There are so many difficult things about adoption. If you see me gazing off into space, walking around like I've been hit by a 2 x 4, talking a lot, changing subjects mid-sentence, or not talking much...show me grace. I need grace.
There are so many new things in our life. We have to make so many new decisions. Everything we do or decision we make is thought through to the 10th degree. Try not to judge. We're hard enough on ourselves.
I thought I would give you a glimpse into some of the "Hard stuff." Adopting is kind of like having a new baby. However, when you're adopting older children there's no time to slowly transition. One day they're just there. (and they come with lots of stuff) Older children have already developed patterns just as you have. Children within the foster care system have learned "How to survive." Once placed with a family, they have to learn there's no need for those survival skills. They are loved, accepted, forgiven no matter what.
One of the most difficult decisions we made was to change our girls names. We always knew we had that option. When you adopt, the children are issued a new birth certificate. Being that they are older, Martie and I didn't originally think we would give them new names. From the beginning D has begged us to change hers. I prayed about it, talked to her in depth, I tried to get to the heart of the issue. S just wanted to do what her big sister was doing. I still don't think she grasps the whole concept but none the less she is thrilled with her new name. D is now Aaliyah and S is now Naomi.
It is strange and we talk about it being hard. I think it's helpful to be honest. Looking at the bigger picture we really believe this is just another way God uses adoption to point to the gospel. Looking through scripture you often see God changing names. When we are "Adopted" into the family of Christ we are "A new creature; the old things passed away." (2 Cor. 5:17)
The Mangum family is different now. We are no longer a family of 8, we're a family of 10. We didn't just have another baby, we had TWO! They are 10 years old and 7 years old. We are adjusting. There have been some absolutely beautiful God glorifying times in this last week. There have also been times where I needed a few minutes by myself.
But see this isn't about the Mangums. This isn't about Heather or Martie or even Aaliyah or Naomi. It is about God. He laid adoption on our hearts. We know it is close to His heart so it has to be close to ours. Galatians 4:3-7 says this,
"So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father! Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God."
Christ was willing to come and pour out Himself for us, even to death. We didn't ask for Him to do that, we weren't even searching for a "Savior." He just loved us so much that He wanted to rescue us from this world and ourselves. He adopted us as sons/daughters.
I pray that He equips Martie and I to continually pour out ourselves for the sake of all our children and their salvation. No, we can't save them but we can point them to the Savior. The One who is perfect, holy, righteous, patient, gracious, merciful, mighty, loving, kind, forgiving...
"For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love." Galatians 5:5-6