My husband and I attended a gala last night for the adoption agency that we’ve been working with since April, Bethany Christian Services. Our social worker invited us and told us that she really thought we’d enjoy hearing some of the speakers that had already adopted children through Bethany.
It was a bit of a drive from where we live and we were rushing out the door as usual but the one thing I made sure I didn’t leave at home was the tissues. I knew what we were about to walk into. I can’t even read a website with someone’s adoption story without bawling my eyes out, so I was a little bit nervous about what would happen at a public event.
I’m glad I had the tissues.
I have this problem with happy, feel-good stories. I hardly ever cry at sad things. Tell me about the time your dog got run over by a car and I will seriously feel AWFUL about such an event but I won’t cry until you tell me about how the whole neighborhood got together, threw a fundraiser, and bought you a puppy. It’s why I’m always a wreck at the end of watching It’s a Wonderful Life.
I’m a sucker for when humans show their goodness.
One story in particular that got to me came from a former pastor that spoke about “stretching”. This was a fundraising gala and if you’ve been around churches much, you know when they start talking about things like “stretching”, they are often talking about your wallet. However, just like this man, they are often talking about your comfort zone, too.
This husband and wife never planned on adopting but a little boy showed up at their doorstep pretty consistently one year due to the fact that he was being neglected at home. Like a stray kitten, he showed up for breakfast every morning and to play on their swing-set in the afternoons. A relationship began.
The Department of Child Services eventually took the boy away from his birth mother and when they did he pointed at his neighbor’s house and said, “I want to live with those people”. To the credit of DCS they actually knocked on this couple’s door and asked them if they would take him.
And this is where the stretching began.
This was not easy. They already had two daughters of their own and while the girls were supportive, he didn’t just join their family and live happily-ever-after. He had a lot of behavioral problems due to the way he was raised… or not raised… and because of this, no matter how much love they tried to give him, he could not receive it.
Though they noted that the boy’s life and the family’s has been ultimately changed for the better and that this was a very positive experience, I admired them more for painting us an honest portrait rather than giving us a happily-ever-after story.
I resonated with their comparison to stretching. Adoption has always been something I’ve wanted to do, even before infertility.
It’s always felt like giving up to me.
It’s always felt difficult. Painful.
It still does sometimes.
Stretching is good for us though, no? From what I can see, if we stretch ourselves, we can go further and live fuller lives. If we stretch and trust God, he gives us an opportunity to make the world a better place. And as I heard my husband say to someone else last night regarding his desire to make the world a better place: What else are we gonna do, right??
If you want to check out an organization that is really striving to make the world a better place, I highly recommend Bethany Christian Services. And if you want to see an organization that really helps women, children, and the poor, I recommend looking into the services they offer pregnant women and families that are in crisis.
Pregnancy Support: https://www.bethany.org/pregnancy-support