The spirit of adoption

Fascination is a good word to use to describe my thoughts on adoption. That and thankful.

The fascination is the part of me that has always felt drawn to this way of growing one's family. It seems practical to me that, in a world with so many children without loving families to shelter and care for them, that those willing and able to do so should make these children part of their hearts and homes.

The thankful bit is slightly more emotional. I'm thankful that God has a plan for me and my family even if I don't always know what it is and even if it hasn't come around to involving filing for adoption yet. I am thankful there are people for whom this blessing is meant, even if they don't turn out to be me. I am thankful to have been adopted into a spiritual family where I constantly feel the embrace and effects of God's keeping power.

Often when I think of adoption, I think of my friend Shelley. I wrote this post for her.

The sun came up a bit ago while I was in the shower. Sleep was eluding me. My friend Shelley goes in for surgery today to remove a tumor. It is Cancer and even after she sends the foul beast packing there will be changes to her person that will never go away. Serious things to haunt my sleep.

There is a slight edge of guilt in my writing this morning. It comes from knowing that my whirl of emotions over this event are so small compared to what she's dealing with that I wonder at my nerve of writing about it at all.

But writing is my drug of choice so out spill the words, for better or worse, that pounded themselves from my soul as I tried to sleep... sleep... awake... Cancer... awake... no sleep in Cancer's wake. It's a jumble so bear with me while I sort it out.

Contemplations of my friend...

Shelley is one of the most modest and humble people that I know. She has been a close friend of my mother's for many years and I feel like I have always known her. I'm sure she could tell you many stories about me and my family through the years. Two out of three of her children are adopted, which has always inspired me and I love that God planned that for them.

I remember her as one of the few people with whom I could talk about books with while growing up. She loves the classics even more than me and introduced me to Jane Austin. That one fact alone must pretty much make me indebted for life on a 'life-long-influence' scale.

If a person ever needs gardening, canning, cooking, laundry advice she's the gal to ask. The woman rocks her domestic world... not in a stiff-over-the-top Martha Stuart sort of way either, much more like Ma in the Little House books... quiet and competent.

She has been there for me as a faithful example and mentor -- hosting our Bible studies when I was a teen, singing at my wedding, holding my infant daughter at my baby shower, leaving kind comments here on my blog and hugging me hello every time our paths cross.

She is as real and down-to-earth as they come and if you visit her blog I want y'all to know that she writes exactly how she talks. I hear her voice every time I read her posts and I always leave smiling.

Except for yesterday, then I was crying. I don't want her to have to go through this.

But somewhere in my heart, as I read about this new bit of her journey, there was a little tremulous hint of a smile because of her amazing spirit. The way she is so trusting and willing because she knows there is a greater plan in it all. I can't help but love that and feel small and insignificant in the shadow of such grace.

But back to adoption--

First off, I am putting on a fresh attitude for today and adopting a greater sense of gratitude for all that is good in my life. "Putting on my big girl panties" as another one of my friends would say.

Second, I am adopting Shelley.

You see, children are not the only way to grow your family circle. There are unofficial adoptions too. They are adoptions by heart alone. They don't cost anything and mostly they consist of an added honorary title. This isn't my first time by any means! I have already added several honorary grandparents, an aunt and a sister to my heart-family.

Shelley doesn't know anything about this yet but I am tagging her as my Auntie.

Dear Aunt Shelley,
We love you and wish you all the best today.
You have always been like an aunt to me so
I hope you'll let me honor the special place
you hold in my heart with an honorary "aunt"
title to tie to it.

P.S. We'll all be cheering for you!

So, I suppose the conclusion is that adoption is really about love, official or honorary. Open you hearts and love someone today. Every day counts.

Hope for a cure in NE


  1. oh my dear 'adopted' niece..you have such a way with words & expressing what is in your/my heart.
    Which shouldn't be so surprising as you are my niece by heart alone :)
    I am typing with tears as you described her so perfectly.
    Thank you for your words, your ways, and above all for your heart that holds so much care & love for your 'adopted" family.
    love you, 'auntie' cyndie

  2. Thank you Ramie, for a beautiful post!

  3. Very sweet. I'm a lurker from WI that has met Shelley. They were visiting J's sister in our field. Our family is very similar to theirs - g/b/g. First two adopted. Third - bio. We've kept in touch since. Appreciate your thoughts on adoption and your creative ways to express it! Enjoy your blog!

  4. This post gave me shivers from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. It describes Shelley, to a tee! I love it that you are adopting her as an auntie. She will smile widely and chuckle when she reads your post. That operating room in Omaha is swimming with thoughts and concern from Shelley's friends and family. I wonder if the surgeon's feel it?!

  5. Thank you Raimie. I loved reading this - even though it brought back so many cancer memories that I try to avoid as much as possible. Thinking so much of Shelley and all of you there. I really love your post. Hugs, ~ Dori ~

  6. Dear writing One,

    I am so happy whenever I think of how our hearts' "borders are extended" in this way. Shelley is 'one of ours' one of "the race of Joseph" as the Anne books would say. She accepted us, and endeared herself to us long ago, and it has only grown more special through the years.

    Priveledged to have her close

  7. You dear, dear people! I appreciate every one so much.

    Was it Dumbledore that said? "I haven't blushed this much since Professor Sprout told me she liked my new earmuffs."


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