The Daily Choice
Some days, I stumble upon a scene like this one and it makes my heart overflow.
June has decided that it is her job to help Kate learn/review/know her letters before she starts preschool this fall. And Kate is actually not only okay with this set up, but tries harder and does better for June than for either of her parents.
So when I came downstairs today and found June and Kate having school in the living room I stopped to soak it all in.
You see, 2 years ago these two barely liked being in the same room together. Forced to share attention, clothes, toys, and space, neither of them liked it all that much.
Then, a year ago something changed, and they decided that maybe just maybe the other wasn’t so bad, and a friendship was born.
This year, we have witnessed this relationship blossom into sisterhood, and it’s a sweet sweet thing. Spontaneous hugs and kisses, laughter, and joy. Their relationship is a beautiful picture of what adoption means.
The feelings that come with adoption are not instant. It’s a daily decision to love. A daily decision to grant grace. A daily decision to forgive. A daily decision to teach. A daily decision to have patience. Each day, every day, you make the choice to accept, love, and cherish. And you have to decide. It is an actual choice. And while in the adoption community, we like to believe that this choice is the parents’ choice, it’s not just about the parents. It’s the choice of the sister who was already here. The one who has to share her toys, her room, her clothes, her parents. It’s a choice for her to love daily, forgive daily, and accept a new person for who they are daily. It’s a process and I am humbled that the Lord has so blessed me with not only the opportunity to be in the process, but to witness it between my girls.
It is said that adoption is a beautiful thing. I agree, but I would like to add that adoption creates beautiful things. In witnessing this with my Littles I have a greater understanding of what my adoption into the Lord’s family means for me. When looking at the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, self control) I can see that they are a result of my adoption by Christ. These are not natural tendencies, but ones created within me daily as I walk, talk, and live with my new family, my adoptive family.
And it is in this realization that my heart fills to capacity as I watch June hold up flash cards for Kate, and hear Kate say “J like June!” with the enthusiasm of child who is no longer a stranger sharing toys, but a sister who is loved and cherished.
Ashley is the Outreach Coordinator for Voice of the Orphan adoption agency. She also serves adoptive families through The Sparrow Fund. She has been married for 13 years to her husband Mike, who has the power to make her laugh until her sides hurt no matter what is happening. They have three miracle girls, the youngest (by only six months) joined their family from China the summer of 2010. You can check out their adoption journey and musings on life as they know it on her blog.
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