This morning I was remembering our trip to Haiti, a full year ago now. Meeting Djou, the feeling of immeasurable trepidation, nerves, and surreal reality settling in that this boy is mine. And I’m it for him, his new mom.
And a rush of complete and total inadequacy filled me.
I was suddenly very aware of how I would fail him, not be enough for him, not make all the right decisions. Despite my extensive reading and all the adoption classes, I realized how little I truly knew about raising a child of a different background, language, culture. Surely he has encountered trauma in his short three years on this earth. His mama said goodbye to him on the steps of a Haitian orphanage when he was a little one year old, hoping that someone else could put food in his belly. This mama of his…should have never had to face such an impossible decision, it is beyond our comprehension.
I don’t know a lot about her story. I know her name and her age. I know she has two other children. That is all I know. Yet I think of her daily, always as I think of this boy that is now my son. He is my son, but it came at a deep, gut-wrenching cost. The brokenness of this world never fails to crush me. If anything, this adoption journey has shown me the real brokenness of the world.
So we are possibly only weeks, maybe days, away from getting a phone call that says, “Djou has a visa. Come and get him!” We are quite literally on the tender cusp of a lot of change in our quiet little lives.
This has me facing a giant wave of all kinds of emotion: joy, love, fear, sorrow, excitement, longing, anxiety, happiness.
Joy because it means we can finally begin life with him. I fell in love with this beautiful brown-skinned boy with a smile that knocks you sideways and a laugh that makes your heart sing.
Fear because of those familiar feelings of inadequacy to fill in the gaping hole of “mommy.” I don’t know enough, haven’t read enough, and I know there are days of failure and frustration ahead for all of us.
Sorrow because for my son, he is losing everything he knows: his country, language, culture, smells, food, caregivers, friends, etc. Sorrow for the mother who brought him into this world, who will be made aware that her son is living in another country with another family. I can only pacify this sorrow with the hope that my son is gaining a family to call his own. Our family that is dedicated to loving him with as much love as anyone could lavish. And I pray that his birth mama is filled with hope that her son will have the world at his fingertips.
When moments arrive where I face the edge of another cliff, this time higher than the one before, and God asks me to jump….these moments bring me to the only place I can trust: the feet of Jesus. My heart bows before Him and I plea with Him to give me courage and to strengthen my heart. I ask Him to go before me, to be enough, and for grace to abound.
And Jesus whispers, “Breathe. You won’t be enough, but I am enough. Hope surrounds you because I am hope. You have strength and courage because I’ve given it to you. I’ve not only gone before you, I’m already there. Fear not, do not be afraid. All my promises are true. My steadfast love touches every crevice of this life. BREATHE.”
I’m as prepared at this moment as I will ever be. I will learn much on the job. I will always be inadequate. I will always grieve the loss that my son has suffered. I will most likely always wrestle with fear. But in all of this, I keep remembering that it is when I am weak, He is strong. I remain weak so I can draw on His strength.
And one of the biggest gifts of all, I have found so far, is that God chose ME to be part of this redemption story. We enter into this broken mess, and God says, “Now watch as I use you to mend what is broken.” To God be the glory.
God be with us.