Adopted. Restored.

This is my favorite photo of my daughter and I. I think the look on my face says it all. I have been Restored. In my life this word has two different meanings and they both involve adoption.

While we were waiting to be chosen by a birth family to adopt their child, I felt so far from myself. I was so sad and depressed all the time. I didn’t want to socialize, I felt like I didn’t want to talk about how my life was and I felt like I had nothing to give to others.  I was also afraid that someone was going to announce a pregnancy to me and I would have to muster everything in me to appear happy for them. I know this was not the right reaction and I look back so disappointed in myself for that, but if I’m being honest that’s how I felt.

I was starting to feel like I didn’t know how much longer I could take it, not having a child and it seemed like my desire grew stronger and stronger. I wondered who I would become if I never got to be a mom. Would I get over it? Would I ever be happy again like I used to be? I know I should have trusted God in this but I don’t know if I knew exactly what that meant.

Proverbs 3:5 says “trust in the lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. “

I knew this verse, I had it memorized. I even used it to encourage others, but it wasn’t until later that I actually learned what it means to be able to trust in him.

After what seemed like forever waiting, we were chosen. Just like that we were on our way to becoming parents. We moved forward in faith, trusting not in the birth parents to move forward with the plan but, every step trusting that if this was our baby God would allow us to bring her home. And he did. The agency called us on the 28th day to tell us that the birth parents could no longer change their mind. We were happy about this phone call of course, but the day almost went by without us knowing about it. We had so much confidence and peace that she was ours. This Picture was taken about a week after she was born. We were so happy, we were parents and our hearts had been restored.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you according to his glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

My journey to my daughter Ruby has done all of those things in my life. Now that I look back on how it all came to be, I’m amazed and grateful for every part of it. Every adoption profile that we weren’t chosen for, was preparing us for Ruby’s profile. Every up and down brought us closer, stronger and more in love as husband and wife. Our struggle has made me so much more compassionate for people who are going through various trials. I am a stronger and better mom for what I have gone through, and I am that much more equipped to parent my child.

What’s the second meaning? I’m glad you asked. Way before Ruby came along I was broken, but in a different way. I was living a life of selfishness and sin apart from God.  We adopted our daughter Ruby into our family. She is our child and we will love and care for her as long as we live. The bible uses the term adoption when it talks about us being restored to God. The only way for us to be reconciled to him, even with our sin, was for him to send his only son Jesus to die on the cross for all of our sins. Once and for all. When I accepted this gift of salvation, I also was adopted. I am still a sinner, but that sin has been paid for.

He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will”. Ephesians 1:5

When we adopt a child, we are living out a little bit of that story.  If you are already adopted, I celebrate with you. If not, God’s love is yours for the taking, all you have to do is accept what he’s already done for you. This month as we celebrate the beauty of adoption, I hope you will consider your own adoption story.

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