When Shane and I started the adoption process for the first time in January of 2013 I entered a world that I had book knowledge about but no real life experience with. I knew the vocabulary words and the basic process. I would soon learn the process inside out and would speak the language of adoptive parents. I expected all those thing when we started. What a didn't expect was the vibrant community of fellow parents walking the same road. Thanks to social media and the Internet adoptive parents all over the world are connected to each other. It is an essential part of my life. Our agency has a very active and supportive Facebook group. It is through that group and others that I have connected with some now dear friends. When we were in China and I was staring at that big deep bathtub trying to hold off the panic as I wondered how in the world I was gonna help Emily I reached out and within minutes had real life experts telling me exactly what to do. When we received scary news about a diagnoses I again reached out and within minutes was connected to not only others with the diagnoses but other adoptive parents dealing with the same news. When Sarah reached a new milestone it was celebrated by people who haven't even met her in person. You would be hard pressed to find a more passionate and knit together community than that of adoptive parents. We celebrate together, agonize over days lost together, rally around each other, pray for each other and cry together.
That's what I saw happening last year when Jennifer Phillips and her family were stuck in the middle of a nightmare after the adoption of their precious daughter Lucy. Day after day on our agency page and through her blog we watched this unbelievable situation play out. Each day I would check to see of their news. Jennifer didn't know me and I didn't know her beyond posts on the Internet but as a community we prayed over this family.
Jennifer's book, Bringing Lucy Home, recounts the immigration nightmare they lived out in the months following Lucy's adoption. As missionaries living in Australia they had to do things a little differently than most but had a well researched plan. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned and Jennifer and Lucy were stuck, separated from the rest of their family. With a focus on the gospel, Jennifer tells the story of their separation. She honestly tells of her desperation and heartache and also tells of God's grace and lessons through this incredibly difficult time. Reading about Lucy's transformation as she able to pour herself into Lucy is amazing and as a mother you feel her conflict as she relishes the accomlishments of one child while desperately missing her other children. Reading her account of her husband watching YouTube videos so he can braid their daughters hair on the first day of school was both precious and heart wrenching.
My favorite quote from the book is:
"When the time came for her to join our family, our neat little lives would be become very, very messy. But that doesn't matter because if life is a series of events to avoid messiness, to avoid heartache, unease and suffering, it is a sad, hollow life indeed."
This has been our families experience the last few years and I feel the same way. We didn't face the immigration issues and separation the Phillips did but our lives have become messy and I am so thankful because as Jennifer says- They are worth it!
Summer is coming! Grab this book for your beach bag or car trip. Put it on your kindle or ipad and read it as you sit with your little ones while they fall asleep. You will be encouraged!
Click here to go to Amazon for Bringing Lucy Home.