Monday, November 1, 2010

My Never-Ending Story

I’m Joslyn. Many words could tell who I am: 29, wife, Momma, crafty, lover of books, crazy about Jesus, family oriented, card-making scrapbooker, friend, passionate, singer, teacher, photographer wanna-be, cook, encourager, adopted. Yes, I said adopted. And though I am all those things, only the people who know me best know that I’m adopted.

And yet it’s not a secret. The world acts as if it’s unfortunate. People say things like, “Oh, I’m sorry” or “Oh, I didn’t know that” in very uncomfortable tones and then quickly change the subject. Others have questions and bring it up like it’s an open wound or something.

And so I’m here to tell you my story. So you won’t be sorry. And so you won’t be sorry from now on when you hear someone is adopted.

First, I want to gander at my favorite piece of literature. Here, we do not shy from talking about adoption. In fact, adoption is the analogy used to explain how one becomes a part of God’s family. When we put Jesus first, it’s as if we get a whole new family! Galatians chapter 4 tells us that

“God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

The Bible makes it clear in numerous places that we are adopted into God’s family. And isn’t that the case? How many of you non-adopted people out there are closer with people from your church than you are with your own family? How blessed does that make you feel? It’s as if you were chosen; accepted as you are for who you are and not who you are born of.

And so it is for an adoptee. We are chosen. We are plucked from whatever situation, and we are placed in arms made of unconditional love.

Here is my (hopefully) never-ending adoption story:

I was born 12/8/1980 to Sarah, who was 42. I was her fifth birth child, and I was the third one she put up for adoption. My parents, who had been trying to conceive for 7 years, got the call on the day I was born. Though it took them 6.5 weeks to get to me (interstate adoptions and all the legalities), they were thrilled from that moment on to be my Mommy & Daddy.

My parents chose me. They wanted a baby for 7 long years, and I was the answer to their prayers. They had prayed for me for 7 years; longed to hold and smell those fresh baby smells for 7 years. They cried over it, and they trusted God over it. Ironically, over the weekend they came to get me (1/16/1981), my Mom wasn’t feeling so well. Turns out that’s because my sister, Katrina, was already causing a ruckus in the womb! In the next 5 years, my parents gave me 1 sister (Katrina), and 2 brothers (Jeremy & Nathan). I always joke that I made my parents fertile. J

The 6 of us had a very busy, full life. My dad, Gary, is a Nazarene pastor. My mom, Shiela, is a trained teacher who stayed home with us while we were all in school. We lived on little, laughed a lot, played a lot of games and sports, and celebrated holidays more with traditions than gifts (though we did do gifts, just not extravagant ones). We had family night through much of my childhood and adolescence. We were at church anytime the doors were open. We siblings fought much, and tended to form teams against each other. We picked on my baby brother (sorry, Nate), and ganged up on each other (and sometimes my parents). Though life wasn’t always easy, I look back and am thankful for my large family. I’m thankful for the many camping escapades and sacrifices my parents made for us. I’m thankful that Mom was always home when I got home from school (even though it was kind of annoying at times). I’m thankful for chores, allowances, and learning about stewardship early in life. To this day, my sister is one of my dearest and closest friends, along with my brothers. I never hesitate to spend time with them.

I have had a great life. I literally could not ask for more. And though you may think this is where I tell you that this is it, I’m going to tell you that now I have the pleasure of adopting.

As a PreK teacher in the public school system, I had the chance to meet many fun little people. It is the job God created me for, and I loved most minutes of it! Enter Dillon, 3, on 8/2009. He was sweet, rowdy, and had very few words in his vocabulary. And did I mention that he was the cutest boy ever with the deepest brown eyes? As the year progressed, I continued to fall for this little man. His foster parents loved him so very much but had already raised 4 grown children and were ready for retirement years. Long story short, I had this wild idea that I should raise him! I already loved him! How hard could this be? The next step would be getting my husband involved and on board.

Though I expected opposition from him, he encouraged me to look into it and was willing to do what it took to get our foster license. In turn, we started seeing Dillon more often at our house and spending more time with him.

We got to add a 3rd member to our house on 4/12/2010. I will never forget that day. To this date (11/2010), we are still in the process of adopting. In the meantime, Dillon is the light of our lives and the joy to all of our extended family. He is still sweet and rowdy, and his vocabulary is limitless now. We do everything together, and we love each day getting to know him more and more. Sometimes we get sad that we missed 4 years and 3 weeks of his life. Sometimes we feel robbed. And yet, when he smiles at us the way that only he can, God fills us up once more.

Adoption is not a curse; it’s a blessing. Adoption is scary, and yet fills so many lives with joy. Adoption is risky, as are most important decisions we make in our short lives. And, in my case, I’m hoping that my adoption story is never-ending. I want my son to value it so much to include it in his future family and so forth. Just as God’s adoption story is never-ending, I pray mine will be, too.

4 comments:

  1. Man, that was great. I am not supposed to be crying at work! I am so glad we got a chance to know and love you in the extended family as well. Same for Dillon!

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  2. Joslyn, Thanks for sharing your story. Kevin W. shared it on Facebook. It's a great story and a great parallel to our spiritual adoption into God's family.

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  3. What a beautiful story of God's love for us! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Oh, Jos...How lovely!! Thank you for sharing your story with me. We serve (and are adopted by) a great and wonderful God, yes?

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