“Thank God for making me incapable of carrying a child. Thank God for a broken body with a broken womb. Thank God for silence. If He had answered my thousands of prayers to help us get pregnant, I never would have known my daughter. I had no idea how perfect, how real this would be.” Kara’s arms are wrapped around the girl with deep almond eyes. If eyes are the window to the soul, Lydia’s soul is filled with beauty.
Kara and her husband couldn’t conceive. Month stacked upon month and soon it was years filled with disappointment and heartache. Infertility treatments failed one after another. Soon they were left with one option: In Vitro, and even with that extensive procedure, nothing could be guaranteed. $20,000 was the figure Kara’s doctor quoted, whether it worked or not. It was then, that moment, sitting in the doctor’s office with tears of frustration glossing her face, it came to her: adoption.
Unlike Kara, I had no problem conceiving. I just wanted to adopt. In fact, I feared when I first got pregnant that it might diminish my desire to someday adopt. I loved Gideon so deeply while he was forming and that love strengthened every day. I remember wondering how on earth I could love another child as I love him, especially if that child wasn’t mine biologically. In the weeks and months after he was born I determined that having a biological child was in no way diminishing my desire to adopt, it was actually multiplying it. I would look at him, hold him, love him and think, “My gosh, there are millions of him out there with no one. I could love another child.”
Fast forward four years. I am standing in an orphanage, in a room stacked with infants. Hungry, searching eyes look up at me as if to say, “Where is my mother? Have you seen her? Could you be her?” One particular child, not unlike any other, searched my eyes with these questions and was answered, for once in her life, as I extended my arms, picked her up and walked out of that room.
Sometimes when I look at Keza, her eyes become brown bottomless wells. It’s as if I can see past her and into the eyes of the brothers and sisters we left behind. And not only them, but into the eyes of a whole generation of children who are alone. I think of the people like Kara and her husband, whose eyes were also once wild and grasping for hope that one day they would have a child to love and I wonder how many people in this world have the same hungry eyes, how many could have what they are looking for, daughters and fathers, mothers and sons, if they only could look beyond what they thought would be and see what is?
Surely I don’t really understand all the Kara’s in the world since I cannot relate to infertility. I can’t pretend that I know every answer or that I have the right to judge. Here’s what I do know: When I held Keza in my arms for the very first time it was no less miraculous than when my trembling arms wrapped around the newborn bodies of my sons. My heart was no less filled with wonder, the tears no less fresh upon my face. I was no less a mother, she was no less my child.
Adoption is not Plan B. Adoption is the heartbeat of God. Maybe it is hard to imagine. Maybe there is fear. Yet maybe, just maybe, adoption is the answer to a lot of unanswered questions. But don’t take my word for it. Ask someone like Kara.
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God. God places the lonely in families. Psalms 68:5-6
5 months ago