Celebrating an adoption is such an exciting time! We were reminded this week that we are so incredibly blessed with friends and family who love our family well. After we finalized #PrincessAna's adoption on Wednesday, our friends gathered together to celebrate the permanency of her being legally added to our family...forever.
And yet beneath the celebration, tucked far away, there was a hint of sadness. I've felt it with each of our five adoptions, so I'm not sure why it surprised me again. It is as if the deepest part of my heart is saying, "I'm so glad you're our forever child! Also, I'm sorry about your adoption." I think on some level, each adopted child feels it, too.
I'm sorry that the innocence of your young life was interrupted by abuse or neglect. I'm sorry that you had to experience the fear of the unknown- being taken by strangers to a DSS office while they called around looking for an empty bed at a foster home. I'm sorry that some of your special things didn't make it into the trash bag when they packed your clothes. They just didn't know how special that toy truck was to you.
I'm sorry that, for whatever reason, your first family wasn't able to keep you safe. I've had the privilege of meeting them. They're not bad people, they just couldn't provide for you. Whether it was poverty or addictions or poor mental health or lack of support or bad decisions or whatever the reason they couldn't keep you, know that they loved you. They still do. In fact, they loved you enough to know that they couldn't do right by you, and they had to let you go. Still, I'm sorry that you couldn't continue on with them.
I'm sorry that life picked you up and swirled you around like a snow globe before setting you down with us. I'm sorry that the system meant to protect you is where you had to fight to protect yourself. I'm sorry that people expected you to just "get over it." I'm sorry that when you didn't, they tried to medicate away your pain. I'm sorry that you still hide the scars of your broken past beneath that gorgeous smile.
When I ponder the beauty of your adoption, my heart is overwhelmed with joy! I feel so blessed to be your dad. I count it such a privilege to help you up when you fall down and cheer you on to success. I'm glad you're our child. In the midst of all the joy and happiness, I feel a little bit of sadness...and it's ok if you do, too.