“I’d be lying if I said adoption doesn’t first and foremost come from brokenness. In a perfect world all children would stay with their biological parents and there would be no need whatsoever for adoption, but our world isn’t perfect. The world, while beautiful, is a broken place. Adoption, while just as beautiful, is a result of the brokenness. Whether a child is the casualty of a broken home or a biological mother’s broken heart after making the biggest decision of her life, every adoption begins with a story of brokenness. The depth and details of those stories are always the adoptee’s alone to tell. As an adopted child myself, I understand firsthand the importance of adoption and while hard to digest for some – the necessity of it. Adoption changed my life at 9 months old, and 27 years later, my husband and I chose to dive headfirst into what we felt the Lord was calling us to do – adopt a child.
We began to research our options and like many, faced the realization that adoption could be financially draining. We didn’t have fancy jobs or a healthy savings account. Truth be told, student loans were sneaking up on us, I just quit my job and Josh was struggling to find a career he enjoyed after separating from active duty. We felt unprepared and discouraged. We began praying every night. With no reservations or stipulations, we surrendered our hearts and our hands. ‘Lord, you know our hearts. Use us. Use us as your hands and your feet. Use our family to show your love in this broken world. Use us for a child that needs a home. Any child, God. USE US,’ we would pray. That week at church, our pastor quoted the book of James. ‘For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.’ That was it. It was then that I felt the gentle conviction of the Lord sitting right there in the sanctuary. I felt like God was whispering, ‘Trust me, Mira. Just trust me.’ Josh and I were willing to adopt, at least we said we were willing – but how were we physically acting on it? We needed to put our faith into action. Into works. We needed to walk in the same confidence we prayed every night with. We needed to be his hands and feet. That afternoon we started preparing a nursery. We bought diapers, clothes and necessities. We began the licensing process to become a Florida foster family. We continued preparing and praying for a child we had never even met, because we knew in our heart he or she was coming. We chose to trust him, and I am forever grateful that we did.
I remember that Sunday afternoon phone call vividly. I remember the way my heart dropped when I saw the out of state area code flash across my phone. I remember the joy and anxiety, feeling like my heart could just burst right there in my chest. Her voice was shaky and thinking back, I can’t imagine what must have been going through her mind at the time. ‘I heard you were wanting to adopt,’ she said. ‘I don’t know if you know this, but I have a 2-month-old little girl and her name is Lillie.’ Speechless. How could this be real? I could feel my eyes stinging and hot tears streaming down my face. ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Mira, I wanted to call you sooner, but I didn’t know how to say it. I feel like you’re supposed to be her mom.’ Josh was away on a 2-week rotation with the Navy. When I explained everything to him, without hesitation he responded, ‘go get her.’ You go get our baby.’ So, I did.
Reflecting back on our adoption over a year ago, what I remember surprising me the most was the guilt I sometimes feel now as the adoptive parent. If you have ever adopted a child, you know that feeling I’m talking about. It’s this strange concoction of gratitude and guilt. Why isn’t this talked about more? It should be. It really should be, because it’s normal, completely normal. It’s a familiar feeling that’s always there in the back of my mind, in the midst of all the joy. I feel guilty that her biological mother felt Josh and I were more equipped to parent her child. I feel guilty that we have the privilege of watching her grow up. We witnessed her wobbly first steps. We will see her ride a bike for the first time and go to her first school dance. We will take her to practice, watch all of her recitals and help her with homework at night. We hold her hand when she crosses the street and will try our best to heal her first broken heart. We will celebrate all of her accomplishments and be there for all of the everyday in between’s.
It was during all of those late-night feedings, when she was swaddled and cozy in my arms that it hit me. This precious, porcelain doll of a baby would eventually call me Mama. ME – because the woman who gave her life chose ME. Why on earth me? What did I ever do to deserve this, Lord? Holding this sweet baby and expecting one in just 8 short months – feeling crushed by the weight of it all. Just like he always does, he met me right where I was. That same gentle, whispering conviction, ‘She chose you. I chose you, I used you.’
I know I will never be able to grasp the magnitude of the sacrifice her biological mother made. I’ll never know how hard that was and my heart breaks at the series of events that led her there. I’ll never be able to repay her, and my heart still aches for her when I watch our tiny 18-month-old daughter smile and crinkle her nose. The spitting image of the woman who carried her for 10 months. This is adoption. This is adoption and it is worth it. This is adoption and it is beautifully broken, just as his body was beautifully broken for us. Make no mistake, she is not broken. Adoptees. are. not. broken. Our Lillie is not broken. She has been redeemed.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mira Capps-Hansen of Jacksonville, Florida. You can follow their adoption journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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