Shine On: An Adoption Story

Our daughter came to us through tumultuous circumstances. My husband and I had been licensed foster parents for a month when we got the call to take a sweet baby girl, just three months old. She was physically healthy, in an emergency home for the time being, but they wondered: Would we be interested in taking her?

With nary a thought of consulting my husband, the words tumbled out before the social worker could even finish, “Yes! We’d love to take her.”

I remember that long holiday weekend spent going home to paint with my husband the room she’d be sleeping in and setting up a borrowed crib. Praying for the weekend to pass quickly, afraid the emergency home might decide she was too precious and want to keep her, anxiously awaiting her arrival that Tuesday afternoon.

Six years have come and gone since that day, and I remember the emotion of it all as if it were still happening. We were so excited and naïve. We saw this child as nothing but a blessing. Pure light in our lives. A gift.

The year of her arrival was full of fear and joy, sorrow and miracles. We learned of the circumstances surrounding her birth parents. Their frailty. Their humanness. They weren’t bad people, just ones with difficulties that hindered them from caring for their child. They loved her; we knew that. And my heart broke for them.

How does God make right all this mess? How does he bring good from hard situations?

Sometimes I just don’t know.

And then I see her now, this beautiful child that God created out of a situation of brokenness. This light. And I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.”

And I don’t know what your past entails. I don’t know what heartache you’ve known. I don’t know what you’ve had to walk through in your life (or what you may still be walking through).

But I do know this: I’ve seen God make something lovely out a situation that, on the surface, looked unlovely. He brought something beautiful out of someone’s brokenness.

And every day as I look at my daughter’s shining face I’m reminded that God can take my mistakes, my missteps, and by his grace, make something lovely again.

Kendra Egeland Roehl

Author Kendra Egeland Roehl

Kendra received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work and has worked for hospice programs, low-income housing, and the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Medical Center. A mother of four, she and her husband are both foster and adoptive parents. She is a speaker and writer about topics such as marriage, motherhood, foster care, adoption, and social justice at The Ruth Experience.

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