My life is not much different from that of any other mom: constantly pouring out and rarely getting anything back in return except a smart remark. There are two major differences between me and most other moms. First, I didn’t give birth to the child I am raising; I adopted her. Next, I didn’t take on this sweet girl as a baby, but as an adolescent. I didn’t get all the major years of bonding. I am trying to encourage and train a child to become a healthy young adult. I am also trying to be God’s hands and feet to bring healing to the wounds and damage she endured most of her life.
As if that isn’t hard enough, I am doing this as a single lady. I don’t have a partner to take over in the moments I don’t have grace but am full of bitterness. I have no one to build me up on the nights I cry over my own selfishness. The hardest part of all is playing the role of mom and dad. I never realized how important these roles were until now. I had no idea how hard it would be to nurture and be compassionate when I am also exhausted from working a full day. All livelihood, discipline, teaching and training rely on me. In the midst of this, we are trying to learn each other’s unique personalities.
I understand why many people do not take on the responsibility of adoption. I don’t have precious memories of her as a baby needing me, my milk, my care, and my love. I don’t have memories of her as a toddler crying for me when someone else tries to take her because I am her whole world. Bonding is very difficult because I don’t have these memories. If she doesn’t ask me for a hug, I don’t think to hug her because I don’t know her little signs yet. When she gets angry, I become defensive and feel so unappreciated at a time when I am pouring out more than ever! I cannot tell you how many times I cry myself to sleep, or simply cry anywhere, because I feel so depleted.
I’m sure many of you reading this are thinking, “This is so sad. Poor Victoria. Why would she do this?” That’s a great question, and I love answering it! The answer is that I am crazy! I am only half kidding.
I would like to share a small secret with you. I was once a horribly disgusting human being completely drenched in mud from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. Remember the woman about to be stoned in the Bible? I like to compare myself to her in more ways than one. The first comparison is the obvious: sin. The second is the great life-changing gift she received by the grace of Christ. You see, when you deserve death and know it greater than any adversary can state and then have purity Himself stand up for you, even stand up in front of you, your life is no longer yours. At that moment everything in you belongs to Him.
Throughout all of the trials in my life, God was molding me into the kind of person who would say yes whenever and however He called. Years ago my heart was broken, my dreams shattered and my hope was lost. It was then I learned there is a name for hope, peace, love, and joy. That name is Jesus Christ. Trial after trial, I continually ran to my Savior. There were many moments I wanted to give up and run away from my own life. I remember God asking me as He did the disciples, “Are you also going to leave?” I replied out loud as Peter did, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life” (John 6:67-68 NLT).
When the day came that a broken little girl asked if she could live with me I only had one question: “If this is Your will then I’m going to need a lot of miracles and open doors, and if this is not Your will for me can You please help me help her somehow?” I can just hear God laughing and smiling. The Good Book says God is searching for people who love Him and want to do His will, so I said, “Here I am, God. Send me.” And He did. What made this decision hardest was my seeking wise counsel. Most of my family and friends discouraged me from taking on this responsibility. Who would blame them? I was broke, single, and prime marriage age with the world ahead of me. This could ruin my chances of finding a quality mate, traveling the world, continuing my education or becoming debt free. Yet I have never in all my life seen so many miracles happen in such a short period of time all for one little life. The greatest lesson I have learned to date is how miraculously and powerfully God will move for one person! Here are just a couple examples. The month I was asked if I could take Destiny I had just been hired back to my old job and given an unexpected raise. The following month all placement paperwork was done. Apparently this takes many months, and all those involved were shocked.
One week I realized I had $10 in my account until payday, which was six days away. I cried out angry to God, “You called me to this and promised me You would provide for us. You are my husband and provider right now! I refuse to call family and friends and beg for bread because You are my provider!” The next day there was an unexpected check in the mail for $300.00. The list goes on and on.
As I am sitting here writing this blog I have been weeping and writing because writing all this is again inspiring the awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness. This may not be the life I planned, expected or asked for but it sure is blessed beyond anything I could imagine. I have loved God, walked with Him and talked with Him, but it wasn’t until I decided to adopt a little girl that I saw the heart of God. When you think about it, is there really any greater picture of how our Savior loves us? We were born into flesh, have hardships and abuse thrown our way, and then choose sin and death. For some reason, God chooses and adopts us. It’s strange at first to be loved by someone we’ve never met. Yet deep down it’s what we always hoped and prayed for: that we were actually worth being loved well.
We serve an amazing God whose heart I don’t deserve to rest in, whose greatness I will never understand, and whose power words cannot describe. We serve a God who runs after the one, loves those the world casts away, and miraculously works all things for greatness for all who love Him. I can’t wait to see what He asks of me next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was given the name Victoria at birth, which means Victorious; a powerful identity I would not understand until the age of 28. I was raised in a loving Christian home, but sadly walked away from truth at age 15. I wouldn’t return to truth until age 19, the same year my little girl was born. The moment I surrendered to Christ happened when my pitiful, shameful self asked, “If You are real, then prove it!” and He did. Since then, I have worked through many painful choices and memories, bringing forth a life I believe is nothing less then Victorious. I then traveled the world, gained wisdom, took leaps of faith and watched God work miracles.