Friday, May 10, 2013

Just 2 Days Till GO! (And some thoughts on things I've been hearing lately)

There are just two more days until we fly out.  Two more days in our home.  But it feels like we've already gone, because I'm rattling around a home with no children in it.  Me, the "I'm-not-a-kid-person", is absolutely clueless as to how to go about a day without my children. So I decided to spend a few minutes this morning sharing a few of the misconceptions I started out with, and those that I encounter often.

I've also been the "I-like-my-own-kids-just-not-yours-person",  so it often raises eyebrows when I tell people I'm adopting.  It's simple to me; these children are mine.  And as God grows my heart to love these children, I find that I'm loving all children more.  That's not to say I'm ready to be the nursery coordinator at church or run a VBS program (after all, let's not go crazy!), but I've found that adoption has changed my life so much.

Just the other day, someone asked me if any of my kids were mine -- and my kids were standing right there.  It took me aback, and then I realized they were asking if any had been born to me biologically.  I realized it was ignorance, not rudeness, so I tried to respond kindly.  I said, "They're all mine, but I've carried three in my womb and three in my heart."  The person had the grace to stammer and blush, then say, "OH."  I'm not sure if they got it or not, but no way was I every going to respond and divide my children and say some were mine and some were not.  I try to respond gently, but also in such a way that maybe they won't ask the same question of the next beautifully diverse family that they encounter.

Everyone talks about how happy they must be now that they have a family.  I've heard that a few times this week, and every time I've left a person with wide open eyes and hopefully a more open heart to a different perspective.  I'm not on a rescue mission.  I'm not out to earn eternal gratitude.  I didn't "fly over there and radically save a child to give them a better life."  The truth is simple: Papa Bear and I love God.  We love children.  We long for a large family.  And we're willing to go and bring our kids home from the far corners of the earth.  We don't expect any emotions of extreme gratefulness from our new kids, any more than we do from the kids who have been with us for their lifetime.  But the truth is also this: They had a family.  And for some tragic reason, they have been yanked away from that family.  The tragedy may be death, abuse, neglect, lack of education, or a mother who felt ill equipped and alone.  But whatever it was, it was tragic. We're just plan B.  Our children will mourn, they will rage, they will weep ... and they will be loved.  We want to honor their past, and help them create a future.

I've also heard a lot of awe and wonder and the comments that boil down to, "I couldn't do it."  Read the link to that blog post where I discussed it -- and maybe find some freedom.  My answer to that now is simple, "You're right.  You probably couldn't right now.  BUT if God stirs your heart for it, you'll be able to at the right time.  This is my thing, my calling.  If it's not yours, that's okay."

The last comment I want to address is one I've been writing a response to and deleting since last year.  It's one that makes me rage and weep simultaneously.  So forgive me if I don't answer it as well as I'd like.  "I hope you're ready for what this will do to your real kids.  I can't imagine what it must do to their hearts to realize they aren't enough for you."  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  Would someone say that to a pregnant mom?  I truly doubt it.  Let me tell you something, my kids are my world.  And they know that.  They know I love them.  They also know that we have children all over the world, and they are excited to have their brother and sister coming home soon.  We aren't adopting to fulfill a void in our lives; we're adopting because we were meant to.

As for my children, let me tell you what adoption is doing to their hearts: It is growing them.  It is teaching them compassion.  It is teaching them selflessness.  It is teaching them to love all of the diverse people in the world, and to not be afraid of those who are different than they.  It is teaching them to be open to being the hands and feet of God in a world where many think that's just too radical.  It is giving a glimpse of the wonder of heaven and the sacrificial love that provided for them the grace and life they could never attain on their own.  It is making them better people!  And if you think those things are bad for them, then nothing I say will impact you at all anyhow.

Thank you for following us, for praying for us, for loving us, for sharing this journey with us.  Stay tuned for more if you want to keep walking along with us and if you want to partner with us you can do that HERE.

Bring Angel Home from Benji L. Hansen on Vimeo.


  1. A couple of weeks ago my five year old ran up to me at the swimming pool yelling "mom...." I don't remember what but my sister in law looked at me and said "he's really come to look on you as a mother." Gee, that's strange seeing as I am his mother! I had to bite my tounge. I know she didn't mean it but comments like that do upset me. Someone once said to me "why didn't you tell me he was adopted, I thought he was your real son." Seriously, am I supposed to put a tshirt on him that says "adopted." I know it's lack of education but sometimes it hurts.

    1. I know what you mean; I do my best to not take it personally but every now and again I'm not as successful as I'd like to be. Kudos for being the REAL mom in your son's life!