November is National Adoption Month; a time to shine a light of awareness for the thousands of children in foster care who need forever families. I love this month because it is also a time for me personally to reflect on why adoption means so much to me and how adoption forever changed our world and our purpose.
Adoption has shown me God’s love in the most tangible way.
Stepping out to become an adoption family is a big leap of faith and has some scary unknowns. Of course, in this time of waiting, we had so many doubts. And by “we” I mean me. Between my husband and myself, I am the worrier and feel like I must control everything and take charge of the situation.
Going through the classes and requirements didn’t feel long, but then we had to wait to be officially licensed by the state as a foster home to start looking at children’s profiles. And then we had to wait to actually be matched. In this time of silence, there were just so many questions: Am I doing the right thing? Is this going to be too hard? What if things don’t go smoothly? What if we don’t attach? I’m getting older, what if this takes too long? The list goes on and on.
And then we were matched and were finally able to bring Nathaniel home.
Once the paperwork was processed, we were given a copy of his birth certificate with his birthdate on it. We were so surprised when we realized Nate’s actual birthdate was the exact same date we were licensed by the State of Texas.
God does not make mistakes. Here I was questioning this wait time. Questioning if God really wanted us to adopt or if we had misunderstood. Questioning why my life and timeline I had wasn’t fitting in some perfectly planned box.
His timing did not match mine for a reason. We thought we had to wait too long to start our process. God was really preparing us for what his plan already was. God knew — and obviously wanted to show us very clearly. He waited for that exact day to give us a very specific child. That is how intentional our God is.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart. Yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
I realized that if God was so intentional to move mountains for this one child, for this one family, his love must be as strong as he said it is in the Bible. He truly does love us, and He will absolutely take care of us no matter what the circumstances.
Adoption has taught me to love without limits.
I thought adoption was going to be this thing that positively changed the life of a child forever. Little did I know, it was going to change everything about me.
I realized that it didn’t matter how long the process took, how much paperwork I had to do, how many court dates I had to attend, how many doctor’s office appointments I had to make, how many case workers came through my home, how there may be some additional parenting layers that comes along with foster care and adoption, there was nothing too big that could be thrown at us that would make me not love this little boy.
From the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew I was meant to be his momma and he was meant to be my son.
Adoption has made me passionate for adoption.
My son is not the only one who needed a home and a forever family. He’s not a fluke of being “a good one.” He’s just a kid. Like the other 400,000+ children in foster care.
I am not some superhero parent. I don’t have a background in social behaviors, psychology or child development. I don’t have an abundance of free time or an abundance of money. And I certainly don’t have all the answers.
But I do have a home. I am willing to show up and speak up for children. I am willing to curl up on the couch and watch Daniel Tiger and Paw Patrol. And I’m honored to be the one to wipe away tears, give hugs and read bedtime stories.
That’s all it takes.
I am so thankful God used this process to change me. To change my heart. To change the way I think. To love those around me. To be a better mom. To make my marriage stronger. And to make my love for him so much deeper.
God’s plan was so much better for me than I would have planned for myself. I believe he can do that for your family too, if you will only say “yes” to what he has for you.
Written by Holly Nicole James, an adoption advocate, momma to two fun, energetic boys, wife to her always supportive husband, Jeremy, and author of Adoption Adventure Travel Guide. You can find her sharing more of her story of adoption and a glimpse into the everyday life of what adoption and motherhood can really look like on her website HollyNicoleJames.com.