We hear all about the adoptive parents side– how challenging it is, how difficult it is to raise traumatized children, but we never hear from the adoptive siblings point of view. All my life I have heard of what incredible parents I have (and I do), but never once has someone told me what an “incredible job” I have done or what my thoughts were on having adopted siblings. Mainly, because I was just a kid when it all begin. I understand that, and that’s okay. But I’d like to share my honest opinion on adoption.
When I was seven my parents started down the road of adoption, I was elated, so overwhelmed with excitement at the fact that I was going to have a new sister or brother. I remember meeting them for the first time, and they felt like family. We got along and we were happy. Until the baby boy started screaming in the car and the little girl was cussing me out at bedtime. I lost part of my parents the day my two new siblings got in the car and made the long journey home with us. I lost a part of myself that I’ll never have back again- and although that’s hard, I am thankful for it.
Over a 12 year period my parents adopted 10 children– every single one of them unexpected and so worth it.
But over the years I have struggled. Struggles that girls with only biological siblings will never know and friends will never truly understand. I have been lied to, lied about, stolen from, spit on, cussed out, hit, bit, and accused. I have heard “Well, Kristianna gets whatever she wants…” “Kristianna is perfect…” and each time it crumbles my heart a little more. I have heard that I’ll never understand the backgrounds these children have had to suffer through and to give them grace because I have always had what I needed. In some ways that’s true, and in some ways my heart can’t bear the pain.
It’s hard being an adoptive sister. The harder you pretend all is well, the further you get from the truth. Because all is not well. Adoption isn’t a fun way to gain siblings, it involves restoration and rebuilding a life that has been torn to the ground and trampled upon. All is not okay and it never will be. Adoption is a fight. I’ve had days when I am so weary I don’t want to get out of bed. I have had days when I cussed out God and told Him to rewind it all and give me my life back. I have had days when I ignored my sister because of how much her words cut into my very soul “we all hate you.”. Sure, she has faced her fair share of suffering, but day after endless day I face my own heartaches because of their pasts.
I will be completely honest, I hate people who abuse and abandon children. I hate women who desire drugs and men over their own children. I hate men who cannot own up to the fact that they have children to be raised. I hate laws that make children orphans. I hate poverty that rips families apart. And I hate adoption. Because adoption means there is pain and suffering behind the adopted, it means years and years of recovery. It means losing a part of who you are and who your parents are because of it. We will never be carefree again, because carefree doesn’t exist when there is a child who has threatened to kill foster siblings in the past.
I think God hates adoption too.
Because adoption means brokenness.
Adoption means that the Garden of Eden has been destroyed and Adam and Eve have been engulfed in sin. Adoption means that the world He created in those few glorious days, the world that knew no sin, is forever lost. It means the human made in His own image ruined their purpose. It means failure and emptiness. Adoption is shattered pieces that will never fit properly together again, yet, at the same time, adoption is what holds those pieces together. Adoption means perfection will never exist again, because there will always be scars and pasts that we cannot change. It means God sacrificing to bring light into a dark and hopeless world.
Hallelujah, redemption lives.
Jesus hung upon that cross in humility to suffer for the world of imperfection because He knew adoption was the only option. His blood would not be our own, His flesh would have no biological relation to ours. But He would rescue and redeem. His blood would be poured out for lost children He was choosing to call His very own. When all the heavens would see us as unworthy, there was One who became small enough to redeem. He bent low, and didn’t demand us to change our ways, but told us we were wanted. We were worth all the suffering, all the nights of tears and nightmares. He reached into the darkness to bring us into the light. He didn’t care where we had been or what we had endured, He only whispered “you are not alone anymore”.
Adoption is not beautiful.
Adoption is messy and terrifying.
Adoption is bridging the gap between darkness and light.
Adoption means children who walk through hell and endure what no child should.
Adoption means broken pasts and hearts full of scars.
But adoption is worth it.
Because adoption is redemption.
And I watch as their distress and heartaches pour over into my life and I cling to grace. Because grace is the only thing saving us all. I cling to the One who has chosen me as a child when my own heart was only sin. He calls me “child”, and I call them brother and sister. Adoption doesn’t always make sense- that He would love us as His children, or that we should love them as our own. But love doesn’t ask questions. It’s not easy, but it’s good.
She walks around with a shirt that says “Family rocks”, she’s the one who was literally kicked to the curb. The one who is terrified that family is not forever, that we are only temporary. That maybe she is not worthy of a family. It’s a real fear, and it’s not only one she is carrying but so many children who are facing life with nobody to say you are not alone anymore. One hundred and forty-three million– it’s a statistic that will make no sense to those who have never held an orphan in their arms. But they are walking around with their hearts beating, but they feel they have nothing worth beating for. They will grow into adults always questioning why they weren’t worthy of a family.
We are called to adopt because adoption is reflecting the Father’s love and grace upon us. As Christian’s, Christ requires only that we believe and follow Him, but as Christ followers, we should long to be like our Father. You have the ability to show a child that we’re all unworthy, but there’s a Father’s love that gives us a new identity and there’s redemption that creates a new beginning. It won’t be easy, but it’ll worth all the hard days, and the times when you feel like you are drowning. It will be worth the rages and the stealing and the heartbreaks and headaches. It will be worth the sorrow and the pain and the long days of recovery. Because once upon a time, we were that beautiful mess of wounds and tears and emptiness.
I hate adoption because adoption means my siblings have walked through hell and back again. But I love redemption because it’s making broken things into glorious ones. It’s taking pieces that are shattered and piece by piece redesigning them into the masterpiece they were meant to be. We are all being changed and made new in this love we cannot understand, this grace that is drowning us all.
Hallelujah, brokenness cannot survive when redemption lives.