John 15:13

Figuratively speaking, the floor around me is littered with balled-up wads of paper as I’ve started this slice many more times than once.  I don’t think I have the words, and when I think I might have found them I’m afraid they’ll come out wrong.  I’m worried about privacy, I’m worried about coming across too maudlin, or I’m worried about how my writing could be misinterpreted, especially by someone who has experienced or is experiencing something similar.  This story is just too common throughout our nation, yet hidden at the same time.

So, I’ll dive in.

When you ask soon-to-be parents what they “want” concerning their new baby, some will state a preference: We want a boy or a little brother or a son to carry on the name.  Or, we want a girl, a strong little sister, a princess to call our own.  It’s not uncommon, though, to hear a third answer: It doesn’t matter, as long as he or she is healthy.  No one, it seems, wants or hopes otherwise.

But some do.

I recently traveled north, as I do during most longer school breaks, to visit “my side of the family.”  My wife goes many of the times, when work and other commitments allow, but not every time.  (Did you know there are people who don’t just get a week or two or ten off at a time?)  As we’ve made that trip so many times over the years, we’ve celebrated births and birthdays, deaths, holidays, graduations, and sometimes just the ability to get together for a shared meal on Sunday afternoon.  My siblings and I have watched our children grow into their twenties as we’ve grown into our 40s and 50s.

Now, though, as it’s just starting to get more difficult to crawl around on the floor, I have a niece and nephew, both under the age of three.  My sister and her wife, it seems, are in the process of adoption.       Full stop.  Wow.

Those two little kids are nothing short of precious.  Their young lives hold the potential of every new birth, and they’ve already grown to bring so much joy to the new family around them.  The oldest, a boy, has a mop of blonde hair and an impish look that never ceases to bring a smile to anyone who sees it.  The youngest, a girl who’s yet to see her first birthday, wears a grin most of the time and has the odd habit of rolling/scooting instead of crawling.  Her chunky little legs cry out to be gently pinched, and her dark brown hair is in a constant state of muss.

They’re kids.  They’re a son and a daughter to their new parents, a niece and a nephew to some of us, grandchildren to others, and new cousins to the rest.  Adopted into the family (well, almost, as the wheels of the system move slowly).

Choosing to adopt is an act of love and grace.  Adoption, in and of itself, is incredible.

“It doesn’t matter, as long as he or she is healthy…”

Adopting children who were born into opioid addiction? That takes things to a whole new level.

Some folks, it seems, want and hope otherwise.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

15 thoughts on “John 15:13”

  1. I always feel that people who choose to adopt are very brave. I’ve known situations that worked out really well, and others that haven’t. It’s so nice of you to see and write about the love these two children have brought into your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your description of these children. Including those sweet details about them and your family’s love for them, before telling about their (extra) challenge highlights how the whole family is working together to love them and support them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will treasure this! And share it with the kids when they get older and are able start to understand how special and unique and loved they truly are! God bless you, Uncle Tim!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I adopted my boys from the foster care system at 7 and 9. I had always wanted to be a mom, and they have been a huge blessing, but have also have faced huge challenges, because of their tumultuous start. My family has not always been so accepting or helpful or loving. Your sister and her wife are lucky to have people like you- it really does take a village to raise a child, and even more so when that child faces special challenges.

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  5. There is so much honesty here, and so much love. Given the choice, of course we all want healthy children. Yet, given the choice, these children with health issues were chosen. That is a beautiful thing!

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  6. It takes strong, giving people to adopt children who were born addicted, but those kids deserve love. Your sister and her wife must be wonderful people. This is the best good Friday post exemplifying Christ-like agape love.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for choosing to share this personal story and not leave it “crumpled on the floor.” What a wise choice, choosing to share it on Good Friday, a day for reflecting on the greatest sacrifice of love ever made. I applaud your support for your sister and the love you will show her two children.

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  8. You found words that tell the story of a family. They sound honest and loving, not maudlin. Not misinterpreted. Those of us who are adoptive parents have heard the maudlin, and had our stories misinterpreted (even though it is usually meant well- it isn’t a true picture of what you accurately depicted- love and grace). And as Carol added- blessing and challenge. Not always easy, definitely not superhuman. It is hope.

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