Thursday, July 26, 2012


Time to register for Hope at Home 2012!
Come receive encouragement, help, believing prayer and support from other adoptive parents and those God has called to pour out His love and provision on adoptive and foster families. We are ready to partner with you in seeing God's purposes known in our homes.

Hope at Home 2012 from Hope at Home on Vimeo.

H@HKids is coming up on August 4, 6:30-9:00 pm for ages 4-12. To find out more and to register click HERE.

The Boat was Rocking

I found her sitting on the stairs all by herself. Head bowed and those little 8 year old knees drawn up to her chest. We were in those early stages of non-stop intensity (and, therefore, physical and emotional exhaustion) having just brought our first two adopted children home from Russia.

Life before adoption was more predictable,
not unlike this this tea party! 
Julia, who you can see in the tea party photo above with the yellow scarf, was trying to grab hold of something that would steady the rocking of the boat of her life a little. She was trying to make sense of it all I think. As soon as I saw her sitting alone on the stairs my mother's heart was moved. I knew I was up against another need, a deep and important need, in our family. Could I handle this? Could I calm the storm enough for my sweet daughter? 

She simply asked one question. 

"Mommy, didn't you like it the way it was?"

Loss is Loss

That one question, spoken in her sweet little girl's voice, was one of the most moving times in my life as a mother. It was a question weighted with the pain and fear of change, the cost and sacrifice of giving, and the sadness of loss. Because as wonderful as adoption is, and it is truly truly wonderful, there is much pain and loss that accompanies it. For our adopted children, there was the loss of their culture, their birth family, the loss of literally all that was familiar to them-- every smell, every taste, every sight, every touch, every sound. 

And loss is loss, isn't it? Even when the loss is the door through which a wonderful gain and blessing from God is secured.

At the orphanage with our new family of
five children.
For Julia, the youngest of our three birth daughters, there was also loss. The loss of the comfort and familiarity of her home, her family relationships, of her schedule........ Comfort and familiarity was regained as we all got our adoption sea legs, but that time of transition was a huge adjustment for us all. (To read what Julia has to say being an adoptive sibling, click HERE.) Julia was grieving her loss, and needing to know that we saw her in the midst of it. 

A Question of My Own

I remember silently asking God for help. You know those moments as a parent when you know you have been given a weighty opportunity-- those uncomfortable moments when you wonder if you have what it takes. So, I did exactly the same thing Julia did, I asked my Daddy God a question of my own.

"Father, You are the Wonderful Counselor. How do I answer this question?"

 When I try to describe how it felt for me--being the mother of three biological daughters whose worlds had been rocked, and the new mother of a 5 year old boy and a 10 year old girl whose worlds had been utterly and completely and permanently altered-- I use the analogy of a swimmer treading water, just barely keeping up high enough to take a breath. That's how it felt in those early months. Do any of you relate? It wasn't as negative as it sounds; actually it wasn't negative at all. But boy was it hard!

And I felt the lapping of the water rippling under my nose! 

A Glorious Moment

Oh how thankful I am to know that God speaks to me and to be in relationship with Him! Dear mothers and fathers, your Heavenly Father is speaking to you. He has so much to say to you about your children! 
For me, this was one of those glorious moments when I suddenly knew what to say. Holy Spirit showed me the path forward, what my sweet girl needed to hear from me. It went something like this:

Julia (left) playing with her new sister.
Julia, when Daddy and I got married we were so happy together. We loved being married! After a time we began to think how wonderful it would be to have a baby. Not because we were unhappy or because we didn't like the way it was. Not at all! It was because we were so happy and content together that we wanted to share that with a child. After Emma was born, we were so happy. We loved her and did not ever think, "Emma is not enough for us. She does not satisfy, so we need to have another baby..." No. We liked the way it was, so much that we wanted to have another baby. After Rachel was born, the same thing happened. We wanted to have you, not because we were dissatisfied, but because we had a Julia place in our hearts. And you were born. 
When we brought Kristina and Pasha home we did not do so because we didn't like it the way it was. NO! We so loved being the mommy and daddy to Emma, Rachel and Julia! So much that we were able to hear God when He said that there were more children for us.

