This is the final post in a five-part series, outlining this author’s personal adoption journey while adopting his son and attempting to adopt his daughter. The events took place over an 18 month period from June 2016 to January 2018.
In the end, it was no contest. Literally an uncontested adoption. I still marvel at that. In spite of the need for re-disclosure, God had already gone before us, and the battle was already won. All I had to do was trust His plan, and wait.
On January 5th, 2018 my legal status changed from stepfather to father. As part of the general judgment of adoption, I immediately became my son’s legal father. And then, later on, I received a birth certificate listing me as his father! I’ve stared at this document countless times and praised God for a miraculous outcome.
There are some moments that you will always remember. I remember when my daughter told me she was no longer afraid to die, and that Jesus told her not to be afraid. I can distinctly remember the moment my first-born son arrived in the world, and it felt like the whole axis of the world shifted and gravity suddenly had substance (and I nearly passed out). I remember when I promised my kids that their parents would never get a divorce. I remember the pain of that promise breaking and the helplessness I felt. And later when I remarried, I remember my wife walking down the aisle and I remember looking at her through blurry tear-filled eyes in near disbelief that God would have such an amazingly good redemption plan for my life.
At some point along the journey, I also realized something; no amount of worrying could change the process. It couldn’t change the timeline or the outcome. The only thing worry could change was me. It could change my role in how I parented, my stress level, and the sleep I didn’t get. It could invade my marriage as stress. It could invade my work life the same way. But I also realized that it could only do so through my own choice.
In the bible God tells us of the destructive power of anxiety and worry:
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Luke 12:25 (NLT)
The reality is that worry can add nothing to your life, it can only steal precious moments. The only thing it can add is anxiety and stress.
In looking back over the 18-month journey I was floored by how God’s plan unfolded. I couldn't believe His timing, and the things He taught me during this time in my life. I learned to grieve with hope, to patiently lay my concerns and my troubles before God. I learned how to balance a blended family with weekly ins and outs. I learned the difference between my Heavenly father and the role I play as an earthly father. I learned what God means when He says that we are all adopted into His Kingdom.
And in this process, I re-learned the goodness of God. Some might look at my story and say, well of course you think God is good; you adopted your son. And that’s true, but that’s not why God is good. I grew closer and more dependent on Him. And alongside deep loss, I learned more about his eternal plan, more about the depths of His grace, and a greater understanding of my own identity and His plan for me.
There is a waiting place we all have access to if we choose to go there. And in that waiting place, we find hope and rest. We find a safe rock, unshakeable, and solid. We can rest here free from worry because we are inside protection so great that nothing can touch it. On this rock, we are protected from the troubles of this life and are given access to life eternal. On this rock sits victory, refuge, and honor. On this rock, we are untouchable from any enemy, seen or unseen. This rock is Jesus.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. Psalm 62:5-7 (NLT)
There are so many things I have learned along the way. And honestly, I’m not done learning. Because the reality is, my adoption journey didn’t stop when my legal status changed. It is just getting started.