Being on the journey to adopt requires so much of us physically, mentally, and emotionally. The adoption home study alone can feel like it requires more documentation than taking out a mortgage or buying a brand-new car. As I check my email today, I once again see our social worker has contacted me to ask for our updated financial statements, fingerprint clearances, and the check we owe them to renew our home study — for the third year in a row. This journey is emotionally and financially exhausting.
It is true that we need to update our paperwork; we need to write another check; we need to renew the clearances . . . but what we need most is not any of those tangible requirements.
What we need most is hope.
A small word but a big virtue: hope.
In the newest Star Wars film when most of the members of the rebellion are filled with despair, feel tired from what has already been a long hard battle, and weep for the losses and sacrifices that seem to have been made in vain, the main character states:
“We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.”
If those of us on our adoption journey lose hope; then nothing else on the checklist matters.
Our rebellion may not be on the big screen, or out in space, or allow us to have our own personal droid . . . but it’s real.
We are often overcome by despair, we are tired from what has been a long, hard battle, and many of us have experienced the loss of at least one failed match. The sacrifices we have made on this journey vary, but they are real, and we often wonder, “why us?”
Our rebellion is not only against our own doubts and fears, but also the adoption naysayers, the pessimists, and sometimes, what we feel to be logical thinking.
But all those reasonable fears were real for the Founding Fathers of our country. They could have easily said — no one has ever defeated the British Empire. Thank God they didn’t “listen to reason” or “give up on hope”.
We may not be building a nation, but we are building families. A family is the building block to our nation and our world. Our hope will one day mean the world to a child. And, as Saint John Paul II, stated: “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
Hope is what all our adoption journeys need most this year. It is hope that will motivate us to finish our paperwork, keep our chins up, and persevere.
Hold onto hope and don’t give up!