I longed to be a mother to many kids as far back as I can remember. My dream team was six! To have a large family was the deepest desire of my heart. During my teen years, I had even written off a 'husband' as a necessity to achieving this goal.
However, life didn’t go as planned at all. I got married much later in life to a delightful man. It was such a joy to learn that he wasn’t opposed to the idea of a large family, though we agreed to limit our plans for children to four. We also discussed the possibility of adoption. Both of us loved the idea of two of our own and two adopted. My husband said that by adopting a child, we would not only receive another bundle of joy to love but live out the experience of being adopted by God ourselves. To me, it was like an extension of the love I had received from the Lord.
The way I planned it, was to first have the two biological children before we adopted. The idea was that our adopted children would know for sure that we had chosen them because we wanted to have them. I had heard stories of women (including one in my own family) who had adopted kids and then abandoned them after having their own. I never wanted any child of mine to hear such stories and ever doubt my sincere love for adopting them.
As days went by I found much healing in my marriage and discovered the delights of being married to a godly man. I waited even more expectantly for the 'next best gift' - children. Years passed, yet I couldn't conceive. Then all the medical examinations started, followed by one bad report after another. Most of the issues were curable, yet facing them repeatedly began to erode my hope of having a child and experiencing motherhood.
Hormone treatments, medications, surgeries. We went through one struggle after another. I began to feel like God had abandoned me. I started to doubt God and even avoided reading verses about children being a gift from God. Unfounded fears took hold of my heart and whispered lies convincing me that God’s plans for me did not include children.
Such dark thoughts and lack of trust in His goodness were further fuelled by thwarted desires and unanswered prayers, finally culminating in a hardened heart towards God. I wanted answers to haunting questions about why this was happening to me, while others seemingly had it easy. Like Job, I wanted to take God to court for His negligence in allowing such 'undeserved' suffering in my life.
I lived life in a blind rage and anguish, like the bulls of Madrid, seeing only the red flags of disappointments and loss of what was most dear to me. Yet, thankfully this is not the end of my life story. I was rescued by the One I hadn’t trusted. God had never given up, nor forsaken me despite my lack of faith in Him. He pursued me as it says in Hosea 2:14, "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her."
God wooed me out of my self-imposed misery through his faithful, kind, and gentle love that blessed me even while I cursed Him. He tenderly and repeatedly told me how He did not condemn me for my betrayal but loved me and understood my brokenness. Finally, I woke up, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, like a wild animal lost in the wilderness, able to distinguish how foolish and self-destroying my thoughts had become. I hungrily clung to God and sought His help in re-developing a taste for feasting on His Word and re-establishing my shattered prayer life, as I had lived too long escaping and binging on addictive worldly junk.
During one tender whisper of healing, I heard my Heavenly Father speak to me from Isaiah 43:1 "But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." When I heard the words 'You Are Mine', I felt such a thrill of belonging and acceptance. The God of the universe was calling me His own. He loved me and nothing could ever change that.
At that moment, what adoption truly meant hit me. It finally dawned on me that when I would adopt my beloved babies, they would truly be mine. Even if they were not related to me by blood, they would belong to me just the same as those I would give birth to. I can love, treasure, and teach them no different from my own.
It was the first awakening of such a tender love for the children I will adopt. Adoption stopped being about all the reasons why it’s a good thing to do but became something very personal. These babies would be mine to protect, cherish, and nourish. Just as I pray for the children of my womb, I made a list and began praying for the ones I would adopt too.
The peace I felt in these decisions helped me open doors to discussions with my husband about our adoption plans. We decided not to hold tight to our child planning programme anymore, but to begin learning and preparing ourselves for adoption. I am finally able to look beyond the plans I held tight in my heart, and look toward God’s hope-drenched plans for me. And in those plans, I have learnt to trust that the best things are yet to come.