maliyah, you are allowed to struggle.
Tomorrow is a favorite day of mine…Cinco de Maliyah. The day you were legally named a Colander. The day that reminds us of so many truths. Like how our Father heard my dream of wanting a sister and granted it. How He created you with extreme intention and purpose. How He had written a perfect story for you before you were even born. How incredibly loved and cherished you are. My hope always on this day, is that you would see the beauty in being adopted, and what that truly means.
The meaning of adoption has morphed for me as the years have passed.
When I was younger, I figured families adopted children who had no mothers and fathers to care for them, and it was happily ever after. It was a heroic act to me, and always turned out perfect. I think some of the world still believes this to be true…
These last few years, as you have battled and fought through your story and what it means for you, I have come to realize how naïve my view of adoption was, and how small of a perspective much of the world has on it.
Despite the fact that you have been a part of our family from the beginning and that you have been showered in love every day of your life, you still question it all.
You question who you are. Where you came from. If you are truly wanted.
And the battle is fierce.
There are moments where you are hurting so deeply, trying to find a sense of belonging and understanding. You feel as though everyone is up against you. That you are alone. That you are misunderstood. That you are not wanted. That you are not chosen.
Day in and day out I beg our Father to bring you peace. To bring light to the truth, so that you might understand to the fullest capacity what your true story is and who you really are.
It seems simple. You have always been a part of our family. You have always been cared for and loved. We take you to church and teach you about Jesus.
Shouldn’t all be well? Shouldn’t all the questions be answered and the doubts forgotten? Shouldn’t it be a happily ever after?
And this is where so much of our world is confused and where I have had to open up my mind to the truth that is right in front of all of us.
Adoption is messy. It is unnerving. It is uncomfortable. It is humbling. It is painful.
But adoption is also miraculous. It is beautiful. It is life giving. It is truth giving. It is perfect.
It is the heart of the Gospel.
It is the heart of our Father.
For we are all adopted.
You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.
I think adoption has been given such an incorrect stigma. Like I said, it’s seen as this beautiful, heroic act, that always ends with happily ever after. Yet, I think the world has a way of wanting to mask the reality of it.
Of covering up the pain, issues, and struggle that are so closely tied to it.
We want to believe that because adoption is a wonderful thing, it will come issue free, but that just isn’t true.
I mean, look at all of us.
Are we all issue free?
Because the truth is that we are all adopted. We were all once lost. Without hope. Without a home. Without a purpose. And our Father scooped us up, and called us His own. He called us His children so that we could come to Him crying out, “Papa! Father!” He adopted us into His family so that we could come to Him, find complete fulfillment, and live happily ever after.
But none of us have lived out that story. None of us have come to Him with complete surrender always trusting His plans, always feeling that sense of belonging, and always knowing the truth of exactly who we are.
No. Because of our imperfections, because we are human, we have taken the perfection of adoption and messed it up.
We have all made adoption a messy thing.
We have all questioned whether or not our Father loves us. We have all doubted His goodness and His plans. We have all acted out in anger and frustration pushing Him away. We have all questioned who we are and whether or not we belong.
We are all living in the constant struggle of accepting the beauty, perfection, and fulfillment of adoption.
We are all fighting to let the truth of adoption wash over us. That we are loved. That we are chosen. That we belong.
And until the world recognizes this, the stigma of adoption will continue to hold others back from feeling free.
It will hold others back from knowing that their struggle of accepting this truth is okay.
But Maliyah, know that you are given full permission to struggle.
You are allowed to be confused. You are allowed to get angry. You are allowed to not trust us. You are allowed to question everything.
But just know that as you do this, we are not going anywhere. We are standing firm and will not budge. No matter how much you try to push us away as you struggle, no matter how angry you get, no matter what you do, we are not going anywhere.
Our love for you is steadfast. It is unconditional. It is relentless.
Just as our Father stands firm as we all struggle through life pushing Him away one moment, and then running to Him the next, we will do the same.
Just as He listens to our angry rants, the way we blame Him, the way we question His goodness, we too will listen to all you say.
Just as He loves, we will too.
This last year you have fought through so much. You have fought to find joy and peace in the midst of the struggle. You have fought to overcome fear. You have fought to live life to the fullest.
And I need you to know that I am so proud of you. We all are.
The struggle is not over. It isn’t over for any of us. It never will be until the day we meet our Father and can find that complete fulfillment and peace He offers us.
So until then, keep fighting. And know that you are loved. You are chosen. You are wanted.
You made our family complete.
All my love,