Friday, March 16, 2012

adoption day

it's adoption day!!!

i love adoption. ever since i studied ephesians in college i have felt such a connection to the concept of adoption and such a deep desire to be an adoptive parent in light of the the way God has adopted me. he calls us "sons" and we are his family. we take on his name and are brothers and sisters with his Son. we have all the rights and privileges of a "biological" child and we have a great inheritance that is "legally" ours. wow.

sonny and i were ecstatic when we were told we would FINALLY become the official parents to our baby Noah. it had been a very long and trying 17 months wondering every day if this baby i had loved, changed, rocked, read to, peek-a-booed, and cared for would be mine or if i would drop him off never to see him again. the amount of joy and relief the day it was all final, and legal, and clear cut was palpable.
this child was ours and we were going to celebrate...and celebrate we did! we had professional pictures taken, announcements printed and mailed, invitations to two separate and equally elaborate adoption parties were sent out, one in california and one in oregon. a detailed scrapbook was created, cakes were ordered, food was prepared, and gifts were wrapped. oh what a day. we all smiled, laughed, posed for pictures and saved the pen we signed the documents with. when the judge asked us if this child's name was to be called "noah sonny varela", tears filled my eyes as i said "yes" under oath. he explained that he was required to inform us that this child would now be entitled to any inheritance we would leave. just like i was entitled to the inheritance in heaven.

the years went on and each march 16th we partied. we watched the video of the day in court, we looked at the scrapbook, there were balloons, cake, presents, and so much rejoicing. so thankful that things didn't turn out differently. so glad noah was ours. people always told us how wonderful it was that he got to be in our family and i always responded with how blessed we were to have him. it was all so perfect. rainbows were shooting and unicorns were frolicking.

of course, this is still true. there is much to celebrate. but this year, for the first time, there is much to grieve as well. for this year, my heart finally acknowledged what has been there all along.

adoption is trauma.

all adoptions. under any circumstance. it is a loss. for the adoptee and for those adopting. and when there is loss there is pain. the pain does not negate the joy or drown out the celebration. but to not give it it's due is to not fully love our child. this is part of him and always will be. he is mine because he lost those most dear to him.

today we sang, we danced, we remembered, but we also acknowledged the breaking of bonds, loss of what was supposed to be, and an ache that will never be healed in this life.

we love you noah.


Tonya said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post. Thank you for always sharing your wonderul thoughts and experiences with us, I so enjoy reading them and learning more through you. You are an amazing writer, and an amazing woman, and I feel blessed to know you. :)

Christa Forsythe said...

One day I would love to adopt a child... I just loved the reality you wrote about in this post... so true... so real! I still have that professional pic of Noah somewhere... Truely a beautiful picture of what God has done for us! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

I read this last week and had a beautiful, thought-out comment all typed out when my computer froze up and I couldn't get back online. Today, I was compelled to come back and read it again.

What you say is so true, Kristal. And so beautiful and horrible all at the same time. I think adoptive parents go into adoption dreaming up endings to their "happily ever afters", not really understanding the trauma and heartache of being ripped from birth whatever age. We only see ourselves "saving" these poor children, when in reality, they never wanted to be saved. They wanted to have good, caring birth parents, the way God intended. They wanted to be loved so much by their birth families that the love could overcome any addictions or evil or heartache imaginable. They wanted to be fought for. And they weren't, which is possibly the worst trauma of all...the belief that they are worthless.

Adoption is so complicated and hard to understand, but I know that I'm guilty of forgetting the trauma my kids live with everyday and selfishly demanding that they realize all I'm doing for them. Adoption is not something done FOR children, it's done TO children.

Thank you for being so honest and challenging. I need to remember that my kids hold a very real hurt inside of them, and love them like my savior loves me.

Anna said...

"today we sang, we danced, we remembered, but we also acknowledged the breaking of bonds, loss of what was supposed to be, and an ache that will never be healed in this life."

thanks for capturing so well what we as adopted parents and adopted children experience...the joy and grief intertwined.

Such a good reminder for us to embrace the joy and also to embrace the loss and pain.

trusting our Lord to be merciful to our son's and praying He will use their loss to reveal more of Himself and His love to them and to us...