Chosen and Loved

“You are chosen, holy, and dearly loved.”

Colossians 3:12

I shared much of this on our Instagram [@forthischild.books] earlier this morning, but here’s a tidbit to catch everyone up.

My three year old and I cuddled on the couch a couple weeks ago, working together to make a “song book” for her Kindermusik class that turned into so much more.

We ended up making a book for both her and her sister that we could read on Mother’s Day this year. Every page lists another person who has chose them and loved them in some way or another.

Our hard copies just came in the mail yesterday, and I think we had read each one at least 30 times before 10 o’clock this morning.

There is so much in adoption that is hard. So much loss. So much to grieve. So much that only time can heal. But there is also so much to celebrate.

In all of the stories of our adopted children, I really believe that at least this one thing is true – these sons and daughters of ours ARE chosen and they ARE loved. Something deep, something fierce, and something forever.

Above anything else, they are chosen and loved by a heavenly Father who has seen every. single. second. of their lives. No one else can say that.

My Diamond loves when we pray back the words in Psalm 22, verses 9-11 :

Lord, YOU delivered me safely from my mother’s womb. YOU are the one who cared for me ever since I was a baby. Since the day I was born, I’ve been placed in YOUR custody. YOU’VE cradled me throughout my days, and I’ve learned to trust in You. YOU have always been my God. Don’t leave me now, but stay close by my side.

For a little girl who spent majority of her early days between a lot of different places, she needs that confidence. We all need that. I need that. But I am especially grateful that He has given this to me to give to them. Whatever their story, they’ve always been known. Always been seen. Always.

Second to the Father, they were chosen and loved by a first mom. Regardless of anything else, she chose life for her child.

Maybe this is a side note, but if you’re struggling to find something to celebrate, something good to say, you CAN celebrate that. This woman created and gave birth to the beautiful child that you have the opportunity to love. She made the first choice of love, despite herself, and our child should always know that.

My girls have two very different stories when it comes to their first families, but this truth is consistent, and it is one I will fall back on over and over again.

And then there is us. Our kids are loved and chosen by a “second family”, too. They are chosen and loved by their adoptive mamas and dads who waited and waded, prayed and pursued, longed to bring this child home, and became ‘theirs’ the moment their eyes first locked on each other.

We’re not their savior; we’re just lucky. But our story is their story, and I think we withhold something from them when we assume they don’t want to know.

We fought for them, and I take joy in sharing every bit of this with my girls.

And of course they’re loved by others, too. So many others who would make this list incredibly long but have played significant roles in their lives.

People like foster parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends and church families and extended first families and financial supporters and agencies and support workers and people who’ve walked alongside first families and adoptive families post placement and..Aye!

You all know if you’ve been there.

And so I’m back to this: Oh, our children are loved. Oh, our children are chosen.

And there is a uniqueness in their often hard and messy and traumatic stories that is worth us reminding them again and again. And reminding ourselves, too, I think.

I don’t want to miss this. When the uncharted territory of adoption is messy and difficult and I’m overwhelmed and worn out, I don’t want to miss this.

This complex, multi-faceted TREASURE my girls behold. Family beyond blood. Family beyond name. Family, I believe, that reflects the Kingdom.

I’m not trying to whitewash any of this. If you’re hearing that, please hear this instead: it’s hard.

Walking with birth families is hard.

Trying to figure out how to tell our children their stories at appropriate ages and at appropriate times and in appropriate ways is hard.

Knowing the trauma that is already wrapped up inside their little brains is hard.

Not being their “only” is hard.

Living life outside of cultural norms is hard.

But I’m also saying this: it’s worth it. Worth it to figure it out. Worth it to make it something you talk about. Worth it to tell them and help them own it.

Because it is theirs, after all. I’m holding it, because I’m their mom and because I’m older and because I was there, but it’s their story.

Theirs to have, to hold, to own, to tell, to hate, to love… it’s all theirs.

When I made our second girl’s book, I made a copy for her mama, too – one with more of “our story” together, really.

In it, I wrote, “I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know all that will come. I anticipate that it will be hard and confusing and maybe even at times heartbreaking. But beautiful. Oh how I believe it will also be beautiful. And I want you to know that I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. I am better because of you, and our daughter is better because of the both of us.

I believe that. I believe there is something more beautiful than words can describe in one of the most broken pieces of my daughters’ hearts. And I want to be there to help them find it [with their dad and their birth mama and all these other people who love them fiercely, as well]. Because together, we can.

We can do the hard things. We can help each other embrace all the hard and hopeful pieces.

So many seasons are going to come and go, but I pray that my girls always know this – Your worth has never been in question. By more people than you know, you were chosen, you were loved, and you will always continue to be.