For those of you who make the choice to adopt older children, I would just like to say that you are amazing. It is not an easy journey to welcome a child who has already lived several years outside your home, and who may come with a lot of baggage and heartache. It can be totally heartbreaking on the days where they beg to leave and go back to their other home or orphanage. It can be heartbreaking when they sit crying and won't tell you why they cry, or worse, they hide those tears behind anger. They may not chose you or like you for a long time because of the way they have been hurt in the past. I have heard stories of terrible struggles and heartaches for some families, but I have experienced and seen the blessings of taking the risk with many other families.
I share this because my youngest daughter has decided that she wants to be a part of our family. She has been asking to go back to Beautiful Gate, or to go and live with friends of mine who are more fun than us (seriously who could be more fun that my crazy family, hahaha) or have better stuff than us. These comments were expected because I know it is common for a child to struggle to attach and to struggle with transition and change. I always listened to her and told her that I was sorry, but she was a part of our family and couldn't go back or go live with someone else. I never showed pain or disappointment, just listened and said I was sorry. It isn't her fault that her life before our family confused her as to what family can be like. I continue to show love and hope that she will feel safe no matter what her heart is feeling.
What wasn't expected was the Mother's Day card I received last month and the comments I have been hearing this month. After 16 months with me as her mommy, she has chosen to keep me. Wow, what a blessing. I chose to adopt her, but I cannot make her want to be my daughter. She has decided that she really wants to be a part of our family. There is no greater gift than to receive love that is voluntarily given. Not forced nor manipulated, but given from the heart. It makes me understand why God lets us chose to love Him, and why He does not force us to chose Him. I have hoped and prayed that I would be loved, and it is amazing that it is happening. Sunday as we were walking into church, it was so beautiful to see her run ahead and grab her daddy's hand. She has decided to keep him too and there could be no better gift the week before Father's day. I know that the journey will continue to have ups and downs, but the best part is that we are a family and we will support each other through the ups and downs of life. God is doing something incredible in our lives, and we thank Him that He is walking with us.