As we first began going through the steps to become a pre-adoptive home, there were many things about adoption that scared me.
" Are we doing the right thing? Is this going to be too much? Can we afford more kids? Are we crazy?! How will our biological kids feel/act/behave? What if they don't like us? What if this is too hard?"
As we moved through the process, slowly those fears began to fade away. A few remained, but I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
When we finished our training classes, even though they were terrifying and heartbreaking and scary and hard, I felt oddly peaceful and the excitement really began to grow.
But even as my excitement grew, there was still one real fear in my heart.
" Will I love them? Will they feel like mine? Will I want to smother their little faces with kisses like I do with my other kids? Will it feel like babysitting? Will it feel the same as my other three?"
These thoughts and fears were very real for me and made me second guess our path once or twice.
Then we got D for one week. Respite care. We knew he couldn't stay. He already had a family trying to adopt him.
But we got a glimpse. A little peak at what it would someday be like for us. When we wouldn't have to send them back once we all started to get attached.
And that little glimpse made us all excited for the future and a little of that fear began to fade.
But I was still unsure. Still some of that fear lingered in my heart. I wasn't all in with D because we knew he wasn't ours.
And then came J.
A baby. 12 days old.
The first couple of weeks and months were hard. Suddenly having a newborn again is not the easiest transition in the world.
But life was good. We were all soaking in life with new baby. Well, as much as we could with construction and schooling and soccer and so on.
Once we had J, that fear I had was no longer.
It is amazing to me how quickly he felt like mine. Like a part of our family. Like he had a piece of my heart all along.
But now that J is about 3 1/2 months old, things are changing.
He is sleeping better, he is happier during the day, he is showering us with the most precious smiles and coos you have ever heard.
I suddenly find myself head over heels for this boy.
I think I was not all in the first couple of months because, let's face it, life with a newborn is hard hard work.
But now that he is moving out of newborn and moving into baby, I realized today, that I am all in.
I love this boy more than I was expecting.
I love him like he is my son. Like he always was my son.
I think it is so beautiful how God can grow this bond between people and how they can become yours even if you don't share the same blood. It is incredible what the human heart is capable of.
Now, the only fear that I am left with is J's future.
We pray that he will end up wherever is best for him. Wherever he needs to be to learn the love of Jesus and to share the love of Jesus, let him be there. Whether that's with us, or with his birth family, let it be.
The only thing is, all 6 of us are all in.
But that's just what J needs. He needs us to be all in. And we are.
I am so happy and relieved to say that the fear I had in my heart about loving a child that I didn't give birth to has vanished. God works in wondrous ways and just as He has adopted us and loves us and gives orphans a home, He has given us the ability to do the same. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how much I love J and how incredible it is to love someone this way.
Blood doesn't make you a family. You make your family. You choose to love. Always choose love.