Music played softly in the background while a slideshow spread across the huge screen at church. Family photos appeared and disappeared every few seconds during the slideshow. Pictures of families with a little different makeup and chemistry, families who didn’t all share the same DNA.
I couldn’t keep the tears from slowly rolling down my cheeks.
Adoption is not an easy road. It’s complicated on every level and downright expensive. Yet one thought raced through my mind as I watched the slideshow of all those adoptive families.
“What if they had never obeyed the call? What if they had decided to ignore that voice within or that tug on their hearts? What if they had taken the “easier” road, holding on to their money and their time instead? Where would those children be now?”
I guess God really does set the lonely in families. He knows when a child will be abandoned or orphaned, and He knows precisely who He wants to send to them to become the family they lack. He tugs on hearts, provides opportunities, and connects the dots in a way only He can.
This past weekend, I found myself back at the same church, sitting in a similar spot as I had years earlier, watching the same slideshow in yet another adoption conference. Those specific children have all grown quite a bit since taking those pictures, but the same thought crossed my mind, this time intertwined with an added question.
“What if they said they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, go through the complicated process of adoption? What if they said they could never afford it, or they couldn’t bear to give up so much time and energy in order to attempt it? Where would those children be now?
Where would my son be now?
What if we had said no and held on to the convenience of our lives instead? What if we refused to plunge into the process a second time in order to fight for him, too afraid to try again?
Not a day goes by that I don’t drop my now eighteen-year-old son off at his school and drive away with a lump in my throat.
“Bye, Mom. I love you.”
“Bye, Son. I love you, too.”
May those words never grow old. It is one of the greatest privileges in my life to hear those words every single morning and know he means them. I often wonder as I watch him walk across the street toward his high school parking lot, “Where would he be now?”
Yet the real question is, “Where would I be now without him?”
Where would I be without his smile to brighten my days? Without his jovial influence in my life?
What would I be doing without the opportunity to attend his soccer games and run him around to a ton of church youth activities? To watch him interact with his adoptive brother and still stay connected to his biological brother?
Who would I be without the strength God gave me to grieve losing him and then later endure the fight to get him back? Without the wisdom and guidance given to me through both loss and unexpected possibilities? Without the supernatural comfort and peace that only comes from above? Without learning where to place my dependence and security? Without seeing God reach down from heaven and do what only He can do?
Many people will see our family, hear our story, and think, “Wow. Where would he be if …?”
But the question is really this–Where would I be without the story that brought us together?
Read more about our adoption story (or connect with me) in many ways:
(Painful Waiting releases soon April 2016!)
Connect with me on my blog: www.fromthheartofrachelled.blogspot.com
Visit my book blog: www.unexpectedtearsbook.blogspot.com
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