The following blog is an excerpt by adoptee Madeleine Melcher from the book she co-authored with Rachel Garlinghouse: Encouragement for the Adoption and Parenting Journey: 52 Devotions and a Journal
When each of my children were placed in my arms, I thought there could not have been a more darling, perfect, blanket full of wrinkles, smells and smiles in the world. Perfect. No doubt, even as newborns, my kids were the smartest, best most wonderfulest (were that a word) human beings in all the land. I could have looked at those sweet little faces and hands and toes forever. Children truly are a heritage from the Lord. Plainly said, they are a gift. Some in the adoption community will tell you it is not okay to call a child a gift either to yourself or from a birth parent, but truth be told children, all children, are a gift from God to the world.
Knowing I was adopted was normal…
I was adopted. Knowing I was adopted was as normal to me as having a belly button: it was just always there. Growing up, I often shared my adoption story with others in the neighborhood or at school. My story was just how I came to be with my family. It was my truth, just as some people may be a twin or might have been born prematurely. My own sweet mommy was never shy about expressing her thankfulness for my adoption or our family story. She said she had a tummy ache for the whole twenty-four hours before I arrived to her following the social workers call- that is how excited she was for me to arrive! Nor did she shy from telling me what I blessing I was. Not because I was adopted, but because I was me and she was so happy to love me. I was truly celebrated every day in a million different ways. Every child should be.
If you are feeling low; feeling so incredibly unworthy of God’s reward and of His amazing grace and all He provides, remember that you too are a heritage from the Lord. We are all His children, and He will provide us with what we need. If you are waiting to adopt I know you already have an inkling of the love you will burst wide open when your child arrives. If you are already parenting, I know you know how you suddenly seem to exude love from every nook and cranny for that child that might as well have hung the moon (no matter what smells they make!).
If you are waiting for God’s reward, please do not think in any way that the reward is only for those who are perfect in some part of their life. I am not perfect, yet by God’s grace have known so many joys in my life, not the least of which my three children. Children just like anything else God provides come without our truly being worthy. Remember, you started out as a child; we are ALL a heritage of the Lord. God was just as excited to see your face and to see you arrive to this world. He wants to provide for you just as you will or do provide for your child.
Going through the adoption process, one truly comes to appreciate the gift that children are. EVERY child is a gift. Whether they were adopted, a preemie, one of three triplets or the tenth child of twelve in the family, they are all gifts. My babies are much bigger now; their little faces have changed (so have their smells) and all but one have lost the dimples on those little hands but they will always be “my babies”. Whether they throw a fit before school, refuse to eat their veggies or even if your child struggles with bigger issues they are ours and they came from Him. He feels the same way about YOU, too! I have a sign that says, Children are a heritage of the Lord, in my own home with my sweet babies’ little pre-school pictures hanging under it. Oh how I love those sweet lil’ cheeks. They are a blessing; even on their worst days- don’t we all want to be that to God? To each other?
A Prayer of Thanksgiving…
I am saying a prayer of thanksgiving right now for my children, as well as yours and those you are hoping for. God is so good in sharing these amazing little humans with us. No matter how imperfect you feel as a parent or a Christian, remember; God celebrates you, His child, and all of his children. No one better knows your heart or what you need, more than God and no parent has ever loved His children more than He has loved us. We are the heritage of the Lord and will always share that heritage with our children. Feeling humbled yet? I sure am!
Books by Madeleine Melcher:
COMING SOON! Madeleine’s book for parents through adoption, written from her perspective as an adoptee.
You can follow Madeleine here:
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