We’ve learned a few things about ourselves and our family as a result of adopting Elijah. Before we adopted him, we asked ourselves the same questions that run through your head as you consider the notion. (it doesn’t make you a bad person)
* Will we feel as strongly about him as we would if he was our biological child?
A: I feel so strongly about Elijah that I worry about whether I can ever love something this way again. When he was a baby, we flew from Chicago to San Jose to visit our family. We got on the plane and Eli was on my lap. I introduced my self to the teenager next to me and then introduced Eli.
I said, ” You might want to take a mental picture of this young man.”
He said: “What do you mean”
I said: “Listen closely, his name is Elijah Truman Pack. Try and remember it so in thirty years you are able to tell your family and friends that you sat next to the President of the united states and his father on a plane when you were young.”
He said: “ha ha, ok?”
I said: “I know it sounds crazy, but I’m serious, remember his name.”
There was a part of me that was joking but a much bigger part of me wasn’t.
Now I fully realize today that I was behaving like a fool but I really am only able to see him in a remarkable light. I’m sure this is true about most goofy parents with their 1st…and this is my point. Just like most other parents with their 1st, I believe my son is the most unique and special human ever born:) I’m so proud of him and in love with him that it causes me to gasp as I consider that the God of the universe loves me in the same starry eyed way. I’ve learned more about the way God loves me through examining my feelings for Eli than anything else in my life.
* Will our family love him as they would if he was our biological child?
A: Our parents collectively and individually behave like Eli has yet to sin. They cringe as we discipline him because their love for him is so strong that it irrationally convinces them that he’s innocent. The funny thing is, if you’ve met Eli you would know that he’s rarely innocent when it comes to insubordination in the name of silliness:) Seriously though, I believe with my whole heart that Elijah resides in the deepest most intimate part of their hearts. I know this because I know how it feels and I recognize it when I see it in others.
In light of these anxieties being shattered by sincere and profound love for Elijah, Rebecca and I decided to begin talking and praying about really stepping out as it relates to growing our family. We are in the process of becoming foster parents in our county. We are hoping to care for a sibling group of up to 3 children. Our ultimate desire is that we would be chosen to foster a sibling group that needs a permanent home and parents to call their own. We are well into the process now and hope to be ready for a placement by June 1st.
A few hours ago we finished an 8 hour class for CPR and 1st Aid as part of the licensing process. In a couple weeks we start a 4 week class called PRIDE training. When that’s complete, we hope to get our license to foster. This means that in just a few short weeks, this blog will start getting REALLY interesting…Stay Tuned:)
3 thoughts on “It’s hard to believe we ever wondered…”
One time someone asked me if I ever thought about adopting… and I thought about it and it occurred to me: I am adopted! And I don’t mean by God (though that is true too). But I wasn’t born a Gardner. When my mom married Bob Gardner he legally adopted all of her children. I always knew I had a different biological father than half my brothers but Dad was Dad.
I think the most telling thing about the nature of adoption is that Dad was a lousy father. Pretty darn bad… but never in any of that was there any doubt that he was still my dad.
I am so happy that we get to enjoy Eli (AKA ‘ay yai’ according to Juliette) and his awesome parents. We look forward to meeting and enjoying the other children God is bringing into your home.
How exciting!! Eli will always know how much he’s loved, and he’ll have a beautiful opportunity to understand the beauty of the gospel in a way that most of us don’t have. Adoption is so wonderful!