It has been a while since I posted about our experience in Uganda. When last I wrote, it was our first day in Uganda, and we had just met our children for the first time. Why did I quit writing you ask? I know all you mama’s waiting on your call to go are wondering why I stopped, and are hungry for info. Well, I’ll tell you why…because my first week in Africa was hard. Real hard. Like having a nervous breakdown, loosing it hard. The rest of the time wasn’t a walk in the park, but that first week was brutal. I haven’t known how to put it all down in writing…but I am going to try. Because I need to, and because I keep telling my friend Laura that this is hard. I want her to be prepared for when she leaves to bring her little people home. My spoken words often times fail, so I want to write them out for her, myself, and anyone else who might experience similar feelings during their adoption process. So in the next week or so I hope to get through that first week…but first a little detour…sort of.
Did you know that pain during child birth (stay with me here, I promise it applies and is good) is actually is an integral part of the mother bonding with her child? It’s true, the pain of labor builds up a ton of hormones, and once you deliver, that flood of hormones is released. Once those hormones are released, they help the mother feel all lovey toward this person who was just the cause of the most indescribable pain they will ever experience. Studies have actually been done that show when mothers do not feel that pain, and therefore the hormones are not released, bonding can be and often times is inhibited to some extent. It is really just another amazing design by our infinitely wise and awesome God.
What does this have to do with adoption you ask?
While we were in the midst of our USCIS drama, thinking just maybe this adoption wasn’t going to happen, I watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born. This film talked briefly about that flood of hormones that the pain of child birth brings on. Those hormones that cause mothers to think that red, screaming, squished up baby with a pointy head is the sweetest thing on earth. Right there in the middle of watching this documentary on giving birth, it seemed like the Holy Spirit was saying to me, “See, this is my plan. It works, this pain you are feeling now, this hurt, is only going to serve to bond you with these children. If this were easy, if there were no pain, you would never love them they way I want you too.” I cried. I was beginning to understand the gift in adoption being heart wrenching. I remember telling our home group one night, after the kids were home that adopting these children was so unnatural and yet so natural at the same time. Another great paradox of faith. Nothing in my flesh, would ever want to travel half way around the world, pay tens of thousands of dollars, leave behind my home and children, and struggle and fight for five weeks in a third world country, to bring home a raise children that I did not give birth to. That is why it so good that this happens because of the grace of God, not my flesh. All I know is this….all that pain, all that waiting, all that we endured in Africa only served to help me to love these children to bond me to them. You don’t easily give up on someone you have fought so hard for. Please realize that I am not saying had it been easy I could have walked away…that is not at all what I am trying to get across. I am simply trying to convey, that the difficulties only helped to make me stronger as well as ready to be a mama to these children.
Later I was talking to a friend about the movie…not what I felt the Lord was telling me, just about the how cool God’s design is. She began to cry, and told me how beautiful it was the the Lord was doing the same thing for me in our adoption. Allowing pain, so that the bond would be strong. Totally blew me away. Confirmation that what I was thinking and feeling earlier was real.
God is constantly preparing us for what is to come. He knows exactly what we will need, when we will need, and is the Great Provider. He knew the difficulties I was going to endure, and knew exactly what I needed to press on. In His faithfulness, He prepared me, like He has so many times before.
Adoption is hard. I don’t have to tell any of you who have been though it or who are in the midst of it that truth. You already know it all too well. You also know that no matter how hard it is, God meets us. He provides grace in abundance. Be encouraged, and take heart. The pain of the labor, to bring your children home, is indeed a gift. Those of you right now who have breaking hearts, wondering when you will have your children in your arms…rest in the arms of your Heavenly Father. He will finish what He began. His will cannot be thwarted. His plans are exceedingly wonderful and His love exceedingly extravagant.