My beautiful niece, Olivia, is adopted from Guatemala. My sister and brother-in-law were trying to have a baby and it just wasn’t happening. So they adopted. And like many adoption stories, while they were waiting to bring Olivia home, they got pregnant. And our family was doubly blessed. Five years later came a little surprise named Eme who turned my sister’s well ordered life upside down and on it’s ear. For the better. And the blessings just overflowed.
Not to brag or anything but…
Olivia is brilliant. And creative. She’s a voracious reader. She LOVES animals of all kinds. Stuffed. Four legged. Two legged. Winged. Her most favorite animals live in the sea. She loves the ocean and everything about dolphins. I can’t wait til she is old enough to come stay with me for the summer. I don’t think she will ever go back to Tennessee. But don’t tell my sister.
One day last fall, she informed my sister that she could never be president. Not really paying attention my sister asked her why not? Olivia replied, “Because I’m not a natural born citizen.” (I told you she was brilliant) Which led to a very interesting conversation about Olivia’s birth mom. At 10, she’s starting to ask questions. The hard ones. Like why didn’t my mom want to keep me.
I look at Olivia’s story and see God’s grace all over it.
Olivia was born with a rare medical condition that did not show up until she was two. Had she stayed in Guatemala, based on where she was born, there is very little chance she would have received the medical attention she would have needed. Without it, Olivia would have hit her growth spurt at 3 which would have seriously compromised her health. I know that in her 10 year old heart, she doesn’t understand the miracle that she is. And how being adopted into our family dramatically changed the course of her life for what I believe is the better. I pray that one day, instead of seeing it as rejection, she will see the love and strength it takes to let someone go. For the better.
Because of this conversation, my sister pulled out all of Olivia’s records so she could talk to her about Guatemala and where she came from. Shannon mentioned in passing to me that Olivia’s mother was illiterate. My breath caught in my chest. Olivia. Who loves to read. Everything. And can tell you every fact, number and statistic about what she just read. Who falls asleep with books in her hand and stuffed animals in her bed. I can’t imagine her growing up in an area where she did not have access to education and the knowledge she thrives on. I love that God put her into an adoptive family where her aunt and grandmother breathe books.I see God’s grace and fingerprints all over her life. I pray that one day she will too.
I have no idea what God has in store for Olivia. But I trust that it is good. He chose to put her in our family for such a time as this. I pray that she makes it through her teen years unscathed. Knowing that she is fully loved by the God of the Universe. That she was chosen by God before the foundation of the world to be His daughter. And that she will take all the questions, the pain and he feelings of rejection that come with having an adoption story to Him. And crawl up in His lap and let Him comfort every tear. Answer every question. And make it clear that He has a wonderful plan for her life. And being adopted is part of that plan.