I pull the brush through her long, thick hair and watch her reflection in the mirror. Her lips never stop moving as she shares a story from school that day. She pauses and looks in the mirror and asks, I wonder what my birth mom looks like?
And this question steals my breath and quickens my heart as I search for the perfect words to say. Because I desperately want to shield her from her early story and the unknowns that international adoption offers. I want to rescue her identity from words like “abandoned” and “orphan.”
So I take these moments to teach her of God’s love. To teach her of God’s amazing ability to weave a more beautiful story through the events that make up our lives. Even through the unknowns of our lives.
Because God reveals the beauty in the words that fall hard at our feet. He has taught me not to hide from them; instead we have learned to embrace the hard.
When the world says abandoned, God says “chosen.”
When her little friends say orphan, God says, “my precious one.”
When the world says unloved, God says, “securely wrapped in my never-ending, forever love.”
This adoption process goes on much longer than the two year paper trail and the flights across the world. This adoption process is a continual recognition and enlarging of God’s unconditional love for us, His chosen and much-loved children, grafted in to His family through adoption.
God has taught me, and is teaching her, to embrace Him in the unknown edges of her story. Because international adoption offers more unknowns than answers, and leaves us with many questions that go unanswered.
And it’s at these moments, that I think of you, an unknown Chinese mother. A mother living with her own very hard unknowns. It’s at these moments, that I pray the Lord will reveal His great love for you and redeem the hard parts of your story; that He will fill the void of the unknowns of your life.
You will always tug on the edges of her story, the story that is shaping her in to the woman God created her to be.
Her story will always include you.
And as I stare at her reflection in that mirror, and take in her features that are so clearly not mine, I smile. I can’t say for certain, but I can say with some confidence, Look in the mirror Grace. I think she probably looks a lot like you.
Lori is the wife of a Navy Chaplain, and the mother to three little (and not so little) ones. She shares about her struggle with infertility, their great abundance through adoption, and military life at www.