Sunday, December 4, 2011

Beauty from Ashes

1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me,
because the LORD has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and freedom to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of our God's vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
festive oil instead of mourning,
and splendid clothes instead of despair.
    And they will be called righteous trees,
planted by the LORD,
to glorify Him.

Isaiah 61:1-3

When I wrote about Our Story, I mentioned how I felt that through the adoption process, the Lord had given us beauty for ashes; that He had taken my life - a life of hurt and bitterness over not having biological children - and gifted us with the beauty of adoption.

When we received our referral, and heard Lottie's story, I felt like He had also given her beauty for ashes.

I've known from the very beginning that we would likely grieve for her birthmother.  I cried for an entire weekend when my sister and her husband were chosen by a birthmother.  And not happy tears (although I was INCREDIBLY happy!), but tears for the loss everyone would experience; tears over things that result from living in a fallen and sinful world.  And so I fully expected to be sad about our child's story.  I expected to cry over what was lost.

What I didn't expect was that post-referral grief would involve all of the stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  The first 6-ish days after the referral were a high - I lived on adrenaline.  So it was natural that a crash would follow.  As the adrenaline began to wear off, Lottie's story really began to sink in.  I began thinking about her birthmother A LOT.  There is one particular detail of her story that I REALLY struggle with.   And it was that detail that led me to denial.  Denial that adoption should even be necessary.  And denial led to bargaining.  If we did this or that, maybe somehow we could right the wrong.  And anger.  How could this happen and why didn't anyone do anything about it?  Depression.  Overwhelming sadness over it all.  Really.  I was a mess.  But ultimately, Acceptance.  I HATE that things happened the way they did.  Hate.  It.  But that doesn't change that what happened, happened.  Things happened the way they did for a reason.  And I can't actually change that.  And in the end, the Lord has given us all beauty for ashes.

I guess there are a lot of aspects of adoption that are sunshine and rainbows.  There really is beauty.  But there wouldn't be beauty if there weren't ashes.  I say that for the benefit of the people who read this blog who will one day go through the same thing.  And I say that for the benefit of friends and family who read this blog to find out how we're doing.  It's always been my goal to paint an honest picture of our adoption journey, so I can't stop now.

At this point, the adrenaline has worn off and I've (mostly) recovered from the crash and emotional exhaustion of grieving.  I am once again joyful about our adoption, and cannot WAIT to bring Lottie home.  Please pray that the Lord would grant us favor in both the court and Embassy process and that we would be able to bring her home by her first birthday.


  1. Amen amen amen! I had a really hard time with this too. And sometimes I look at Amani and I think about his birthmother and my heart hurts that she can't see his smile.

    Praying for SPEED for your process!

  2. Oh Rebecca! I'm so happy to read about your referral (dont' know where I've been on facebook... how could I have missed this before today!) but i am so excited for you guys!
    I want you to know that I think about Reece's birth mom every single day...and we adopted him 4 years ago. She is my hero, hands down. She was simply too poor to care for him, and was afraid he would die. So she gave him up, knowing he would be kept safe and in a loving home. It is incredibly, disgustingly unfair that she did not get to keep him, just because she lives in a country without "welfare"...she loves/loved him soooo much and wanted him.
    Thanks for sharing your feelings. I am excited for you guys!

  3. I am leaving for Ethiopia on Jan 3 (court) and would love to take pictures of your little one for you if I am allowed. If you are interested, email me and we can figure things out!!!!

    bjsathomas AT gmail DOT com