What would the world be like if we all saw things through the eyes of a child?
My daughter and I went on a LONG walk through the city. The weather was wonderful so I thought we should take advantage of the days while they last. As we walked I began to look at our city and think to myself "What a horrible place. It's dirty, the people are rude, there are stray dogs everywhere, cars honking and people shouting."
But then I began to watch my daughter and the way she saw things.
When I saw trash, she saw beautiful, colorful things reflecting in the sun. The dirty, barking stray dogs were wonderful and interesting creatures to wave, point and smile at. Annoying loud music blaring in the cars as they sped by were just a great reason to dance and clap.
Often times we get stuck on only seeing and focusing on the negative side of things. Our culture thrives on things to complain about. The media is filled with everything that is wrong with the world. If we could all step back for a few moments and see things as a child, it might just add a little more joy to our day.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
One of the things I didn’t plan for was Maryann, Bryce’s precious birth mom. We met with her right before we went up to the hospital to see Bryce for the first time. I remember she was wearing a long purple dress and looked so beautiful. She started sharing her story with us and all of the things she wanted for her son. I was in complete awe as she shared her journey from Cameroon, Africa to the states to pursue her education. She had drive and determination like no one I had ever met before or have met since. I was a blubbering mess and she was completely composed and confident in her decision. I fell in love with her that day and decided that she must be involved in Bryce’s life as much as possible.
Six years later and we are like family.. actually, we ARE family! She is such an intricate and important part of our family and I am so thankful that we have the privilege of having her in our lives. Adopting Bryce not only grew our family with another son, but an entire family of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and Aunts and Uncles. Relatives from the hills of Kentucky, crazy Cajuns from the south, and some amazing African’s with culture and experiences and wisdom to teach him things I never could. One simple decision to say yes to God all those years ago has blessed my life more than I will ever be able to put into words.
It’s not all unicorns and cupcakes. Adoption can be a roller coaster of emotions. Right after bringing Bryce home I struggled with bonding. He was a strong little man with a fierce eyebrow that had a tendency of bringing out all of my insecurities. I would rock him and sing to him and he would just wrestle and fight me. For months I cried in silence because I didn’t think that anyone would understand. I didn’t know of anyone who had adopted and all of my friends and family were just so happy for us that I felt the need to make adoption ‘look good’. Eventually we found some wonderful adoptive families that made such a big difference. I finally had someone who understood what I was thinking with practical advice on what to do and how to give it to God.
We decided before adoption that we must be committed to being willing to learn and listen and grow in order to do what is best for Bryce. I’ve heard a lot of people say that love is all you need, and while it’s a great big part of it and your actions should always be driven by love, it is not enough. There are experiences and lessons I cannot teach Bryce because I’ve never been a black man before. Right now we are trying to teach him how to love his curly hair and beautiful dark brown skin, but in a few years it will be something totally different. Surrounding our family with diversity and wisdom is one of my biggest goals. I am constantly looking for ways to highlight and celebrate the differences and similarities in the world around us. With that being said, I welcome any advice, books, articles, conversations, whatever as we navigate the road ahead. It really does take a village.
I can’t put into words what adoption means to me. Bryce has brought so much joy and laughter and life and love to our family! Watching these crazy brothers love each other absolutely melts my heart. Don’t get me wrong, they still fight and argue and fart on each other, but they also take care of each other and will always have each other’s backs. I am absolutely honored to be queen bee of this wild crew!
Thanks so much for following our adoption journey over the past few days. Your love and support and advice and kind words have been so encouraging! ♥️ If you have ever felt God leading you to grow your family through adoption, I ask you to pray, pray, pray and obey!
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It is national adoption month so throughout the month of November I’d like to share a few posts about our adoption journey so far. I’m hoping to open up some honest conversations and maybe answer some questions you might have about adoption. Some believe it’s all beautiful and wonderful, while others think it’s just too messy and risky to get involved. God’s word tells us that all believers are called to be involved in some way or another and hopefully these conversations will get you thinking about what that might look like for you.
