Adoption is Good, But It’s Not Best

Today is Family Day, the anniversary of the day Canaan and Malachi joined our family. We will celebrate them and the way God brought us all together. We’ll have pizza at the restaurant where their First Mom asked us to care for them, and we’ll play at the park where we met them for the first time.

park

We’ll eat and laugh and tell stories of those days three years ago. I’ll probably post a cute picture later of a bunch of smiling, different-colored-but-same-size kids and dozens of people will “Like” it and say nice things about our family, our persistence, our patience…

BUT,

and this BUT, it is so BIG and so DEEP and so completely INSEPARABLE from the laughter and the playing and the cuteness… Our boys went through unimaginable loss before and since those days three years ago. We will honor those days, yes, because they are part of their story, but they can never erase the days that made them necessary.

Kids from hard places join families because of tragedy. It is a tragedy that they need a “new” family. And I never ever for a single millisecond want our kids to think that their deep deep deep loss is our gain.

I want them to know my heart breaks for them, that if I could have written the ending to their story, it would not have ended with us. That might make you squirm, but I can tell you that’s not how they would have written the ending either.

God has ingrained in each of us an innate longing to be loved and wanted and cared for by the one whose heart kept our tempo for nine months. That’s the mortal drum we were intended to beat for.

Oh friends, adoption is beautiful. But it is beauty from ashes. It’s spring flowers blooming after a long, dark and gloomy winter. It’s not the perfect relationship God had in mind in the Garden. It is good, but it is not best.

My boys know this, instinctively they know it. And I want them to know that I know it too.

boyshands

Pic

22 Comments

  1. Jenny March 25, 2015

    Yes. So well said. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Lynn Watters March 26, 2015

    Adoption circumstances can be quite varied. I feel my adoption was The Best, not just good. (I’m the adopted child.)

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    • One of His March 27, 2015

      I agree with Lynn Watters. Circumstances are varied. It’s sad you didn’t make that clear. We all wish Eve and Adam hadn’t fallen, and that we have to face the fact that we have bitten that same fruit just as they did back so long ago. Without the fall their circumstances would have been greater. Adoption was the best, not just good for me. I’m the biological mother of one I didn’t want to let go of. Hardest thing I ever did. Her and her parents lives are far richer because of the sacrifice God asked of me.

      Reply
      • Lindsy Wallace March 27, 2015

        Thank you for commenting One of His. I too am sad I didn’t elaborate on the various circumstances that lead to adoption! I honestly didn’t expect this post to be so widely read, particularly by new readers and those who don’t “know” me or our story. I am planning a follow-up post for Monday to elaborate. With that being said, I agree adoption is often circumstantially best for children. Thank your for sharing a bit of your story here.

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    • Lindsy Wallace March 27, 2015

      Yes Lynn, adoption circumstances are as unique as each individual child! I completely agree that adoption is often circumstantially best for children. What my experience as a mother to adopted children and friend and family member to adult adoptees has taught me is that it is not best in the deep soul sense of being best. It’s not what God intended in His design for family. It is certainly better than many circumstances children who are adopted come from, but my experience and what I believe scripture teaches is that adoption is a result of brokenness and therefore can’t be the ideal. Thank you for commenting and sharing your view! I appreciate it!

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      • Vickie March 28, 2015

        “Not what God intended in His design for family”? God’s own Son had an adoptive dad. God adopts us all. God sounds pretty on board with adoption to me. I would be interested to know your scripture references about the brokenness of adoption.

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        • Lindsy Wallace March 30, 2015

          Hi Vickie. In Genesis God creates a man and a woman and tells them to reproduce. I’m no bible scholar, but what I deduct from that, is that is His model for family. And, since I believe that God is the sovereign creator of the universe and the Bible to be His word, I believe His model to be the best.

          I’m aware Jesus was adopted and God adopted us. It was obviously part of His redemptive plan. I actually didn’t say adoption is broken, I said it’s a result of tragedy.

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  3. Jenny March 26, 2015

    Beautifully written: I think that acknowledging the loss is so very important. But I do think that what has happened in my family is The Best. Meaning, would it have been better for my son to grow up in his home country with his birth family alive and intact? Maybe…but that wasn’t possible. I think it must not have been, and that is why the Lord allowed us to find each other. Because we are God’s best for him, and him for us.

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  4. Kevin March 27, 2015

    Well said Lindsy, you nailed it.

