Puzzle Pieces

This past weekend Josh and I attended our infant adoption training classes at the Bethany Christian Services office in Pensacola, Florida. I was surprisingly nervous before going, for some reason. The whole adoption thing is new for us, so we didn’t know what to expect and we had a lot to learn. We were so shocked at how easy going and kind the people were. It felt like a family getting together to talk and hang out. It was warm and inviting and professional all at the same time. We felt so encouraged listening to other adoptive parents tell their story and listening to a woman tell her story of how she was adopted as an infant. We both felt confirmation that this is exactly where we are supposed to be and exactly what God wants us to be doing.

Adoption is never a first choice, for anybody. Ideally, all children should be able to live in a loving, safe home with their birth parents and ideally, all biological parents should be able to parent their own children and provide for them. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world that is full of sin and heartache and loss. At one point during the training class I looked around the room and realized that every woman in the room had lost a baby. So much hurt. The birth parents are hurting too. They are usually in extremely difficult, stressful situations where they just can’t parent their child like they want. The baby has a lifetime of needs to be met and a love tank that needs to be filled daily, hourly.

As the director was speaking, I was feeling all of this heartache and loss so deeply. I hurt for the birth parents who have to make such a huge sacrifice, and I hurt for the adoptive parents who (mostly) have been through intense disappointment and loss. I suddenly had this beautiful picture form in my mind and it all made sense. I saw two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together. They fit so tightly, so precisely, that it was obvious that they were made to fit each other. One puzzle piece was the birth mom and the baby. They were so needy; hungry for support and love. They needed to be filled, cared for, reassured, nurtured. The other puzzle piece was the adoptive parents who want someone to nurture. They had so much love and support to give, they were overflowing, aching to give it. Just like how I ache for a baby now, these parents long for someone to care for and love unconditionally. God has placed a strong desire to parent in them for a specific purpose. You know, before I had Liam, Asher and Lucy I wanted to be pregnant so badly and I wanted to have a baby, but that desire is not the same as it is now. I have been changed by my losses. I am a different person. I ache for a baby like never before and I cherish my children like never before. A lot of babies who are adopted come with special needs, whether it’s from drug exposure or neglect or just a very high stress pregnancy. And the adoptive parents that they are going to have experienced loss so they appreciate things differently and they love so deeply. It is a perfect match.

He is a sweet God isn’t He? When we brought sin into the world and messed up His perfect plan, He could have just said, “Well, I told you not to do that, so now you can deal with the consequences yourself.” But instead, He takes the broken pieces of our lives and puts them together to make something new. He makes a new plan, and He uses the pain and loss and difficulties to create beauty. I can’t wait to see what He is going to do with all of our suffering. I can’t wait to see who He has picked out for us to pour our love into.

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