Sometimes, I feel like a celebrity or something. I can’t ever take all the kids out in public anymore without someone making at least one “big family” comment. But, not too long ago, a visitor asked me in the comfort of my own home, “What are you? Addicted to kids or something?” Although I answered quickly, I was also slightly taken aback, and this question’s been playing in my head ever since.
Yeah, for real. What are we? Addicted to kids or something?
There are many motives to adopt a child(ren). For many people, adoption is a [fabulous] way to grow their family.
Adoption was only ever a way to “grow our family” the first time we adopted. We intended to adopt once, and we intended to only adopt one child – a girl – then call our family complete. Then, we only intended to adopt two little girls at once time and be done. Then we lost Rose. We intended to bring home one more child to honor her legacy and seek joy in the Lord in the wake of our grief. We ended up bringing home four children in one year. Now we are in process – again!
I have learned since then to throw our intentions out the window and to be still and let the Lord speak to our hearts about what He has in store for our family. With the exception of the first time we adopted, it has never been our goal to “grow our family.” That’s just been an obvious side effect of the Lord breaking our hearts for children in need.
After our first daughter passed away, I could feel the gentle (okay-maybe not so gentle) challenging of the Holy Spirit in my heart to give God control of our family. To let Him in, to let Him MOVE. I’ve come see our family as a ministry and not just something that is purely “ours” for us to to wrap up in a box and hold it close to our hearts but away from the Lord. And, over the course of the past few years, I’ve seen God change me, change my husband, change our children. I’ve seen strong, beautiful bonds form that would’ve never happened otherwise. I’ve seen the hearts of our children open up to include more brothers and sisters. After only a few weeks with our family, our newest son was engineering a bigger table “to fit more kids.”
I can see how, after more than doubling our family size in only a few years’ time, it can look like we are “addicted to adoption” or “addicted to kids,” but that’s not it. It’s simply that as we come to understand the gospel more, we see that treasure is not here on this earth. We see firsthand that Faith, Family, and Friends are often interwoven, not held in separate priority order 1, 2, and 3. We see firsthand the beauty of redemption and the rewards of sacrifice. We see the beauty of His power perfected in our weakness. He’s renewing us day by day, and as He’s doing that, we better understand the magnitude of what He’s done for us. He’s given us LIFE, and HOPE, and FAMILY, and a FUTURE. It’s out of gratitude for the magnitude of what He’s done that we open our hearts and our homes to more sons and daughters of the One True King. It just so happens that the way we live out our gratitude looks like “a hand full,” “a full house,” ” a full van,” and “are you CRAZY?” It LOOKS like an addiction to kids.
But it’s not. It’s an Addiction to Jesus.
We LOVE because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19; Matthew 6:19-21