Breaking the Silence

For months I have been silent. It’s not that there aren’t stories to tell…It’s more that they aren’t fully mine to tell. A year ago, we met and brought home our oldest daughter. It has been a whirlwind of adjustment for all of us since then, and we have all learned and grown a lot. Sometimes growth is accompanied by growing pains, and I think we’ve all felt the ache of those along the way. We’ve also felt the hope of healing.

From the time we first saw our girl’s picture in September 2017 until the day we learned we had been chosen as her adoptive family (December 13, 2017), we prayed for her. She was a name, a story, and two pictures. We had never even met face to face. The day we met her (December 22, 2017) and brought her “home” to our family was definitely a surreal day. We parked at the designated meeting place, a gas station just off of the highway, and waited for her and her foster mom to arrive. In my nervous excitement, I had texted to see if she would be okay with a hug when we met. Her response was, “Duh!”

When she arrived, we got out of our van and matched her nervous smile with ours. She was beautiful! I was instantly overwhelmed by both the gift and the tragedy of this situation.

How is it POSSIBLE that this precious sixteen year old child has no home…no family??

“Welcome home,” I whispered in her ear as I wrapped my arms around her. It would be several days before we were actually home in our house  (that’s a story for another post), but “home” is where our family is, and in that moment, she had finally come home. When I wrote the previous blog post (Sweet Sixteen), I only WONDERED if she was my daughter. My heart said yes, but my mind said wait and see.

Now we know she is ours, and we thank the Lord for His grace that has carried each of us through. December 11, we officially adopted our beautiful girl. In two months, she’ll turn eighteen. In a year and half, she will graduate from high school. These milestones, that most kids long for, bring mixed emotions for her because she’s not quite ready to grow up. Foster care and adoption are complicated: full of heartache and unanswered questions. We’ll never understand it all, but one thing we do understand is that the Lord gives beauty for ashes, and we have seen Him do it time and time again. There is no situation He cannot set right, no heartache He cannot heal. Our precious girl, whose chosen name means “the Lord has added to the family”, is a testimony of His grace, and we stand amazed.