No Plan B

You were always wanted.

“I wanted you. No one has ever wanted something as much as your father and I wanted you, darling. You’re about as far from an accident as anyone can get.” 

Fredrik Backman

I’m not really sure people outside of adoption actually understand how difficult this concept is. Of being wanted. I know the human heart longs for belonging and that there is a bit of struggle in each of, but for our children whose very. first. experience. of life on this side of the womb is loss… Every day, there will be a fight to believe. And nothing I do can really change that.

I saw it again this week – an announcement and gender revel on Facebook for a beautiful couple who has waited so long for a biological baby. They just adopted recently. And the comments that flooded their post were filled with sentiments along the same lines of “I just knew you’d get pregnant as soon as you adopted”.

I know it’s innocent, but can we be frank? The message being communicated to that child already in their home [to my child, to all adopted children] is that they are simply a stepping stone on the path to getting what one really wants. An act of obedience before the Lord answers the parents’ real desire.

It communicates that they’re less than. That they’re not as worthy. That they were a second choice, a “well, then…”, a Plan B.

And maybe they were.

Maybe God did use infertility to open that family’s heart to foster care or adoption. Maybe they did spend years weeping on the bathroom floor for a biological child before answering the Lord’s call towards something else. Maybe even after bringing their adopted child home, they still yearned and ached for another to grow in their womb. There is no shame in any of that.

But I think when we say those words [or let those words be said], we’re missing something. I think we get it wrong. And I think it breaks His heart.

The Lord doesn’t withhold and wait for our obedience before releasing the “real blessing”. At least not with adoption. I can’t swallow that. He doesn’t use kids – His precious beloved ones – to test us out. He gives good and perfect gifts. He puts the lonely in families. He does more than we could everything to ask or imagine.

He withholds to invite us into something so much more beautiful than we could have planned for ourselves. He withholds to invite us into an alternate story of building our families, of falling in love, of holding a child and being redeemed through them more than they’ll ever be redeemed through us.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I think then He says, “But I still heard that desire, and I love you so much. So here’s another gift for you to enjoy…” And other times, the desire diminishes, or we cling to faithfulness that is already enough.

I had to swallow a bit of my pride [a bit of my mama-bear heart] after I read all of those comments on Facebook. Because it’s not that family’s fault. And I really do celebrate with them – oh, how I celebrate with them! What a gift. What a desire. What a faithful God we serve. They have longed and they have waited and He has shown up.

They should be overjoyed. And I should be overjoyed alongside of them. Because new life is coming! New life is going to be cherished! Another warrior for the Kingdom is going to be born [and seriously, a warrior this one will be with such a mighty mama and daddy].

But I still think we’ve got a job here.

What if, instead of sheepish agreement when someone makes those remarks, we answered back, “I’m so glad He did. Because otherwise I would not have gotten the chance to love this one who has become my own.”