It was June 16, 2012 and we had just driven down to Florida the night before to spend a week at the beach. My phone rang and something in my heart just knew this was it.. a baby boy had just been delivered and the birth mother was looking for a family. My heart was pounding out of my chest. Is this really it! All the months of paperwork and planning and praying and more paperwork and home studies and finger prints and background checks and more paperwork had led up to this very moment. I was told that so much needed to be done before we could go meet our son, so why don’t you just relax and enjoy the beach. Seriously.. relax? I was hundreds of miles away and there was absolutely nothing I could do. We went down to the beach one night, just the two of us, and just prayed and cried out to God. If this is your plan we want to be obedient, but if not Lord please just shut it all down. The last thing we wanted to do was make something happen just because we wanted it or thought it was right. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to force my plans on the Lord and just hope that He blesses them. Do you struggle with asking God what He wants before making a decision?
After what felt like the longest beach vacation ever, we got the car all packed up and were ready to head home to meet our new son! We got about 10 minutes down the road when Brandon started throwing up.. in. a. sand bucket. My mind was racing, you can’t be sick right now! We are going home to a premie newborn and I need your help, what are you thinking!!! Right about that time Kade starts crying because dad is puking in HIS sand bucket.. then Jaxon starts crying because he can’t hear the movie over all the crying and puking.. and I just sat there with hot silent tears rolling down my face. What in the world are we doing? Who do you think you are bringing an innocent child into this crazy mess? Then God, in all His glory, whispered right to my heart, Megan when did I call you to this? I started doing the math and my mouth dropped open and even more tears started coming. The week we felt God leading us to adoption was the very same week our son was conceived. God said, this is not about you!!! Whether you feel qualified, or prepared, or even good enough.. I’ve had a plan in place all this time. You just need to have faith in me and be obedient. What is God calling you to do? If you are having a hard time trusting, just start praying for the faith you need to be obedient? I promise you He has a plan!
The doctor met us in the hall and started explaining all the rules of the NICU. My heart was racing but not near as fast as my mind! All the thoughts running wild and I couldn’t hold on to even one of them for longer than a second. We walked into the room and then I heard it, “meet your son” and it all just.. stopped. My thoughts, my heart, everything! The doctor put him in my arms and I just lost it.
I’d never held a baby so tiny before. I had been used to big fat chunky babies, so this was completely new to me. He was small, but he was strong. Long skinny arms and legs and the cutest little old man face complete with two big beautiful dimples. That night on the way home we stopped for ice cream at sonic and realized he needed a name. His birth mom gave him Wyatt so we decided to name him Bryce Wyatt. I had to write it on a napkin a few times before it was completely official, but we were now a family of five!
I went back up the next day to feed him and spend some time bonding and the doctor came in and said “He’s ready to go home now.” Shock and panic kinda just took over my body at that point. Go home? Just the day before we were told that he would need to stay in the NICU for a few more weeks! I called my mom who immediately dropped everything, jumped in the car, and drove up. We went to Target and bought all the things and cleaned the house and washed all the wet beach clothes. The next day we went back to the hospital to bring him home and I swear I didn’t hear a single word the discharge nurse was saying. She literally sounded like Charlie Brown’s mom and I must have looked like a deer in headlights, because she asked me several times if I was ok and I just kinda nodded my head. I mean, this wasn’t my first rodeo, I’d brought two boys home from the hospital before but this was just different. It was all moving so fast and my mind just hadn’t caught up to speed with everything that was happening in real time. We were actually doing this. It was real. This is our son. Like, I am completely responsible for this tiny human for the rest of his life. Don’t get me wrong, I was overjoyed to finally have the sweet baby boy that we had been praying for months for, but I just felt completely overwhelmed by all of the emotions! Has this ever happened to you before? How did you handle all of the emotions all at once?
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