I was recently asked to share at our church’s upcoming Women’s Retreat about our adoption story. Three and a half years ago, we embarked on a journey to adopt two children from DR Congo; in those past three years we’ve had some of the most wonderful “highs” and some very deep “lows”…from seeing the precious faces of twin boys to hearing that they were kidnapped (only to find out it was false information), and ultimately closing that adoption as they were reunited with their birth family. The past couple of years have been, to say the least, an intense journey. And yet, as I reflect on this journey, I see the Lord’s calm and sure hand through it all.
As I reflect on what to share, how to condense all that we experienced into 15 minutes, what seems to continue bubbling to the surface is the image of a tapestry the Lord has been weaving. Along the way, he weaves different threads–things we learn about adoption, ways we practiced discernment and tough accountability where needed in our agency, balancing the release of circumstances by recognizing what little (no!) control we have alongside a fight for the boys and others’ children who were (and still are!) stuck in a political net, unable to join their families. Now that I see part of the tapestry more clearly, I am amazed as well at the Lord’s protection: how the frustrating timing delays in various court processes ultimately allowed for the reunification of the boys to their birth family. I am amazed at his teaching, and how he has led us to connect with different people and resources to make us more wise and more discerning as Christians committed to ethical adoptions. I am amazed at his provision for our emotions–when the circumstances would seem to draw us into a very dark time, he kept us buoyed and at peace through his Spirit.
The truth is, I could speak for days about all that we have learned and experienced. And I do believe that part of how the Lord will use us is to share with and challenge Christians to be more circumspect in international adoptions so that we are not promulgating unethical situations out of our naiveté, but that we enact justice for true orphans WHILE working diligently to see cyclical poverty in vulnerable families broken. But as I think about what the 15-minute version will be of our story, I simply think of how he is weaving a tapestry in ALL of our lives–a beautiful, complex, detailed, and BIG-PICTURE tapestry. Sometimes he reveals just a few strands at a time; sometimes he shows us a bit more of the picture; sometimes he shows us how different tapestries join together in kingdom work. But we can trust that, just as he says in Scripture (philippians 1:6), “He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion in the day of Jesus Christ”…the tapestry weaving continues!