    Reply
  5. Timothy March 28, 2015

    Is adoption good or best? What is the kingdom perspective on this? It prompts the unsavory question of whether it is best to grow up in a living home apart from God or have a road of suffering that reaches a home that reveals heaven to a kid. As beings bound by reality we must make sense of the very real world we live in. Was Christ’s coming, death and resurrection good or best? We  can say it was the best for the reality of the situation. And in it is the revelation that suffering, no matter how extreme, and abandonment by a father may indeed be best. So we see in your boys that the mothers deficiency that brought you your two lovely boys is actually best. Malichi in your care shows a great talent for being an evangelist. It will be their strange road to your family that will unlock their greatest destiny

    Reply
    • Lindsy Wallace March 28, 2015

      I love you Tim Strader.

      Reply
      • Timothy April 1, 2015

        I love you too, Lindsy! We’re so very proud of you and your family.

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  6. Vickie March 28, 2015

    While I appreciate your thoughts, I am an adoptee and disagree with you. I don’t “instinctively” long for a missing life or someone’s missing heartbeat. I have a life. I have parents. I wasn’t torn from a story to be put into another–this IS my story. I don’t feel that God planned my adoptive family as a second string for my bio family. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t need others’ hearts to be breaking for me. Adoption is too beautiful to be edged with pity.

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    • Sarah April 1, 2015

      Thank you Vickie! I was adopted as well and I couldn’t have said this better myself.

      Reply
  7. daddystractor March 28, 2015

    As a ( hopefully soon to be finalized!!) foster to adopt mother I appreciate the comments that adoption was best for your family, but I don’t think that’s what Lindsy is really saying. My son was born brain-damaged because of the poor choices of his seventeen year old mother and came into the care of the state becuase of worse choices. Pretty much anyone would believe that being adopted is his best shot, his best hope. And I believe with all my heart that he is God’s best for my family. But wouldn’t the greatest thing of all be that his mother made better choices, that she was married and stable and loving? That her own parents had shown her what love acts like? No, it isn’t realistic, but that’s not what this post is about to me. It’s about acknowledging loss. Every adopted child, by definition, has lost. Even those brought to happy homes from birth will someday deal with that loss. Accepting our children means excepting that loss.

    Reply
    • Lindsy Wallace March 30, 2015

      “But wouldn’t the greatest thing of all be that his mother made better choices, that she was married and stable and loving? That her own parents had shown her what love acts like? No, it isn’t realistic, but that’s not what this post is about to me. It’s about acknowledging loss. Every adopted child, by definition, has lost. Even those brought to happy homes from birth will someday deal with that loss. Accepting our children means excepting that loss.”

      Exactly. Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
      • Gina June 13, 2016

        Well said to both of you. Christ came because of tragedy – the fall. And thus, adoption happened. Sometimes we don’t like to remember the fall or focus on it (understandably) but it did happen and then Christ came. I am an adoptive parent of 3. When they are older they may want to understand the “fall” (tragedy) that happened in their lives and we will help them process through it. A friend of mine that was adopted has no desire to visit what happens to cause the adoption in her life and she loves the family that raised her. This is okay as well. If she were to dwell in the tragedy (separation of the one that carried her for 9 mo) that happened to her, she may fill her life with sadness; she chooses to go on without looking at it. Either way it is okay. This is about living life through the fullest and processing sadness when it occurs.

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  8. Brenda March 31, 2015

    Thank you Lindsey. This has provided insight I never thought about as a newcomer!

    Reply
  9. Tera April 1, 2015

    I love you my friend and got what you were saying. Vickie seemed to get it too and did a good job clarifying.

    Reply
  10. livn4hersavior April 8, 2015

    Lindsy, not having our son home yet, I am in the “waiting period” and have been for over 2 years. I agree with you and feel that many times people forget what LOSS had to take place in order to place these gifts in our arms instead of their birth parents’. It is beautiful and Biblical, but the loss is there and tragic nonetheless. It may be a bit extreme, but we can’t fully embrace the beauty of the donation of organs unless we realize the sacrifice that it takes to offer a healthy heart to another….devastating LOSS! I don’t think any of us, including our adopted children benefit from having a fairy-tale view of adoption. Beautiful, precious, God-glorifying, and hard all at the same time….but only because our sweet child LOST their parents.

    Reply
  11. Debbie April 15, 2015

    Excellent thots! Too late at night for me to make an coherent response, but I’m glad to have read this! Good thots to consider re: adoption AND our lives on this earth in general. Our lives can be good, very good, but they still aren’t what God originally intended. There is sin, pain, tragedy. Jesus’ coming is about redemption. How do you define redemption and why is our redemption necessary? I’m thankful for you, Lindsy, and for your perspective! I’m also very glad to read of adoptees who love their family situation so much that they instinctively feel it was the very best possible for them–what a tribute to their families!

    Reply

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