Most of us, especially those who are reading this, live at least a portion of our lives online. We share what is going on using social media and keep connected with other people through it. The problem, as all of us know, is that this provides only a small picture of someone else's life. My girl Hannah Brencher always says there's a huge difference between investigating and investing in another person.
I want to be an investor, not simply an investigator. In light of this, I'm starting a series today called The Honest Truth to authentically peel back the curtain on the things I have experience with and what I've learned along the way. I can't promise to know it all, but what I do know I promise to honestly and truthfully share with you so that you, too, can know The Honest Truth. Today...it's about adoption.
For better or worse, adoption is extremely glamorous from the outside. A lot of people have told us they admire us for what we are doing. A lot of people have the notion that we are rescuing a child from a world of future hurt. Even more people have said they could 'never do what we are doing.'
The sentiments behind all of this is incredibly sweet, but because people don't understand all the Behind the Scenes moments, reality is often completely different. We are in no way 'saving' a baby - we are simply providing a home for someone who otherwise may not have one, or would find it somewhere else. We are adopting to grow our family, not because we are special or unique or incredibly strong - we just desire to have a little one (or ones!) to call our own, and for us adoption is the answer to that.
On the flipside, there is always brokenness when it comes to adoption. Sometimes it happens with one or both of the birth parents. Sometimes it is on the part of the adoptive parents, if they have struggled with infertility at some point. Either way, the birth parents, adoptive parents, and most of all the child will deal with the repercussions of adoption the rest of their lives.
Adoption is a beautiful thing, but the day-to-day is not always pretty. Adopted children will most likely struggle with their identity and why their parents chose to place them in a different home. This can spill over in difficult ways both in their lives and the lives of their new families. It could happen early on, later in life, or both. One day they may wake up wanting to know their birth mom and having no way to do so. The possibilities are endless, but regardless of what exactly happens it is always difficult and a story of heartache is involved.
We have seen this firsthand in our lives. The first little boy we tried to adopt is a nonstop story of heartache. He came from a very difficult circumstance, and there was a clear reason his mom wanted to place him with adoptive parents. He died during childbirth, which not only broke our hearts but was incredibly painful to his birth mom as well. No part of it was easy, and we never expect it to be - yet it's impossible to fully prepare for what's coming.
So what I want you to know is that adoption is wonderful. It is something we are called to and believe in with all our hearts. But adoption is also messy, on one side or the other and sometimes on both. As beautiful as it is, it is neither glamorous nor without pain. When you meet parents who are adopting, listen to their story. Pray for them. Talk to them about the emotions behind their decision. Support them after they adopt - for years and years to come - because the journey doesn't end at placement. We need you. They need you. The child needs you.
And that, friends, is The Honest Truth about adoption.