Full Circle

It has been a long year. Adoption is a journey full of many peaks and valleys. In the beginning, it is easy to get caught up in the emotions - the idea of saving a child...to be drawn in by endless hours of “Gotcha Day” videos that leave you weeping in your kitchen. But the truth is, as with anything else in life that is worth the effort, the reality is infinitely more challenging than our day-dreams.

As I write this, I am wrapping up a weekend spent with 250 other adoptive mothers at the very first ever (and now, hopefully, annual) Created for Care retreat. A weekend birthed because one mom simply listened to God’s whisper...and she decided to connect these like-minded women for a time of refreshment and renewal. I am so thankful. I am also approaching the anniversary of Caleb’s first year with us, as I return home the day before his "adoption day." I am weary. The task of raising four children looms hugely on my soul, but really, I am most exhausted simply from the very physical daily duties of caring for little people.

So this weekend feels like such a gift. What a perfect way to cap my first year as an adoptive mom. To be in the presence of so many moms who have walked this path, who’s heart have also been broken for these children, moms who are struggling to love these hurting kids back to wholeness...it is overwhelming. I have heard wonderful speakers and I have been blessed by precious times of worship. But the most amazing portion of this weekend has been the stories...one after another after another...all miracles, all ordained by God...all different. Some of these sweet women have walked the sorrow of infertility. Some had quite a few biological children before their hearts turned to adoption. Some have adopted one child, others two or three...one amazing mom had adopted eight children. There were those who had not yet brought children home, but had hearts for adoption and were in varying stages of the process. Most amazing, were those with true vision...not just for one child, but for entire groups or villages...beginning ministries that would change the lives of not one, but so many. I find those people awe-inspiring...to be brave enough not to look the other way...to be bold enough to step up to such an enormous task. But even if your call is simply for one child...that choice, to love one...will change generations...and the enormity of that cannot be underestimated.

I came into this weekend tired...so tired. Actually, because of all the fabulous activities, I’m still tired. However, my spirit is also renewed. God has once again reminded me why we began this journey in the first place. These are kids and they are suffering...and it is unjust and we must act. Not to would be to disobey Him. Certainly not everyone is called to adopt. As has been said before, need alone does not signify calling. But if we are believers, if we say we love Jesus, we are called to do something. We cannot shield our eyes from these horrendous images that rip our hearts to shreds. We must look. Our hearts must break...but then we must act. These are children. Children. They have no one to love them. They sleep on the ground or in the street. They suffer with curable illnesses. They are hungry, tired, naked, lonely, afraid...hopeless. We cannot pretend they don’t exist.

We must step in and in some way, give them hope.

I am still weary and I know that I will return home and continue to have many days when I’m begging God for the energy to make it until dinnertime. But my spirit is renewed. My passion is refreshed. I am content in my journey and I know that He has lead me to this place and He will give me the strength I need...to be the mother they need...and to follow His calling in my life.

I am in awe of what God has done in the two shorts days of this retreat and I cannot wait to see what develops from the sparks ignited this weekend. Thank you Andrea...for acting on those whispers...so many lives will be touched because of your boldness.

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