Most of you who've kept up with this blog for any time now know that I love the concept of God writing our story. It's foundational to me and it's what keeps me going. He is the author, not only of our salvation, but of everything that happens in our lives. Within each of our stories, there are times of rejoicing and other times, whole chapters of deep sorrow. For us, the news of Jameson came during a dark time, as we were healing from a failed adoption, as both of our fathers are in bad health, and our RUF account had dwindled down to almost nothing.
But tomorrow our family's life will change in an INSTANT! The page has turned and a new chapter will begin. A little boy that I've known about for 9 days (and he's been alive for 10) will be placed in my arms and become my SON. That thought produces SO many emotions within me... eagerness, joy, anticipation, excitement, giddiness. It is incredible to think that HE'S here, finally. The child for which we have longed. It's the next part of the story.
You all know I didn't have much time to think about being a mommy to a black child. I always knew it could be part of my story, but within hours of committing to it, the Lord's purposes came clearly into focus. He didn't even give me a moment to second guess! ha! It's still overwhelming me with amazement that this was God's plan for us! I had no idea! But I love it. And even more than that, I will love HIM.
Adoption love is so unlike any other love. (at least it feels that way to me!) This baby is not coming from me, and I would've never known him in this life except for a difficult and courageous decision that his birthmommy made on his behalf. And yet, her story and our story will intersect tomorrow, uniting our families forever. This love is totally outside of myself, in other words. He won't have my nose, my eyes, even my skin, and yet he will BE mine. Mine to cherish and love. Mine to teach and instruct. Mine to cheer and encourage. Hand selected for my family. Written into my story.
I'm guessing it's pretty natural for every pregnant woman to wonder about her baby. What will he be like? Who is this? What am I getting? How will he fit into our family? Will I be able to love another child as much as I love Caroline?
It's those things I've wondered throughout the week. I'm totally committed to this baby, but honestly, I don't even know him yet! My love for him is based upon a promise and a commitment I am making to him, and not upon feelings I may or may not have for him at this moment before I ever know him. Commitment comes first, and the feelings for him will soon follow. (like, starting tomorrow when he is laying in my arms!) It's been one thing to be excited for his arrival, and I think it's a different thing altogether to meet and know him.
Someone told Marc today at church that adopting a black baby is going to shape our ministry from here on out. I would agree. I know this will have huge implications for our lives. I know it is going to open us up to an entire community of people that we might have otherwise not noticed. I know it is going to enrich our lives and allow us unique opportunities to embrace other cultures and people in our lives. I can't WAIT. We are already looking at black culture with much different eyes than we ever had before. Whereas before this, they were outside of me. But now? I need them.
But I'm not naive to think there will not be problems, either.
On the other hand, there will be situations and questions that I am just not prepared for right now. I will be opening myself up to have to combat racism that lurks within people's hearts. And just like my daughter with alopecia, my mama bear claws will be tested. (In fact, a dear woman at my church gave me some mama bear claws and a sharpening file as a baby gift, and as clever as that was, it was right on. Because being a mama bear is more than just a funny sentiment. It will be my calling!)
What do I know about raising a black child? It's seriously laughable! Jameson's going to be handed to me tomorrow, and for starters, I haven't a CLUE how to take care of the little guy's hair! :) Seriously! I need my black brothers and sisters to help me out!
But even more than skin and hair, I'm not pretending to enter into this adoption lightly, thinking everyone will see it as beautiful as I do. The same holds true for my daughter with alopecia. She IS beautiful. But not everyone has the eyes to see true beauty. Unfortunately, in this broken world, there is bound to be pain. (there is pain involved in parenting any child, amen?) And I know that today, I am not equipped to handle the things we will have to face in raising Jameson.
But I know He will give me the grace I need each day. That's not the part of the story I need to know right now.
It's with that knowledge and deep commitment to His plan for our life that I can boldly enter into this adoption. The story that He has woven in my life has taken so many twists and turns, that I could have NEVER written it myself. I would have NEVER expected years of infertility, an open adoption, a daughter with alopecia, a husband who needs to be gluten free, a failed adoption, and now a black son!
We simply do NOT know our stories and all that God holds for us.
But I know that tomorrow morning, I'm pretty stinkin' excited to start the next chapter...
"... For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people, and your God my God..." Ruth 1:16