Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm Thankful for: Adoption

It's National Adoption Month, and, obviously, our family has a vested interest in adoption.  It's also the month in which people spend a great deal of time making lists of the things they are thankful for.  I normally dislike anything "bandwagony" but seeing as how adoption is something for which I am truly grateful, and it being National Adoption Month and all, I thought it only appropriate to talk about it.

Being a family, you know, the ordinary things like laughing at strange inside jokes, eating dinner together, doing time-outs and bedtime routines, usually eclipses the fact that we are also an adoptive family.  But, that doesn't take away the significance adoption has for our family, or the beauty and challenge that comes with it.  Usually I spend my time laughing at my Little Man's crazy ways or trying not to go crazy from life with a strong-willed three-year-old, but sometimes moments overwhelm me with how grateful I am that God made a plan to bring our family together.  Here are some of the things I'm grateful for:
  1. I'm grateful to understand adoption from the perspective of an adoptive parent.  My son is as much my child as a birth child would be, and it helps me fathom how God feels about us and how important it is to have an identity in a heavenly family.
  2. I'm grateful that my son is no longer an orphan.  I don't think about this very often, because God has been so merciful to my son and placed him in situations where he was loved and cared for, even before God brought him to us, but he could have been like so many other orphans, who never find their forever-home.
  3. I'm grateful that adoption makes me see family in an entirely different way.  To me, family has broadened to include birth families, foster families, and those people who have committed their love to our family and my son in particular.  Sure there are headaches with more family (anyone with a big family can attest to that), but it is also wonderful to open your heart and expand your personal circle to include more lives!
  4. I'm grateful that transracial adoption makes me see the world differently.  It makes me experience, even if just a little bit, the prejudice that still exist in the world.  It forces me to think more compassionately, and contemplate what diversity really means and to understand that skin color really does make a difference to how you see the world.
  5. I'm grateful that God has given my son so many godly men as role models.  When you are raising a black son you realize, even more, how important this is.  God has placed strong godly men in his life, including men that share his skin color, and that blessing is not lost on me.
  6. Mostly, I'm grateful that God designs families...all kinds of families.  They are all beautiful and purposeful.  All families are meant to bear the glory and story of God, I'm just grateful that our family's uniqueness gives us an opportunity (and the responsibility) to more boldly declare it.
In this month, where we remember adoption, as well as what we are thankful for, take a moment and thank God that He doesn't need a nationally dedicated month to be reminded that we, His adopted children, are important.  And, pray for both spiritual and physical orphans to come to know the love of a forever family.

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