Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Journey to You | Reece's Rainbow

I always knew I wanted to adopt.

I started seriously looking into that process a few years ago. That's how I stumbled upon Reece's Rainbow. I would stare for hours at face after face and wish so hard that every face soon would see her mama.

I hurt for those forgotten ones.

But special needs adoption wasn't for me.

I adored *those* families who could ransom broken and discarded children. I knew they were seeking after God's own heart.

But special needs adoption wasn't for me.

I witnessed beautiful stories of children finding mamas and papas and brothers and sisters. They changed almost instantly.

That's what happens when you have hope.

But, still, special needs adoption wasn't for me.

Even as I cried tears of pain and joy with families I only knew through a screen, I didn't understand. I started looking into adoption planning for a little girl. A little girl with no special needs, and no older than two.

But then, special needs adoption smacked me in the face. I saw my child. I saw Wren and I was changed. She wasn't just some kid around the world. She was mine. I felt her deep in my soul.

She changed me.

One day, a few weeks before Wren passed away, I noticed on Reece's Rainbow a little boy I had never seen before. Something about him caught my eye. He lives in Wren's country. He has Down syndrome, just like Wren.

In some deep down way, I felt connected to him, too.

For a brief minute I though about adding him to my adoption. But Wren's needs were too intense and I only have two bedrooms and, even if it was possible, I couldn't delay things for Wren.

So I thought, sweet boy, if you are still waiting in a year or so, I'll come back for you. (But please don't let him still be waiting in a year!)

It was like I somehow caught a little glimpse of what the future held.

Things didn't work out the way I thought they would, but now, my sweet son, I'm coming for you.

Your sister paved the way. And now, my son, your mama is coming.

You have waited nine years. But still, you giggle. You learned to walk last year. I could tell how proud that makes you in the way your eyes shine.

You trust your nannies. You grab their hands and look up into their faces expectantly.

I can't wait until the day you grab my hand like that. I promise I will be there to hold you steady.

I started this journey hoping for a young, typical little girl. And now a nine year old boy with Down syndrome holds my heart.

It's funny these stories God writes.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beauty From Ashes | Reece's Rainbow

When Wren went to Jesus, my heart shattered. It felt like it could never hold love, because the love would just run out of all the brokenness.

But at the same time, I knew in my bones this was not the end.

My Wren died because someone saw an imperfect child, unworthy of love or care. As much as it hurts to type those words, they were her truth. And not only Wren's truth.

Thousands and thousands of children all over the world live with this as their truth. Unworthy. Unlovable. Unteachable. Unwanted.

This is their truth every day, every moment. As they just exist. Breathing, but not living.

But, my friends, this truth is not God's truth.

And it is not my truth.

Thousands of perfect, worthy children wait for a mama to speak their truth into existence. Their truth of love and joy and worth and value.

Wren taught me this. And now, because of Wren, I get to share these truths with a precious soul - Wren's big brother. Not by blood, but by love, a tiny girl and a precious boy become sister and brother. Sister in heaven, brother waiting around the world.

Oh, I cannot wait to introduce you to him.

Turns out my shattered heart can hold love after all. It holds a fierce and bold love for my daughter and my son.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Eight Weeks

Wren died eight weeks ago.

I have had eight weeks to process her death and try to make some sense of it. Eight weeks to think of the loneliness. Eight weeks to miss my daughter.

I am angry. I am sad. I grieve and I mourn and I am comforted by the vision of her dancing and laughing with Jesus.

Eight weeks ago, she was made whole and my heart shattered.

In the midst of my pain, light shines through. I have learned more about hope and love than ever before.

My sweet friend and mentor, Lauren, recently walked the halls of the orphanage where Wren lived and died. She was there to rescue her daughter who was barely living - nine pounds at seven years old.

In the midst of gaining a precious daughter, Lauren took the time to search out my daughter and honor her short, beautiful life.

Each time I try to put my gratitude and feelings into words, they fail me.

So here are hers.

Wren's life mattered.