‘Make no mistake, we didn’t adopt because it’s hard or good. We chose to adopt because it matters.’: Mom emphasizes both struggle and beauty of adoption

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Adoption can be such a diverse topic and everyone’s story is so different. To be honest, our family is thankful for people who recognize that the curiosity about our family’s makeup isn’t a drive-by conversation, but one that requires time, carefully chosen words, and grace. As for our son’s story, it’s not ours to share fully. Most of the time, people aren’t curious about his personal details; they are curious about adoption in general and our family’s story.

adopted son making a face with his dad
Courtesy of Tracy Viala Purdy

I jump at any opportunity to share the story of utter joy, challenges, and ongoing learning.

After Adam and I got married in 2005, it took us 7 years before we decided to take the step to grow our family, as it wasn’t happening naturally. It was not how we, in our small minds, thought it would go.

We were treated by some wonderful local doctors who have helped so many couples conceive, but everything we tried was unsuccessful. We felt hopeless and lost. Words cannot even explain the experience of this loss. This process was one of the most emotional and challenging times of my life.

Fortunately, our marriage only grew stronger, we were there for each other and continued to rely on God. This didn’t always come easily, but it helped that Adam has a gentle heart and patience for the crazy situations and conversations that come with infertility.

After many procedures and myself feeling defeated and worn down, we decided we wouldn’t do the IVF route anymore. While it may seem that we ‘jumped on the adoption train as a backup’ this was simply untrue. Adam and I knew we always wanted to adopt, but we always thought it would be after we were blessed with our own biological children. Isn’t there something about making your own plans only to be interrupted by the plans the Lord has for you?

adopted son on a play ground smiling
Courtesy of Tracy Viala Purdy

After looking into adoption agencies and going to a few different meetings, we never had peace about moving forward with any of them. We ended up deciding we needed to take a step of faith forward and join the foster/adoption classes through the state of Florida. We were nervous, excited, and completely clueless.

In February of 2012, we began going to the classes two times a week and learned so much. How our state system works, what it was going to take to be a parent to these children, and the wide variety of needs that the children in our area have. We also came in with a large list of things we ‘would consider and wouldn’t consider’ as it relates to the children we would accept in our family.

We had so many misassumptions of ‘what we wanted’ going into the process. We only wanted to consider children 2 and under, we were open to other races, but really wanted to consider a baby who would look like us. I know this may seem shallow and unsympathetic, but at the time, we had this perfect’ view of what our family would look like. Little did we know that these ‘requirements’ would be tossed out once we were introduced to our son.

Four short months later, we began to be contacted for children that were in a position to be adopted or were going to be moving from foster to adoption quickly. We received some brief information on a 4-year-old little boy named George with a picture. Once we saw the sweet picture of him, our hearts knew it. Is it not amazing how God prepares us for those moments to be able to respond to the nudge that you are making the right decisions? Four short months later, we received a call that we were chosen for this special, precious 4-year-old boy named George. I’ll never forget the feeling when I received that call. It was utter disbelief, excitement, and nervousness.

adopted son standing in a red coat smiling
Courtesy of Tracy Viala Purdy

The first time we met him, we were trying to be the ‘cool parents’ and ended up going home with an accidental wound to Adam’s eye, and I had burns from a slide all over my knees and stomach due to us trying to ‘perform for him to like us.’ These stories are still stories we tell to this day and laugh with so much joy. In an instant, we were sold on him. While we had people surrounding us with words of encouragement, hope, and insight, we also had those voices cautioning us to ‘make sure you look at the family history,’ ‘ a 4-year-old could come with a ton of trauma.’ I say this to bring to light that, while we knew we were chosen for him and we wanted him, there were always those voices of hesitation initially. How could there not be? But there was so much more than the fear that this world interrupts our lives with. We knew he was chosen for us, and we wanted to love him, despite his background.

It is so hard to express in words what a unique experience adoption has been for us. It has been quite a journey. So many unknowns, acts of kindness and sacrifice, eventually led to the growth of our family. Adopting George has made us more aware of God’s power and of His love for us. We have realized He always has a perfect plan for our lives, even if our minds can not comprehend it.

Adoption has been a gift from God. Adoption is God’s, ultimate love. He chose us to be mom and dad and chose George to be our son. God made something out of our reach become a reality.

adopted son hugging mom close
Courtesy of Brittney Vier Photography

While I can fully say that adoption was a gift, I can equally say that adoption has been one of the hardest things we have ever done. Adoption is hard. But the Lord is good, and He continues to reveal more of Himself to us through this child who resists us in so many ways. How much more does God love us when we resist him? There’s so much of the gospel in adoption, and we want to live it out well. Even on the VERY hard days.

As hard as adoption is, it’s just as good. It is amazing when our George shows being needed and reciprocates the love. Or when he and his brother and sisters laugh uncontrollably as they play together. But make no mistake, we didn’t adopt because it’s hard or good. We chose to adopt because it matters.

We adopted because a little boy needed a mom and dad. Through the years there have been good days and there have also been many difficult days, but we are encouraged by Christ, his Word, and our friends and family. And that is enough—even when we don’t know what to expect or how to do this parenting thing.

Do we love George with our whole hearts? Yes. Are we super thankful? Yes. Has it been an easy road? No. Is adoption easy? No, it is not. Is it simple? Nope. Is it rewarding and redeeming? Yes. Whether our children are adopted or naturally born to us, the road can be tough and a challenge. But isn’t any relationship? Whether it’s raising our children, marriage, friendships, etc. it’s all so worth that challenge. Isn’t it? I think we should all have a daily reminder to give grace to ourselves; God already has.

adopted son as a kid smiling on the beach
Courtesy of Tracy Viala Purdy

Our son was given a birth family. And although we love him with the deepest love, our love cannot remove the wound of being removed from his biological family. We cannot remove the wound of having parents now that do not look like him. We will not erase his history or the hard parts of his story, and we cannot shield him from the hurt that comes from navigating relationships with both his adopted and biological family.

But we can love him. We can raise him in an amazing and welcoming Christian community. We can point him to Jesus in all that we do. We can walk beside him through the unique attributes of adoption that will mark his life. We can apologize when we get it wrong(which is often), pursue outside support and resources when we need help, and we can give him a home where he feels safe and stable. We can point to a sovereign God who loves him deeply and show that God has an amazing plan for his life. It’s going to be so fun to see it unfold.

I would like to leave you with a bit of encouragement. God did not accidentally or casually adopt you, just like He didn’t choose George for us by accident. He didn’t pick you because all the good ones were taken. He chose you before we did good or evil.

Of all the ways God could have chosen to relate to humanity, He chose the language of family. He could have described Himself as a dictator, boss, or landlord. But instead, He chose the word father. He can overcome our children’s grief as well as our own. He can sweep up our families in a beautiful story of redemption, hope, and healing. He can break the cycles of generational curses and give a fresh start to anyone who asks.

If you are in the days of chaos and uncertainty, I can tell you where to find the peace and comfort that your family is searching for. God is that peace. We each have our own challenges, heartbreaks, dreams, and battles. I pray that you would find peace in your own personal life journey by seeking strength and finding hope in the One who makes no mistakes. He is glorified by your trying, your pursuing, and your love for others.

While adoption is a gift from God, there are many layers. It does not always start out beautiful and wonderful. It is complicated, complex, and scary. The beauty and the wonder do not always come right away. They are tucked away like a beautifully wrapped package for just the right time.”

adopted children with their parents
Courtesy of Brittney Vier Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tracy Viala Purdy from Gulf Breeze, FL. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. Do you have a similar experience? Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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