This week, my mom took a part-time job.

This is the first time my mom has ever worked.  And when we first heard about it, I knew it was the perfect thing, for all of us.

She works with the adoption agency we used to bring Trey home.  With birthmothers.  Taking them to doctor's appointments, the store, to fun things.  She'll be there to drive them to the hospital when they're in labor.  She'll be there when they sign away their rights.  Trust me, I know, SO perfect, right?

Well, talk about the feelings in all of this.

Yesterday, she delivered profiles to the birthmother she's working with right now.

(Profiles are the books adoptive families put together with pictures and words... basically, an introduction to who you are.  They're presented to birthmothers and they choose their adoptive family from there)

They sat in my house for a few hours before she left with them, and I looked through them.

I saw myself in those photos.

I heard my family's stories in those pages.

I felt their unmistakable yes.

I felt it.  Because I've lived it.

There were at least 20 birthmoms we said yes to in our little journey about a year and a half ago.  At least.  We lost count.  But each time, we got emails, we got phone calls.  You get the feeling it's your potential baby, so you say yes.  When you say yes, your profile goes into the stack with the other 5-20 profiles.  & then you wait.  It could be a few hours, it could be a few days.  But either way, there's this little baby, growing inside their momma.  It's not a number.  It's a human life that matters and has a purpose and is loved.  Each time we got the call "Sorry, she chose someone else" was like a stab to the heart.  No, really, you don't understand until you've been through it.  Months of saying yes, to months of hearing no's.  It's terrible and beautiful at the same time.  But, every day we heard no was another day we said "Think of the family rejoicing right now because God said yes!!"

So today, this beautiful birthmother chose a family.

And I couldn't help but think of two sides.

Tonight a family is going to get a call saying a birthmother chose them to potentially parent her child.  And this weekend is going to be one of the most exciting ones ever.  This weekend they're going to go out and buy clothes and get the funds together and wait.  And they're going to rejoice because God said yes to part 1.

But then there are the other families.  The ones God said no to.  And I see myself in their positions.  Because I know what it's like.  I know how it feels.  But yet tonight they will hear the words I'm sure they've heard too many times before.  "Sorry, she chose someone else."

I know both sides.  I've heard no far too many times, and I heard yes twice.  The first was a long sequence of events that turned into a no.  So we waited again.  And, finally, God said yes again.  And He did this because the story of how we got to Trey Malachi is one of the most special things ever.  So when I say I know both sides, I do.  And I know that God chose this job for my mom for the perfect reason.  And part of that is to live in awe of what happens in adoption every single day.  Maybe it's also because God wants us to feel it again.  Feel all of it.  The good emotions, the bad emotions.  The way life is chosen and the overwhelming understanding of the words, "She didn't choose you."  The way it feels to look at this woman that just gave up her whole life, for you.  The way it feels to hear the words "She signed" because she loved her child that much.  The way it feels to receive a gift.  My mom gets to watch all of this firsthand.  And I get to hear about it.  I've lived it once, but God wants us to feel it again.  God wants us to remember what it feels like.  What Love feels like.  The Jesus-stuff love we get everyday is displayed for me to see tangibly.  Through a birthmother's love.

This part of adoption.  Woah.  What an altogether tragic and beautiful thing.  There are losses all around.  The things this woman is going through.  The way she's choosing what she's choosing.  I am in awe.  Complete awe.

Guys!!!!!!  I am SO in love with adoption.  All sides.  At all times.





Last night, I watched the Stuck Documentary.  I highly recommend it.  But be prepared, it literally will break your heart.  This is what I took away from it.

1. "Man made orphanages for children, but God made the family for children."

I couldn't think of a better way to put it then to quote one one of the best books, Orphan Justice. I'm just going to be brutally honest.

We need to stop building orphanages. We need to stop funding orphanages. We need to stop patting ourselves on the back because we wrote a check for X amount of money to that orphanage your church built in Africa. Because it's doing the exact opposite of what God wants.

Yes, orphanages are amazing places. They provide safe places with food and a bed for children that don't have that otherwise. But too many Christians think we are doing this amazing thing by building yet another orphanage, not realizing the damage we are creating when we continue to do that. It's not helping, it's actually making the problem worse. Yes, there is definitely a place for orphanages, and we need a few of them. But celebrating the fact that we just built another orphanage, the fact that we just provided a place for at least one hundred kids to live probably permanently because the government is corrupt and/or because there are no families stepping forward is not okay.

We should be celebrating the closing of an orphanage because all of the children are placed in families. We should be pushing people to adopt these children, not pushing them to build an Institution. It is ridiculous that the body of Christ funds these Institutions while these kids sit in ruins waiting for someone to love them. We are not helping anyone in building more orphanages, we are only making the problem worse.

2. We can get more than half of the kids in orphanages back to their birth families.

In the documentary, they interviewed a woman who left her son in an orphanage when he was two days old. When asked why she placed her son there, she said it was because she couldn't feed another child.

Did you read that right? She placed her son in an orphanage because she didn't have the means to feed another child.

I am confident that that is not the only child who was placed in an Institution for that reason. And I am also confident that something better can be done about it.

Why don't we teach this woman how to grow/find food? Why don't we sponsor her and give her food? If we actually want to build God's Kingdom, the answer is not one more orphanage. When they are not double orphans (meaning both parents are dead), there is no reason why children should be in orphanages. Especially for reasons such as the lack of food. Can you imagine if we told this woman that we would provide her with a lifetime of food and her son? Can you imagine telling her son that he doesn't have to wait to be loved anymore, his mother got a second chance?

3. Christians aren't doing their jobs. At all.

It's a bit ridiculous to think of all the children that are literally living in ruins as we live here in our comfortable lives living extravagantly. They're sitting in darkness while we choose luxury.

And that's all I'll say about that.

4. It is proven that early institutionalization damages brain development.

Charles Nelson was interviewed and brought up a super interesting point about the effects of early institutionalization to the brain. You can read the article HERE. It's worth the read.

It's a horrible thing.  Especially when I think of all the orphanages that are being built, thought to be great places.  And it's not okay with me, and shouldn't be with anyone.

"Babies develop rapidly in response to environment during their first months. Living in an environment devoid of stimulation can lead to developmental delays in a variety of areas. "

Countless issues are brought up... psychiatric problems... reactive attachment disorder... physically stunted... the list goes on.  and on.  and on.

And it's ridiculous, friends!!  It makes me so mad!!  


Please don't get me wrong.  I understand the orphanage's place, and I know that they're beautiful things for children, and I know that many children don't have issues because of this.  But I know that we can be doing more, and we can stop jumping to conclusions.  I know that orphanages are needed and necessary parts of the system, but I also know that placing kids in families is way more important than building another place for them to go because of tangible needs that can be met for their birthparents (i.e. food, water, etc).  I know that God is in control, and I know that His will will always be done, but that doesn't make me stop.  And I will be part of this story one day.  You heard it here first.  xo


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