Adoptive parents spend a lot of time and mental energy trying to make sense of a terrible story. We try to climb into the minds of people we never met, from a culture we have mostly gleaned bits and pieces from, and try to piece together a story we can give our children. When they start asking the difficult questions, our goal is to field them from the experienced professional parent status we think is possible. Did their birth parents really love them? Was it heartbreaking to leave them? Were they too poor?
We wonder if they were slaves to social stigma that told them that any imperfect babies were to be discarded as bad luck. Were there grandparents or in-laws involved that gave them no choice, because it was their responsibliity to carry on the family name? Yes, these are all options, albeit terrible ones. Which one makes the most logical sense to share with a boy who wants to know why he wasn't valuable enough to be kept and raised by the mother who bore him?
Do we go for logic, anyway? What about kindness? Which story gives them the confidence that it wasn't their fault, that they had nothing to do with the choice that was made for them before they barely could see the world around them? It is impossible to sort through the why's and what if's to make sense out of something we had no control over, nor complete knowledge of, but often we still try.
They were four and five when we finished the final form in the mountain of paperwork that makes adoption possible. We boarded planes, survived crazy taxi rides, and eventually landed in the proper places at the proper times, recited the proper words, signed the proper documents, and took the proper photos to make it official. We raised our hands and solemnly promised to raise them to their full potential, never abandon or abuse them, and teach them about their country's heritage.
Yes, now they were part of a real family, a place to belong. But is it quite that simple? I have read countless blogs of adoptive parents that proudly announce that these children from hard places were always meant to be in their families. That they knew deep down that those children were connected to them by some mysterious "red thread" that joined their hearts together from the beginning of time.
I can't believe that. Plan B has always been an inferior substitute to God's Plan A. Ask the parents that struggle for weeks, months, and even years with broken children that are trying to make the best of this plan B called adoption. Try to convince them that the trips to doctors, counselors, psychologists, the night terrors, the fits of rage, the periods unconsollable crying were all a part of plan A.
The truth is, we are all a part of Plan B. But He always had it in control. Plan A was that we were to live in a perfect place with no sin, disease, heartache, and death. Plan B was that He would take care of the darkness with the Light of His Son.
Yes, we are all adopted into Plan B. That levels the playing field. We will never know what life would have been like in a perfect Garden--at least in this lifetime. But someday we will see that our real home, our real family isn't here anyway. Until then, we make the most of Plan B, knowing that "He Who began a good work in us, will carry it on to completion."
After all, it's not our plan anyway.