Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at a pumpkin farm with my sister-in-law and niece and nephew. This weekend also happens to be my birthday (tomorrow), and before we even got in the car to drive to the farm, I was informed by my 3-year-old niece that they made me a ‘birfday card!’ I settled into the passenger seat where this little gem was waiting for me:
I don’t know about y’all, but that cake looks good enough to eat. Even better than the cake though, and the part that brought a grin to my face and warm fuzzies to my heart is the little sentence on the right:
“We can’t wait until _____ are here.” (edited for privacy purposes for now)
My nephew is talking about our adopted kiddos. He is 8 years old, and he wanted me to know that they’re excited about new cousins, new playmates, joining the family. The thought that our future kiddos are already accepted, and their arrival is eagerly anticipated by others besides just my hubby and I stirs up feelings that are almost hard to describe. Overwhelming gratefulness are the only words that come close at the moment.
The further we have walked along this journey, the more I have realized that adoption is life-changing. It is life-changing for my husband and I, yes, absolutely. But it’s also very much a family and friend affair. It’s not only about us becoming parents, but also involves grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins welcoming new ones into the fold. Family members on both sides have been SO overwhelmingly supportive, holding up our hands and cheering for us when we felt ready to give up, being excited for us when all we could see was endless amounts of paperwork and an ever-lengthening waiting period, and continually reminding us that it would all be worth it in the end. Church family and friends near and far have given time, encouragement and resources above and beyond what we ever expected.
I have continued to be blown away by the work God has done in my heart throughout this adoption process. And yet at the same time, I’m humbled by the deeper realization that it’s not entirely about me at all. The bigger story is much grander and more Kingdom-sized than I could have imagined. Even before our children have arrived, we are discovering the truth in the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ It does take a village. Children need grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncle, cousins to offer a sense of rootedness and belonging. They need friends and playmates. The mom- and dad-to-be need friends and a support system to help them keep their sanity when it becomes necessary (and, oh, it will be). #justsayin
If it takes a village to adopt a child, then we have the best.