk.
But that talk became reality just a few days later. I will never forget the day when we came home from school and a beautiful, dark-haired little boy was laying in my mother’s arms. This was shocking for me – so I can only imagine what my parents were feeling at this moment!
He was the son my dad had always wanted. Don’t get me wrong: Dad wasn’t discontent with his two crazy little girls who would draw flowers on his back and occasionally paint his nails, but there is something special about the father-son bond. Anyway, this little bundle of joy instantly found his way into our hearts.
It was definitely a learning experience for my sister and me, who found ourselves acting as his second and third mother. Although my patience was tried at times with his crying in the night, overall I was so thrilled that my parents’ dream had finally come true. The joy of experiencing his first words, first bites of real food, and all that is a part of a baby growing up, is really incomparable.
I remember one time when my sister and my mom were gone for a few days, and my dad and I were taking care of my brother. My dad and I were involved in some deep conversation while washing the dishes when we realized it had become oddly quiet in the house. This silence was no longer a norm and it immediately caused us to be suspicious.
We looked around the corner of the cupboard and there he was – hands and face completely covered in butter. It was then we also realized that the container, which had been almost untouched previously, was almost empty! His chubby cheeks already kind of sagged to the point where we couldn’t really see his neck. Now with all that butter we were worried his neck would never be seen again!
As he grew older, it became very apparent that he was the clown of the family. Several times he came down after dressing himself and asked, “Mom, do these clothes rhyme?” Then he went through a phase of imitating everyone on the phone while they were talking. Needless to say, there was never a dull moment and our once quiet home had been transformed forever.
The adoption process itself definitely was not devoid of its trials. Even from my point of view, as the young teenage sister, it was difficult not to worry that he would be taken away. I remember one instance in specific in which his birth family was thinking of taking him back, reminding us that he did not legally belong to us. It was a difficult tension because, relationally speaking, he was part of the family. He was just as much my parents’ child as my sister or me. He was my brother, and now thankfully I can say that legally as well.
It was not soon after his adoption that God laid it on my parents’ heart to adopt again, especially because my sister and I were so much older than my brother. This process was much longer and full of trials. Time and time, again there was a possibility of us adopting one baby after another only to have our hopes crushed again and again when it didn’t work out. My mom especially went through a difficult time. My mom especially went through a difficult time, as she would anticipate having another child. Then as plans fell through, she would wake up to the reality that her arms were still empty. It was definitely only by God’s grace that we were able to endure that as a family for years.
Then, just when my parents finally felt it was time for them to withdraw their papers and stop this emotional rollercoaster, we received a notification. At this point, I had moved out to go to college. When I received the news, I was overjoyed but disappointed that I was so far from home and couldn’t visit. This is when I decided to move back home for a bit to help my mom out with this new change in life. I remember the first time I saw my youngest brother. He ran up and hugged me like he had known me from the day of his birth.
And this is the beauty of adoption: taking two people who would otherwise probably be strangers and melding them into one family. This is the beauty of God’s sovereign plan, the God who works everything out in conformity with his good and perfect will.
So thank you: thank you mothers who decide to place their precious baby for adoption when they realize they aren’t able to take care of them. Thank you for blessing other families who love and cherish your children as their own. And thank you, parents who are willing to take these treasured children into your arms.