I have heard a lot of parents explain adoption to their kids in this way, “You are so special to us that we chose you. That’s how special you are.” At the core of this I truly see the purpose they are trying to convey and I see their heart behind their words. Our family is made up of one child through the old fashion way from my body, and three through adoption. I completely understand trying to make those kids that might feel different because they weren’t birthed from their parents feel better about that fact. I get that. It’s hard when a child looks at you and says, “Why was I adopted? Why didn’t my first mom want me?”, those questions will take your breath away.
We truly believe that God orchestrates and plans everything in this world. God’s word says that he “works all things according to the counsel of his will”. Nothing in this world is out of his control, and that includes how our family is created. It was always God’s will that Aaron & Jamie would get married and birth one child named Cayden, then they would adopt Deacon domestically, and then they would start to adopt Amos and then start to adopt Story. It was even God’s will that Story would come home first and that Amos would join our family after the earthquake. The fact that God chose to have us wait that long for our kids is beyond my comprehension, but I do trust in his word and his word says that “all things work together for good” and that brings me hope. God will bring good from our suffering.
All that brings us to tell our kids that GOD CHOSE YOU for our family. It was nothing that I could have ever done. On my own I could have never created the family that I have. That task is way to big for me and for me to take the credit away from God is really hard for me. If I can say that God knows all and plans all, then I can easily tell all my kids that God always knew you were going to be an Ivey. ALL of my kids. This is just as important that Cayden knows this even though he wasn’t adopted. God chose all my kids for me. What a joy that is to know that he planned all this.
When Amos first came home we repeated that phrase more than I could even tell you. God always knew you were going to be an Ivey. You see, for him there were days he didn’t even care if I was his mom. His little heart was so hurt, that he would lash out and say things to me that I knew he didn’t mean, but his heart and brain didn’t know how else to react. In those moments I wanted him to know that the God that created the heavens and the earth also placed you in this family. He chose this for him, not me. The God that saves and delivers made that decision long before the earth was even formed. God’s word says “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
God knew all of our kids days long before they were even born. That gives me great confidence when I tell my children that God loved them so much he had a plan for their life, and this was it. He always knew that Amos would be Amos Ivey. He always knew that Deacon would be Deacon Ivey. He always knew that Story would be Story Ivey. He always knew that Cayden would be Cayden Ivey.
For us this is why we tell our kids that God chose them. If this task were up to me, I would surely screw it up. Thankfully we can point our kids to God when they question why they are in this family. What do you think about this, and if you are an adoptive parent what do you say to your kids?
Jamie Ivey lives in Austin with her husband, Aaron, who is the worship pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church, and their four kids. She’s passionate about loving her husband, talking about adoption, and trying to be the best mom she can be. She loves family nights, reading a good book, and could eat Mexican food three times a day. You can find her blogging at DreamingBigDreams, or on twitter @jamie_ivey.