what if your family doesn’t support your decision to adopt? [guest post]

Something I am thankful for is my sister.  well, my entire family.  but my sister has an incredible story to tell.  I asked her if she would write something for adoption month, and I am so honored and glad that she did.  I know it will bless you + hopefully if you are in the adoption process and a family member does NOT support you, I hope this gives you HOPE!  God is in the business of redeeming, and this is a pretty awesome story.  I love how He has changed all of our hearts in some form or fashion because of this adoption.  only in His perfect plan!  Let me introduce you to my youngest sister, Mary Helen.

mh asher

 

First let me start off by saying this is not an easy thing for me to admit but considering it is National Adoption Month and I can’t be the only one on this entire planet who has ever felt this way, here it goes:  I was not always 100% behind my sister and brother in law’s decision to {internationally} adopt.  There, I said it. Now here comes the worse part: If they were to have said they were adopting from America, would I have felt any differently? Sadly, the answer is “probably.”

I remember the night Wynne and Stephen sat us down and announced the big news.  Looking back, it breaks my heart to think about how we all reacted to something so amazingly and perfectly life changing. We reacted poorly.  Let me rephrase–I reacted poorly. I was incredibly upset. Upset that my sister wouldn’t have tried hard enough to have her own biological children? Yes. Upset that Stephen was going along with the idea? Yes.  Upset that my first niece or nephew might look differently than we do? Yes.  I can’t tell you why I felt this way or why I felt so much animosity towards them for months to follow for making this decision.  But for whatever reason, I felt all of these things and I did not do a great job of hiding it. Of course I wanted to support my sister and I wanted to be excited for her, but my heart wasn’t allowing me to do that. I knew in my mind that I was being stubborn and unfair, but there was something deep inside of me that held me back from being truly and purely happy for my sister and the family she was so desperately trying to build.

A few months passed and Wynne and Stephen asked Rachel and I to Skype late one night. We had a feeling what they were going to say and once we got on the call, we could see the joy in their faces and the happiness in their voices. They had been approved and received a referral! (At this point, we knew all the adoption lingo) We spent about an hour on the phone looking at the tiny picture the agency sent of the little boy and hearing his heartbreaking story.  The call came to an end and of course I was relieved that the journey was over for them, but I still wasn’t completely convinced.  At this point I was beginning to get frustrated with myself. At this point I have no idea why I’m so reluctant to get on board.  I’m not sure what happened to me overnight, but the only conclusion I can come to is that it was a work of God. 

I never knew what people meant when they said “God spoke to me.” I guess I thought he didn’t want to talk to me because I never heard his voice as clearly as others seemed to.  And even though I was asleep when God spoke to me, I truly believe he did because somewhere between Thursday night February 2, 2012 and Friday morning February 3, 2012, God did something with my stubborn heart. I woke up that morning with a heavy heart and just knew I had to say something to Wynne and Stephen.  Here’s the email I sent to them that morning (when we thought they were only getting a boy):

Wynne and Stephen,

I wanted to email you both just to let you know how excited I am that you FINALLY can put a face to Camp’s name.  I know it’s been a long, hard journey for y’all and it must be a huge weight lifted off your shoulders to know there is a little boy over there who will soon be all yours.  I want to be honest with y’all-this has been a lot to digest for me but seeing his face last night just solidified the fact that this was absolutely the right thing for y’all to do.  I hope neither of you think I haven’t been interested/happy about everything and gaining a new member of the fam, I just don’t know how to react sometimes. I will love that little boy so much and be the best aunt I can be.  I guess it didn’t hit me until I saw those pictures last night that this is actually happening and it’s real.  Obviously I’ve known it was going to happen someday, but now it’s so soon!  I want to apologize if you’ve ever felt like I wasn’t being supportive throughout the whole process.  I am SO happy for you both and for our family! We are going to all gain a son, nephew and grandson. How awesome is that!  I love y’all  very much and will be praying for Camp over the next 7 months (and the rest of his life, clearly) and y’all as well.  I know it’ll be a hard 7-9 months but just think of the reward at the end of it.  Thanks for sharing everything with us last night.  LOVE YOU!”

 mhcamp 2

ashermh

It’s been about two years since that day and if you ask anyone in my family (or anyone who follows me on any social media platforms) they would all agree that I am the one most obsessed with those babies. Actually, obsessed might be an understatement. I adore those babies like I never thought a love was even possible. Every move they make, smile they smile, word they speak, cry they cry…I live for it. I relish in every single detail, every facet of their personalities,  every time one of them says “Hellie” or runs up to give me a huge hug that always melts this auntie’s heart.

mhcamp

I am undoubtedly and undeniably a better person since those two human beings came in to my life and I know my family is a stronger and closer family because of them too. I can’t tell you why I was so against adoption and I can’t tell you why God decided to change my heart so drastically, but I am forever thankful that he did. I learned so much about myself and what family means. I learned about my family and how welcoming and accepting they are. I learned about my sister and how determined and strong she is. I learned about my brother in law and how dedicated he is to his family and wife.  Adoption can be tough and take a toll on everyone in a family, but having gone through this process with mine, I know we’ve become a better and stronger tribe because of it.

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 A family isn’t based on a blood line, it’s based on love, which is something that took a lot of time for me to understand and accept.  Camp & Asher might not have come into our family like I might have imagined it, but they came into it exactly how they were supposed to and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

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[be still my heart with these pictures….such a precious campy + aunt hellie moment!!]

 

Hey, I'm Wynne!

Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I 100% believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I can’t wait to get to know you and your story, and I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here. A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my three kids.
Welcome, come on in!

let'e be friends

  1. Alaina Mayes says:

    Beautiful story! And, such a selfless & brave public admission! I know many people will be blessed and encouraged by this!

  2. Jamie Ivey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! It will bless others who are in your shoes!
    :)Jamie

  3. grace says:

    in christ, all things are possible!! He truly redeems!

  4. Hanna says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! As a couple who is adopting and who has received much resistance from family, this gives me HOPE! Thank you!!

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