We are honored to share this beautiful reflection by AGCI adoption mom, Vanessa Demeter. Sometimes life’s biggest joys are in the small things. We’re grateful to Vanessa for reminding us all to take in every blessing and rejoice in God’s work in our lives.
When we first felt called to adoption we had zero plans or preconceived notions in place. Honestly we were just plain desperate to love the child we knew must be on their way to us. How could God give us such a heart’s desire to love another child as our own and then not fulfill that hope? We knew He would and we had to let Him work.
Over the next few months, I feel God graced us with blindness for many months so that He could do His work through us. One day, it was revealed He was leading us to All God’s Children, and then we discovered His intentions for our child to come from China. Then, surprise! God said, “Oh, and your child will have special needs! Here’s a list.”
That list was brutal. Every blank spot meant a child stayed behind and in need of love, and every check meant fear of the unknown for us. We went forward checking away and trusting God, repeating, “He is good. He intends it all for good. He will equip us.”
Years later, thankfully, He’s fully restored our sight because we wouldn’t want to miss a moment of His grace on display through Finny every second. Yes, challenges abound like little puzzle pieces you can’t figure out where to put. Then when you figure out where that piece fits, you can only stand back in awe of God who takes care of us so amazingly. He’s removed me from the task. He’s unburdened me. Only He can do what needs doing most days with Finny. What a relief!
Sometimes you even have to go to bed still not knowing where those pieces will fit. Once in a while even weeks go by with that difficult puzzle piece stuck in your pocket with no place to fit it, no solution. In fact, I have a few in a bottom drawer of my closet that I’ve just decided aren’t going to fit anytime soon and I just need to let them go for now. We still repeat, “He is. He does. He will.” If we hadn’t surrendered to God’s will and laid our fears or ideas aside we’d have missed more than I can even bare to imagine. Truly. Truly.
Let me try to capture two highlights that never could have been without trusting God when it was so, so hard to do.
First, the first time Finny told me, “I love you.” She had been home a few months and needed an X-ray. While we waited for our turn she was pointing to things on her body. It seemed intentional so I tuned in and tried to figure it out. She pointed near her eye, then near her heart and then towards me again and again and again until finally, her slow mama figured it out. Oh, how I fell apart right then and there. You see how the joy of this little blessing is compounded with special needs at play? Not only did she feel love for me but so much so that she’d jump through hoops to find some way, some how, to express it to me. Without words and without developed gross motor skills, that little love found a way to tell me her heart. Melt!
Fast forward to this past Easter. We’re celebrating our Risen Savior, the kids are running around the yard collecting eggs in their basket, and my husband and I have that look in our eyes that we get when we both wonder and worry about how Finny will keep up. Then, here she comes, carefully walking over to her egg hidden in a special spot for her. She places it in her basket ever so slowly, catches her balance a few times, looks up to us, and says, “Thank you eggy candy, Mommy and Daddy!” Here we go again, glorious special needs calling us back to Him who sees and knows and works all for our good. With the fast forward button hit, we’d miss that moment. She collected two eggs while the other kids scattered and filled their baskets. She’s on pause and she invites us to be on pause with her. We get to soak in the small moments and celebrate His work in our lives, and the ordinary skills Finny is acquiring and working so hard for. She herself gets to remain slowed and present, and grateful for every little thing in life. How much sweeter the celebrations for accomplishments when the road there was not wide, but narrow.
It’s a marvelous place He’s holding us in together. This place of quiet and slow, deep thanks, and awe struck wonder for Him. She keeps us there each day. Rejoice!
I never want to leave that place, and thanks to God‘s great gift of Finny, made fearfully and wonderfully, I don’t imagine the day I ever will.
He is. He does. He will.