It’s November! That means Thanksgiving is around the corner, the air is finally a bit cooler and the holidays are on their way.
It also means that it’s Adoption Awareness month. I know this one isn’t on everyone’s radar. But most likely adoption touches you in some way.
If it isn’t woven into your own family, then surely you know someone who is part of the adoption story. So many people play major roles in the story—the adopted child, the birthing parents, and the family who adopts. And those primary people touch even more people—brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents and friends.
The relational ripples of adoption reach far.
In the Greenhouse we don’t need a designated month to be aware of adoption. We live it—both sides of the adoption story (see, I told you that you knew someone). We adopted twins more than twenty years ago. And not so long ago our twin daughter entrusted her newborn child to an adopting family.
In addition to our own adoption, I often find myself in conversation with others touched by adoption. Just in the last month I talked to a family who is adopting their teenage niece, a friend seeking to adopt their first baby, and another family taking classes so they can foster parent an immigrant child who needs family.
Those adoptions haven’t even occurred yet, but they make me aware of how their stories are already developing in many lives to slowly unfold into the adoption climax.
Their stories are different than my story. Because each adoption story is unique. Yet like most good stories, our stories are woven together with the common threads of obstacles, pain, courage, enduring love and joy.
The variety of stories reminds me that adoption is so complex. It’s not a simple plot with a predictable climax. Adoption is a slow developing drama with many subplots that converge into a climax of love. It’s a story of love redeeming brokenness. Belonging overcomes abandonment. New dreams replace shattered dreams. Hope conquers hopelessness.
Lots of people participate. Obstacles abound. Pain is present. Joy arrives. Grief lingers. Waiting withstands. Courage prevails. Perseverance persists. Love endures.
Sometimes, though, when it comes to the adoption story, people only see the climax—the welcome home party, the baby shower or a Facebook announcement with updated family pictures and birthday cakes.
Since November is Adoption Awareness month, today I want to invite you to be aware of adoption, the whole story. Not just the climax. It’s so much more than the first birthday cake “and many more”.
If your family is living the adoption story, whatever stage you’re in, I pray that love perseveres through your whole story.
If you’re not living the adoption story yourself, I pray that you’ll be more aware of the stories unfolding around you. The whole story.
In the GreenHouse, we’ll continue to be aware of the stories in our family. And so thankful.
I’ll also be waiting to see how the adoption stories unfold in the lives of my courageous friends who are participating in the complex drama.