This week I came to the realization that this blog is about far more than our experiences with adoption. Somewhere along the line, instead of being a mere love letter to my husband and children, it has morphed into something I never intended...a love letter to God.
I don't know how it happened really, as I am the very last person to be "preachy" or evangelistic in nature, as I am really far too shy for that. I know, you are thinking "Too shy? This is the woman who spills her guts online on a weekly basis!!". But blogging is a very anonymous thing, actually. Even though you know my name, what I look like, and many of my most basic and deeply held beliefs, I won't see you in the grocery store or at school. I can say things here that I might not have the courage to say face to face, although I admit that the older I become the more open and honest I am able to be with others, particularly when it comes to saying "I love you" or "Hey, I think you are awesome and I'd love to become friends.". I am less fearful of putting myself out there in that regard.
So, back to the topic at hand, this week I received 2 separate emails from regular readers of the blog which focused largely on God, how I have expressed my relationship with Him, and how they have viewed that...both positively and negatively. It really made me step back and think, to go back and re-read some older posts and to examine it with a critical eye.
You see, I don't see myself as a particularly "religious" person. To me, that is so far astray from being a person of "faith" that it doesn't fit. I don't claim to have all the answers, and in fact I mostly walk around with questions floating through my head. I would not dare hold my life up as an example of virtue, I have made far too many mistakes for that. I can not hold up a lifelong church membership card as a badge to be shown to others as if it proves my worthiness of being included in certain circles. I am not at all "religious" in the typical sense of the word.
So how did my posts grow to include so many references to things religious? Why have my writings taken a decided turn as we have moved through this past year? After all, isn't this a blog about adoption, not church?
As I thought about it, I quickly realized it is because no one with even a smidgen of faith could go through the adoption process and not be profoundly affected by it and have their faith restored or grow because of it. I think older child adoption is even more prone to bringing about this growth in a parent, as there are inherently more fears about the child you are bringing home.
The fact is, I am living within a family that God built.
How could I not acknowledge His goodness, His love for the children that were placed in our arms...and his love for us in filling those empty arms? The "miracle of adoption" is a phrase that is so often over used it has lost some of its punch, but believe me, it IS a miracle. This miracle has thus far bound together 5 people forever, 5 people who were not connected in any way other than as part of His plan. It may bind 2 more to us in time, if we are so blessed.
And yet, this blog is not intended to be a sermon. This blog is not a "Women's Retreat". It is not a religious tract left at your doorway, it is not the Internet version of Elders knocking at your door, it is not a Televangelist asking for more money to fund programming worldwide. This is not a prayer meeting, nor an alter call.
This blog is about our family, and God is at the center of it. We don't pretend to be some sort of "Super God Family", giggles are often heard during bedtime prayers, we don't make a show of praying in public before meals at restaurants, we don't make a point of condemning Harry Potter, and we are not likely to be found picketing a Walmart because it elects to sell CD's for artists we think are less than appropriate.
And yet for all that we are not, for all we don't do, God IS here with us. He is as much a part of our daily, casual conversation as any member of our family is. His guidelines for living our lives are often brought up when discussing a situation. He is consulted daily about all things, big and small. He is known to speak to us if we know how to listen for Him. It has also been decided among all of us that it is highly likely He has a terrific sense of humor, and that our faith and appreciation for all He has done for us doesn't need only be expressed in quiet, somber tones but in joyous laughter and off-key singing.
Faith need not equal being "religious". Faith need not be always serious. Faith need not be "in your face". Sometimes, faith is funny, faith is unanswered questions, faith is quietly expressed in an act or deed rather than loud proclamations, faith is uncertainty mixed with underlying belief.
I have faith that our future is in His hands. I have faith that He knows better than we what is best. I have faith that He has already touched the hearts of two little people far, far away.
I have faith because I have lived within His workings, I have seen it firsthand. I can't always explain it, I can't always cite chapter and verse, I can't begin to say "I know He thinks...". What I CAN say "He is here, He has touched my life.".
And as I look into the eyes of my 3 little miracles, I can say with absolute certainty "He exists.".
No doubt about that one.