Adoption is a beautiful thing. It changes each life touched by it, whether by sheer beauty or by the washing of constant waves of trauma. Not every adoption story involves the same level or variations of difficulties. But it is a double edged sword, for it always involves grief, and often compounded grief.

It might seem very easy to look at this man’s parents and wonder how they can do this to him. Perhaps, had they known of his condition before birth, they would never have allowed him to take a breath, see the light of day, or live the brilliant, beautiful, difficult life he did with his sweet mom in the first place. But he beat the odds and now gets to experience life with all of its incredible challenges, heartaches, disappointments, triumphs, beauties, loves. And he gets to develop the rare skill of giving people who devastate you with their choices the benefit of the doubt, and even your forgiveness for the real wounds those choices have caused.

Remember when you meet an adult child of adoption, you are speaking with someone who has beat incredible odds, has wrestled with a kind of grief that is hard for most people to imagine, and has maybe done so over and over and over. They are some of the strongest people in the world, as are their adoptive parents who have navigated the uncharted waters of joy, loss, heartbreak, and grief with a child whom they chose and God chose for them.

God’s first design is always for children and biological parents to be together in a loving, devoted relationship of mutual trust and personal challenge that leads to refinement in each one. But the world is broken and the parent-child relationship is one of its most devastating casualties, from abortion to cold abandonment and seeming indifference, to gut-wrenching decisions to give a child up for adoption because the mother knows that her heartbreak is not of first importance. Her child’s long-term well-being is.

As good a thing as adoption is, it is important for proponents of it to never ever adopt a cavalier attitude towards it as a simple solution to a complex situation. It’s not simple. Our prayer should always, always be that somehow biological parents be able to keep their children because it is God’s first design for human thriving. Whenever that bond is severed, no matter how it is severed, there is heartache and grief that must be endured at some level.

I think this video captures poignantly the unspeakable beauty and incredible heartbreak that God has allowed to somehow occupy the same precise space in this broken-beautiful world through adoption. I hope you will watch it.

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