As I spoke these words it was like I could see the boat begin to steady; I could see the peace settle on Julia. Even now I consider this time as quite special in my years as a mother. 

Limitless Supply of Wisdom for Every Hard Question

Since then we have had many such questions from our children. Some have been harder to answer than others. Many of the questions, especially the ones from our adopted children, have been filled with pain and all have expressed great need. 

How wonderful that each one of us has full access to the limitless supply of wisdom and insight that is ours through inheritance, ours not because we are especially clever parents, or always full of compassion and understanding. But ours because Jesus opened the way for us and made us heirs, simply by believing, to His eternal kingdom, a rich and glorious inheritance! 
By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones) 
(Ephesians 1:18)

What is a hard question your children have asked you? We love it when you leave a comment! And maybe the question you share will help prepare another mother or father to meet the needs in their home. 


  1. "needing to know that we saw her in the midst of it" ... AMEN! Just like our Father sees US in the "midst of it". Oh He is GOOD, a patient and FAITHFUL COUNSELOR!

    Thanks for sharing here. Families need to hear the REAL so that they can lead their families well.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Shelly! And Yes! He is Good isn't He?! He is "The God Who Sees!"

  2. Wow. God knew I needed this today. My birth daughter has really been struggling with the changes in her life resulting from adoption. I am going to have her read your daughters view on adoption. She told me the other day that she wished she had someone she could talk to that was once the baby and now the older sister to adopted children. It has been very hard on her.


    1. Jenny, how wonderful that God used this to encourage you today. I do hope that reading the biological children's perspectives gives her some encouragement and hope as she goes through the tough season of adjustment. We are so focused on the huge needs and changes our adopted children are going through that the others' needs can get "unseen." I know that God does see her and I pray even now that she be aware that He is more than enough for her this day. Bless you fellow mama! and may you be strengthened as you love into all of the needs in your home.

  3. Beth, I feel like what is behind questions like this, in part, is fear about whether our kids are losing our love. I often have said; 'mommys love can be multiplied. It does not have to be divided. I love you just as much as I ever did and that's with all my heart.' I just love your analogy!

  4. Beth, I feel like what is behind questions like this, in part, is fear about whether our kids are losing our love. I often have said; 'mommys love can be multiplied. It does not have to be divided. I love you just as much as I ever did and that's with all my heart.' I just love your analogy!

    1. I think you are right Susan. It is a scary thing to think that love only gets smaller in size the more children there are. How amazing that God, who is love, is not like that!!

  5. What a blessing to read this. Thank you. As a pre-adoptive mama (waiting for our little(s) from ethoipia) and as a bio mom of four girls ages 8 and under, I cherish and tuck away these bits of Holy Spirit wisdom. I heard you speak at C4C in January and it was apparent that you are the type of mother who is sensitive to God's prompts...evidenced by your ability to read the room and see your daughter had deeper things on her heart that day. This encourages me to be that type of mama, to continue in the call of God knowing that He will be more than enough for us when those hard times come. Blessings!

    1. How exciting that you have two children in Ethiopia! Wonderful! I hope they come home soon and soak in all that love that is in you and in your family. I am so so glad that this post was helpful to you. God always goes ahead of us, doesn't He? And thank you so much for your kind words-- what an encouragement! I loved being at C4C. How exciting it is to be in a room full of women who have felt some of God's heart for adoption!
      Blessings on you as you prepare yourself and your sweet family for the wonderful changes ahead.

  6. Once again refreshed while reading. I am so thankful for this post! Sometimes it is just good to know that I'm not the only one traveling this road.

    1. Thank you so much! I so agree with you-- it really does make a difference to know that we aren't alone. I think that is part of what we are wanting to do with Hope at Home, sharing our lives and experience with parents who are on the same road we have travelled on. Bless you!