It’s officially November, and that means we’re getting ready to celebrate the act of giving thanks with our friends & families – very soon!
It’s also National Adoption Awareness month, and I think adoption is steeped in thankfulness. It’s sacrifice, meshed with generosity, and the saving of a child. Something we can all be grateful for.
So today, I thought it more than appropriate to share the beautiful words of my dear friend Kristin. She’s the adoptive mom to three beautiful children, and she’s really one of the best moms I know. She fiercely loves her family and her friends, and she has a heart for hospitality that I’ve never seen in anyone else.
It makes perfect sense to me that Kristin is an adoptive mom. Her whole life embodies the act of reaching out, bringing in, and loving unconditionally. I’m grateful to know her, and honored to share her words today.
Somebody told me Greg and I make beautiful babies.
Well, actually we don’t – at least not biologically. We do know our kids are beautiful and love their birth moms for that and so, so many other reasons.
It doesn’t stop with their outward appearances. These women chose life, and because of that, Greg and I get the opportunity to make these babies into people – beautiful people. God willing, these babies who were all born with dark hair and easy smiles will grow up to be lovely from the inside out.
The thing about adoption is that it always begins with darkness only God can redeem. It’s rooted in grief and loss and poverty and brokenness.
But God brings light and purpose and fullness and joy to situations only He can make new.
When Rachel, our youngest, was tiny, I read “Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter” by Annie Downs. It has nothing to do with adoption but everything to do with finding God in the midst of pain and sadness and brokenness. One passage struck me deeply:
“The pain of broken families and broken hearts sometimes is deeper than words can describe. But there is beauty in choosing to feel that pain, in calling hurt what it is, and not pretending everything is okay. Whatever tragedy you have experienced or are currently living through, the most beautiful thing you can do is LIVE. Keep walking, keep weeping, keep eating. Don’t ignore the hurt. Don’t attempt to avoid it and just move on with your life. Feel it all, and invite people in to feel it with you.”
When I read this, I remembered where I’d been before my babies and what God has done with that brokenness. And I offered thanksgiving – yet again – for my kids’ birth moms who made brave decisions in the midst of messy circumstances.
That’s why holding my sleeping babies in church has always been holy for me. It’s so ordinary, yet it’s tangible proof that God hears the desires of our hearts. A sleeping baby who is at home nestled in the crook of my arm is evidence that God brings light to the darkness.
One Sunday when my youngest Rachel was seven months old, I held her while she slept and I remembered when coming to church was hard a decade earlier because people kept announcing pregnancies and I was ready to do the same. I remembered how my first-born Cate was born on a Sunday, my middle boy Ben on a Monday, and then Rachel on a Saturday. Announcing their births was nothing short of miraculous. They’re all proof God redeems and makes new.
With a baby in my arms now, church is different than it was a decade ago. Cate has Christ as her savior. Ben is still wiggly but learning to read the words on the slides during worship. And Rachel sleeps. (Although that sleeping-through-church season is short!) They all belong and I have no doubt Greg and I were chosen to be their parents.
I can’t think of anything more holy and intentional than that.
This is an excerpt from Kristin Hill Taylor’s new book, “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family.” Kristin believes in seeking God as the author of every story and loves swapping these stories with friends on her porch. She lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her husband and three kids and shares stories at kristinhilltaylor.com.
Get your copy of her new book HERE.
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