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November is National Adoption Month. If you know anyone who is passionate about adoption, you may see posts of happy families celebrating time together, pictures of lonely children who are still waiting for a home, statistics citing the vast numbers of orphans around the world, prayers of families who are eagerly waiting for a child soon to be home, and suggestions of what you can do to bring hope to the fatherless.
Adoption is a real-life picture of the gospel. The love of a Father changes strangers into beloved children.
Our beloved daughters from China have been home nearly seven months, and this month we celebrated Ava’s birthday with her for the first time. She had been looking forward to this day almost since the day she arrived. She already knew how to sing “Happy Birthday” in English, and when we celebrated the birthdays of friends and cousins she would ask, “My birthday party, mama?” Of course, she got her long awaited guitar, along with chocolate cake (she ate about two bites), a family bike ride (6 miles that nearly exhausted her daddy), and a party with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins galore.
Through all the joy, we can easily forget about the grief. Grief that Ava may not be able to put into words, or even thoughts yet. Grief that I hold for her for now.
I am her third mother. Two other women, far away, look at the calendar and grieve for Ava, also.
Ava’s foster mother grieves, but with the joy of knowing she is safe and loved. Ava has been able to video chat with her “China Mama” and hold on to that relationship just tight enough to keep her fond memories strong.
Ava’s birth mother grieves, but she will likely never know where her daughter is or how she is doing. I pray she grieves with hope. Hope that has been fulfilled. I shared some of our questions on Ava’s birthday last year (An Orphan’s Last Birthday), but now I know just what a blessing she is missing in this beautiful, smart, stubborn, loving child.
I am her forever Mama. I have the privilege of birthday smiles and kisses.
Yes, adoption is expensive. It costs your heart, but she is worth the price.
As I think of broken hearts that bring about the miracle of adoption, I want them to remember God hears the cry of the orphan, and of their mothers.
But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Psalm 10:14 NKJV