Julian officially moved into our house in May of last year. He was 20 months at the time but developmentally about a 12 month old. I remember the first day we met him, I’ll never forget it. It was sort of anti climactic. Ya know, walking into a McDonalds, a place our family never frequents, and meeting our son. It was just so weird. I’m so thankful for the weirdness of the whole thing. But it just felt like, man, this shouldn’t have to happen. Families should stay together. I wish people wouldn’t hurt each other like they do. We spent those moments just staring at him, watching him play, and waiting for him to warm up to all of us. Eric and Theo have a very robust and wild relationship, and they both have the loudest voices ever. Julian just watched them together, for quite awhile. We knew he’d never even seen anything like that before but he was excited to get in on the action. At one point Jude’s foster mom turned to me and said, “so how often would you like to do visits with him before we get permission for him to move in.” uhhhh me? What do I know? You’re the one who’s had him his whole life. It was in that moment I realized, Julian was an orphan. He had no mom, no dad. All he had was the system, somewhere off in the distance. But now, now I’m the mom. And I make decisions for this person I don’t even know, and that I’ve spent about 4.38 minutes with so far. As fast as a flash of lightning, I became his advocate, his care taker, his provider, his teacher, his nurterer for better or for worse. Nothing could prepare anyone for what that feels like. It is the most devastating but wonderful thing. all. at. the. same. time.
Last month, Julian became an official Davis. The road to that day in December has been one of the best, most challenging, most rewarding, most demanding things we’ve ever walked. Just all the things. Adoption is really really hard. No one ever talks about how hard it is. I had no idea that it would take me a long time to build a bond with Jude. I didn’t get it that day at McDonalds. It’s hard when the system is a gigantic beast and things are always changing and people coming in and out. It’s hard and sad when I think about what Julian had to be born into and I get mad that he had to pay the bill for a check he didn’t write. It’s hard when you learn that you’re not really a great person at all and that you’re not as patient as you thought, as loving as you thought, and certainly not nearly as strong as you thought. It’s hard to explain to your spouse what this feels like for you and when you don’t really know what each other is going through. Basically we just weren’t ready for the road ahead. We had no idea. But I’m so glad we didn’t, I thank God that we didn’t know.
Because if we knew, we never would have gotten to stay up with Julian all night and ask God to heal his brain and to help him trust us. We wouldn’t get to see Theo learn what it means to treat others as better than ourselves. We wouldn’t have gotten to move to a house we’d only dreamed about. We wouldn’t have gotten to see all the people that Julian brings together. We wouldn’t have met new lifelong friends that we get to walk this journey with because their on it too. But most of all, we wouldn’t have had to learn that we are not the point of life. Ha! I, am not the point of life. The harvest that hardship produces is worth it. The adventure is worth it. The cost is worth it. The things things that we have built up inside us, the issues that our hearts long to see change, the thing you keep coming back to over and over, chances are really good that you were created for that thing. A lot of people don’t ever do the things they were created to do because they are afraid to suffer and to do hard things. They want the dream but they aren’t willing to participate in making it happen. Nothing good is ever free though. But every single time, it’s worth it.
So what’s next for us? Well, we are planning on adopting again because there are too many children whose stories are like Jude’s. We will never live the same way again. We are asking what Jesus is leading us to next and what those dreams are that are built up in our hearts that we’ve said no to because we were afraid of the cost. Then by the grace of God, he will help us do those things.
Adoption works. Ya know why? Because Jesus. Him in his great love appointed us to walk this road out of our comfort and safety and into a life of hardship and adventure. Costly? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. He is my only hope, he is your only hope. We are the Davises, and this is our story.
Here is us, with Julian the day we finally got to meet him. At McDonalds.
This is all of us, the day Jude became a Davis.
(all these photos are taken by the amazing Cate over at Insta Birth Story)