“Nothing that’s hard or “bad” for adoptees takes away from what’s beautiful or “good” in a parent’s choice to adopt. Nothing.”
Oh, my heart!
I’ve just returned from a weekend spent with 450 beautiful mamas at the Created for Care retreat. Some had adopted, some were waiting to adopt, some came just to support their friends. Lovely, inspiring, challenging, raw, surprising, healing, holy.
I entered into that space a bit weary and looking forward to restoring the parts of me that have become so drained and rugged and discontent, all the parts where love has felt so absent, so depleted.
For those of us who were planning and speaking and leading breakout sessions, we had been praying for all the hearts that were going to enter the gorgeous Legacy Lodge. We asked God to speak to us about what he wanted to share with each woman, knowing that he knew exactly what each person needed. We asked God to breathe new life into each soul, refreshing the places that felt lonely, fearful, inadequate, angry, shameful, worn. We asked God to send his Spirit into each corner and crevice that may be hiding from him, numbed out to him, felt forgotten by him. And he did.
He loved BIG.
I got to see and experience God cover that room…with his love, with his grace, with his mercy, with his forgiveness, with his peace, with his truth, with his shalom. With himself.
Oh, my heart!
I stepped into that space having been invited to represent the heart, the voice, the story, of the little ones not in that room, but yet who were so present in that room. Over 1,000 little souls who were home or on their way home. Over 1,000 little souls who bring so much beauty, so much brokenness, into the lives of each family they are welcomed by.
I was up for the invitation, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure if all those mamas would be up for what God had called me to share. That’s a scary feeling, especially when you know that all those mamas were coming to feel encouraged and equipped and empowered, not jolted or disoriented or challenged. That’s a risky feeling when as an adoptee you desperately want to feel accepted and approved of and liked. That’s a vulnerable position to be in when you know that all those mamas were coming to find assurance and affirmation – that what their Creator had called them to do was right…for them, for their children, for their families, for him.
So, I had to trust…that what God called me to share, my voice, was exactly what I was supposed to offer. And so I did. Unnerving, unsettling, unbelievably frightening!
I don’t know exactly how God will use my voice, my message, my heart, (trying to let that go), but I do know how God is already using the weekend, the conversations, the lyrics, the voices, the love in those mamas…for me.
I never expected that part of my healing could come from the adoption world itself.
I never expected to feel affirmed and embraced and loved through other adoptive mamas.
I never expected the longing and desire and love that adoptive mamas radiate for their babies to connect with my own longings to feel wanted and needed and loved.
I never expected that this one adoptee’s voice would be invited out in such unique ways, and then in return find healing because of what God is doing in other family’s lives, through their stories.
I never expected that having people truly “listen” and respond to the impact of relinquishment and abandonment on an adopted person’s mind and heart would bring a more solid, stronger, securer sense of self.
I never expected that God would turn my words into your words for your children into his heart about how he sees me. (You may have to read this one again!)
But he did…and I’m in awe.
I feel tender, open, moved. I feel ready…for more of him, more of his BIG love, more of his deep healing. And I know it will come because I’m giving myself a little more permission to let go…of her, of him, of what happened. As my hands slowly let go, I feel them opening, little by little, receiving more love, deeper connection, with those who are ready to love and connect with me, especially my husband and my babies.
Oh, my heart!
It’s still raw and bleeding and being gutted out, yet at the same time, it feels more free, more brave, a little more gutsy, ready…to trust. Again. Differently. Wholeheartedly.
Oh, mamas…the ways in which you offered yourselves last weekend, your presence, your posture, it was deeply moving and incredibly healing for this one in a million adoptee. I write with tears and say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you….for listening.” I feel humbled and blown away that God would take my words, my voice, my ache, my fear, my story, and use it to be helpful, even if it was just a little bit, in your journey, your child’s journey. And, please, please know that your words, your voice, your ache, your fear, your stories…they brought SO much to me too. It feels like a two-way street, like this natural and fluid giving and receiving. It feels full circle. It feels like we’re in this together. It feels hopeful.
And, it for sure feels WAY different from last year’s C4C retreat when I snatched a piece of decadent cheesecake and snuck back to my room to hide! I’ve come a long ways, mamas! Get ready, March 2013 women! Can’t wait to meet/re-meet you!
So, to ALL of us, may we remember and “listen” to God’s voice, “Where have you come from? Where are you going? I see you.” We have to name what we’re running from and leaving and fleeing in order to know where we’re going, running to. Because where we’ve been, where we’re going…it matters. It’s seen.
Big Korean adoptee Michigan hugs and love to ya’ll!
PS – Would love to hear about your C4C experience too. Feel free to post your blog posts in the comments or on my Facebook page!
PSS – If you have some great pictures to replace these IG ones, email them to me!
“Healing is in Your Hands” (Amazing worship by Candi Shelton)
“Adoption from Both Sides” (a conversation between an adoptive mom and an adoptee)
Ummm…I may have stopped chatting and started preaching. Oops!
The new “Charlie’s Angels” (with Amy Monroe & Andrea Young)