Well, Chris and I are in the education phase of our journey. We are required to take 10 credit hours of training - either online or in-person about adoption. Tonight, all of us climbed on the bed learning about how to talk to our adopted child about adoption. The answer, "Early and often".
Most of what we learned was common sense parenting. So some of it is well, boring. But we keep reminding ourselves that many people adopting (and therefore, taking these courses) are going to be parents for the very first time! Also, they may be older and not in circles of children. And adopting a child, especially an international adoption, usually means the child is not a newborn infant. They have a life, a past, a history that did not include you as parent from the beginning. They may already be crawling, talking or walking. Some children may have even started school.
But in our case, the baby will likely be between 8-18 months old. The important thing for us to take away is that our new addition will always carry the adoption just like my daughter carries blonde hair and blue eyes - as a trait and a defining part of his being.
The courses all highly encourage us to create a "Lifebook". A Lifebook is not a baby book or a scrapbook, although the outward appearance is similar. The Lifebook is to contain any and all information we can find about the child, both pre and post-adoption. Who are their parents? Why were they adopted? Was there abuse? Who took care of him? What is the country like where he's from? How did I feel when I first saw him? Even if we cannot find a single piece of information on the birthparents or the baby's story, we are to find some significant thing - even if it's just something as simple as a leaf from a tree outside the orphanage he is from. His story is to be detailed and the book should be accessible to the child at all times. We are to add to the book and give the child complete ownership over it. It is theirs to help them define themselves as their life goes on.
So I start to think...a Lifebook...Only the adopted get the Lifebook. Emily doesn't get one, because she was not adopted...or was she??? The more I thought about it, I realized she was actually bought, with a price...by God through His son Jesus. The Lifebook is very akin to the story of redemption, and the story of our being sinners, lost in the world, coming to Jesus and accepting Him as our Lord and Savior and then how our life changes once the Holy Spirit begins to do a work in us. We are adopted by God - the perfect father. We are chastened and prayed for by the Holy Spirit - the perfect Mother. We are loved so much by Jesus - the perfect sibling and friend. The love of God is enough to heal all our wounds from our Earthly parents and Earthly life. I think I have a lot of Lifebooks to start working on! Now I think we all have a Lifebook - a story. My newest baby will have two!!!
We are half-way through the credit hours as of tonight. We hope to be all done by next week. I pray that you take the time to at least think back about your story. And if you are so moved to do so, make your own Lifebook! After all, you were paid for at an enormous price! Much more than anyone could afford.
I think that's it! I have been so apprehensive about money lately. And I know that the Lord is going to have to make some sort of miracle happen near the end of this adoption just to show me He is in complete control and I am supposed to just trust. But I think He is reminding me that the cost of our baby adoption is so great - great just like the cost of my own adoption. It was only possible because He is on the throne and can make anything happen. Therefore, I should be resting that we may not be able to pay this adoption on our own, but that He will provide the way for the funding to be there when we need it! Praise God for his provision and blessings!
Good night all...Blessed dreams!