mommy always comes back

After two months of adoption redtape in Nigeria, here's the moment we landed in the U.S., with  Joseph meeting my mom for the first time.
After two months of adoption redtape in Nigeria, here’s the moment we landed in the U.S., with Joseph meeting my mom for the first time.


My mom used to sing a song to me.

Mommy comes back, she always comes back, she always comes back for me.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve always had an independent streak. I love people and love places and when I get to experience new ones, my heart goes into it’s happy place. Maybe this independent streak most boldly manifested itself when, at 23, I boarded a plane to Nigeria for a solo trip around the world to adopt the most precious one-year-old little boy, hoping that when my plane landed, my new friends really would be at the airport to pick me up. No cell phone, no back-up plan, just a passport and a drenched faith in Jesus.

Logic says I should have been worried. Very worried. While I’ve always been independent, I’ve also always been a worrier. So much so that when I was in elementary school, my parents gave me a “worry rock” to rub when I was feeling anxious.

But here, when I was taking a huge leap of faith into what were some pretty scary unknowns, I wasn’t worried. Not because I’m an amazing adventurer or an amazing Christian, but because I, maybe for the first time in my life, was slowly walking in step with an amazing God. I had a wholeness of faith that doesn’t always reside in my heart, but when it does, it encompasses every fear and anxiety and worry, letting the Spirit work them into something beautiful.

All of that to say, why am I worried now?

Tomorrow morning, while the sun is still sleeping, I’m leaving my family for three days to attend Created for Care, an adoptive mom’s retreat a hour north of Atlanta. It’s a non-profit ministry designed to encourage, equip, and bring rest to adoptive families through yearly retreats. The retreats fill up overnight, and from what I’ve heard, God is in the midst of doing something amazing through them.

In so many ways, adoptive families are just like any other. Joseph is not my “adopted son” — he is simply my son. The love I have for Joseph and the love I have from Asher come from deep inside my bones. The love is unequivocally the same. Joseph was adopted, now he’s a beloved son. Though that love is the same, different needs arise from children who have been adopted from hard places. When a little one experiences trauma early in life, the results manifest itself in different ways. Adoptive families — whether built from foster care, domestic, international, transracial adoption — all face different obstacles and joys, and these manifest themselves in different ways, too.

I’m so looking forward gathering with hundreds of other women who are my people. My tribe of like-minded, like-hearted warrior mamas who understand.

Created for Care puts it this way: “Throughout the journey, different needs arise — sometimes, we just don’t know where to start — and other times, we are just tired from all that is required in these callings filled with new approaches, lots of healing, and much required extra love. While your hearts have been called to care, YOU were also created to be cared FOR. We want to not only support these families by equipping them with adoption resources, but most importantly, we want to provide resources to encourage them in their walks with their Heavenly Father who led them to this amazing calling…”He loves orphans too much to leave them orphans. And He loves your family too much to not lead you, love youl and carry you on the rest of your journey as you raise your sons and daughters for His glory.”

I’m so thankful for the privilege to go, but I’m so sad about leaving my little people. I know they’ll be fine — it’s my heart that is heavy.

I think I need to remember my mom’s song.

Mommy comes back, she always comes back, she always comes back for me.

And isn’t that the wonderful thing about family? No matter where you go, you can always come back.

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