During National Adoption Month you’ll get to hear from some amazing people. Today’s guest post is from Christina Lang – mom to six kids (ages 9-2) including two adopted from foster care.
After a lengthy decision process (meaning years) we finally decided to move forward with the paperwork to adopt. When we first made the decision I didn’t have a calling for a specific country or age of child. My husband felt convicted to help the waiting children in our own ‘backyard’ and get certified through the county to fost-adopt. I was less than enthusiastic about that idea, since I had recently witnessed some friends of ours go through grueling days and nights with their foster children. They had three or four placements in and out of their home before they were able to adopt.
I couldn’t imagine being strong enough to handle saying goodbye to a child that I thought would be my own. So, I gathered information from adoption agencies across the country that facilitated all kinds of adoptions from many places, including the county we lived in.
One afternoon during naptime (because any kind of quiet time or thinking can only happen during naptime in our home), I sat at the kitchen table with the packets spread out all over the place. Faces of beautiful children were smiling and staring at me. It seemed like each one of them was begging me to come and take them home. Overwhelmed by the losses I imagined that these children had endured to become orphans grieved my heart and I began to cry over every photo in every packet.
Through my tears I begged God to be absolutely clear to me and to lead me to the child that was to be mine. Early in the process we decided to pursue bringing a daughter home since we already had four healthy and vibrant biological sons. As I cried out to God through my tears I asked him out loud to lead me to my daughter. I told him that I didn’t want her to be an orphan for a day longer than she needed to be because I was coming after her with reckless abandon.
Sitting there in bent posture, elbows on the table with my head in my hands I literally heard God call me daughter. Me. The God of all creation called me daughter. As I allowed the words to sink in I felt his arms around me with an all-encompassing warmth and peace that I had never felt before. He told me that just as I cry tears for a daughter that is not yet my own, so this is how He (my Heavenly Father) seeks me out and desires to love me and call me his own.
This was a turning point for me spiritually as I have wrestled with the name Father for God due to my own ‘daddy’ issues since my teens.
I was 31 years old at this point and had been a Christ Follower since childhood. But at that moment I felt like I was introduced to a picture of my Heavenly Father that I had not yet allowed myself to conceptualize. He was there all along pursuing me, holding me, begging me to rest in his will. It was that day that I began to understand my own adoption through the Father and that he had rescued me for all eternity. Not only did he feel my pain, he called me daughter. And now he had passed that burden onto me with a zeal that nothing else could quench.
It was then that I knew that He was calling us to pursue a child from the county even though it wasn’t glamorous or in my comfort zone. I rested in the reassurance that God had nudged my husband first, and that through my searching I not only found my Heavenly Father but the peace to pursue our little girl without looking back.
Once we started taking the classes to be certified our eyes were opened to the waiting sibling groups that are deemed unadoptable. This is due to age and not enough adoptive homes that are willing (or able) to take more than one child. These sibling sets often get tossed around the system until they age out at 18, many of them still unable to keep in contact with their biological brothers and sisters.
I saw very clearly that our family was called to a sibling group and not stop at one child. We were then certified to adopt up to three children from one family. At this time, we were thinking they would all be girls because in our minds that just made sense. It would help even out the score a little bit.
Once we had our license the waiting process was even more grueling than the initial classes and mounds of paperwork. I felt like a mother who was being held captive from her own children. My husband could not understand my grief. I think he had a greater understanding of the reality that might be in our future; therefore he was more than willing to wait for our ‘perfect’ match. I on the other hand paced the halls at night, was often found crying out to God to protect my babies wherever they were, and began collecting clothes and decorating their room.
Miraculously we were matched with a sibling set of three sisters within the first month. We were never able to meet the girls, but I did of course fall in love with the pictures that I saw. After a series of events, they were placed with another family and I was heartbroken. At the same time, I was thankful that God had protected our family from the heartache of meeting them, and then having to say good-bye.
It was a couple of weeks later that I got a call about a newborn little girl. As I listened to the social worker tell me about her my arms grew hungry to hold her in my arms. There was one thing though. She had a two-year old brother. Not only was he two, but according to his records, he had been in 8 different foster homes since his birth. Because this wasn’t our initial ‘plan’ the social worker suggested that we bring them home for the upcoming weekend to do a trial run and see how they fit into our home.
A few days later at an impersonal county building we were handed a 10 week old beautiful baby girl with snow white skin and red lips and black curly hair. We also met a timid Tarzan looking two-year-old with hair down his back and a dirty thumb lodged in his mouth. His eyes were as wide as silver dollars as we introduced ourselves and told him that he was going to get to hang out with us for a couple of days.
Just like new parents do in the hospital parking lot after giving birth, we loaded them into the van and headed home without any instructions and very little supplies.
We ended up having a wonderful weekend with our two little strangers. Our bio sons warmed up to them immediately and took turns feeding the baby and pulling our little Tarzan look-alike in the wagon around the backyard. They ate well, slept well and got along great with all of us.
The whole weekend I did not stop praying. I knew that God was in this. I know that He is sovereign. We didn’t ask for another boy. Especially a boy that could potentially have severe attachment issues due to his multiple caregivers at such critical ages. My husband and I talked and prayed together. Our main prayer was that if we were not to be these children’s parents, that He would make it very clear to us and we would be able to say good-bye and move on.
Monday morning came and neither one of us had ‘heard’ from God. It was in the plan to return the children at 10 am so I packed up their things and drove them back to the county office. Pretty emotionless I loaded them both into our double stroller and walked them in to the place where I would hand them back over to the social worker. It was a quick hand-off, and before I knew it the good-byes were said and I was leaving the office with an empty stroller.
As I started my drive back home my emotions overcame me as I realized that I had just left two of my six children at a county office with no promise of return. I called my husband and cried to him as I drove the rest of the way. He told me to get as much information from the social worker as I possibly could about the next steps to bringing them both home forever.
Two weeks later we made the drive back down to the county office to bring our babies home for good. What a different feeling to hold them in my arms this time! It was still a process with parental visitation, multiple court dates and social workers in and out of our home.
Our babies both came home to us severely delayed and emotionally distraught. But every day I prayed that God would give me grace to just get through that day. We instantly had six children all six years old and younger. My youngest bio son at the time was only 13 months old. There were days when I fell apart on the kitchen floor. There were also days when I cried over each one of my babies in awe over God’s choice of using me, so helpless, so unequipped, and sometimes wavering in my faith.
Two years later our children are doing amazingly well. Both of them are in speech therapy and our baby girl is walking better due to physical therapy once a week. Our little guy suffers from acute PTSD, but he has made huge strides toward healing. I will never be the adoptive mama who will stand in front of anyone and tell you that adoption is the easiest thing I have ever done, nor will I say I have never second guessed. But I will say, even in my times of weakness I feel nearer to the Father’s heart than I have ever been.
I can rest knowing that I am in His perfect will for my life and the life of my family. We have forever changed one family’s generational heritage, and the family I am speaking of is our own.
Christina is a proud wife to an amazing man named Brandon and mama to six beautiful children ages 9, 7, 5, 4, 3, & 2. After getting her degree and teaching junior high for a couple of years, she had four sons. When her youngest boy was 13 months old, they completed their family by adopting a brother and sister from foster care. She blogs as a way to document her family’s growth, as well as an outlet which she hopes will encourage others. She feels truly called to her lifestyle and knows that she is incredibly blessed to fulfill that calling. Their family life is entwined by selfless faith and together learning daily how to live missionally. They recently moved from California to their new forever home in Arizona. She absolutely loves her life as a stay-at-home/frequently found warehouse shopping/carpooling/football mom.