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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Ugly Love

There is an ugly side to adoption.    A side many hesitate to mention.  An aspect of "growing your family" that those of us who have done it only share with those we know are SOLD . . . so as not to discourage those who are "considering" . . . 

It is the ugly side of love.   It's the part of loving a child from a hard place that comes in the same package as the beautiful smile and the million-dollar hugs.  

And it is spelled S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E...  

I see it lived out on the blogs of my adoptive-Mama cyber friends.  They go to dirty, dark places and embrace children who smell bad, who have rotten teeth and who are afraid of them. Children who are rejecting the unknown, unaware of the fact that it is what they have been waiting for their whole lives.

I see it in one of my "hero Mamas" who has adopted such damaged children . . . and lost some
To suicide.
To mental institutions.
To disease.     But she would not go back and unknow those children if she could.  Because they experienced the joy of being found, even if for a short time. 

And I think about the beautiful little girl who is a lot older than she looks, who died yesterday in an Eastern European mental institution because she has . . . .
Down Syndrome.    And part of me wants to point at everyone I know and scream "WHY DIDN'T YOU SAVE HER??? OR YOU?  OR YOU?" 

Or me?

If only we had known she was dying, we would have moved mountains to claim her, right?

And my mind goes to those children my family met on the most recent trip for The Bartimeaus Project . . .
And it wonders. . .
Are they loved?  Treasured? Do they know that they were made in the image of God and that serving them feels like standing on Holy Ground?

Too old for adoption.
Too disabled to have been chosen.
Not "productive" members of society.

Just beautiful humanity created for a different purpose . . . that's all.

And as my husband evaluated this little one, an orphan until somebody says differently, did she realize that she matters so much to us.  That I can't stop thinking about her?  That I pray that she is a favorite of her caregivers and that somebody is rocking her? Singing to her? Putting a bow in her hair and letting her feel kisses all over her face? 

It is the ugly side of love.   The knowledge that we can not save every child. The understanding that we will SEE and yet be helpless to ACT some of the time.  This is what plagues me and robs my sleep.   This is what has me asking "why not her?"  and "why not him?" and "why not all of them?".
But already knowing the answer . . .

What is the difference between that sweet girl in her crib in Eastern Europe and my own adopted treasures?
The difference is SACRIFICE.  We saw. We claimed. We worked. We went.  He meant the world to us from the day we saw his photo.  We noticed and we acted.  Not because we are so marvelous but because Our Father is!
And when that boy jumped up on my bed today, full of pride that he had put on his own pants (albeit backwards) the logical reaction was to grab the camera, take a photo and treasure that little gain.

Every child deserves to have his achievements celebrated . . . EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
But not every child will, because the cost is so high.
We are afraid to commit.
We are afraid to pay.
We are afraid to travel.
We are afraid to risk the status quo in our nests.

The PEOPLE of God so often don't trust the promises of God enough to walk in their callings.

Is God calling YOU to risk ugly love?  To sacrifice? To  adore a child who will not know what to do with that adoration for a long time?  To be rejected? Pushed away? Spit upon?  Is He asking you to
put yourself away and do the hard things? 

He would never ask you to go somewhere He hasn't been Himself.
He committed.
He paid.
He traveled.
He risked.
Because love is sacrifice.

"Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends."
                                                                                    John 15:13



  1. this post reminds me of all the 6 1/2 long years we've waited (not patiently) for our girlie's paperwork to be done. we are still waiting for one more thing...when that comes what a day of rejoicing it will be! God is never late- His time is just really different than ours. adoption costs. but oh what a price He paid to adopt us! can we do less?

  2. Beautiful! Thank You for sharing. I too am learning that un-loving your children who don't love you................is not possible. And the sacrifices do not end after they are grown. (((HUGS)))