We are Plan B.

I love a little boy that I have never met. I love him with a fierceness that I never thought possible, and my thoughts are consistently turned to prayer as I wonder if he is eating well, growing well, learning well or making friends well. I am left to imagine what he looks like while he runs, what he smells like, and what he sounds like when he laughs, and I have no earthly idea what the answer to any of those things might be. He is the little person I want to meet more than any person on this earth, and yet, in a way, I so wish that that weren’t the case.

As much as I want to wrap this child in a big sandwich hug with Jason and bring him into our home and teach him all that we can about family and Christ and the world- I so wish his life hadn’t had to come to Plan B.

Many days, I find myself praying for James’ birth family. I pray that his mother is alive and well and that someday, Lord willing, he may have the chance to meet her if he chooses. I pray the same for the rest of his family. That one day, he will know them, at least in part but ideally in full, so that he might be able to fill in what will be to him a missing piece: a wide and empty space. Ideally, we will be able to learn more about his mother, her life, her background, so that James can hear stories and facts, and be able to love the mother and father who gave him life even though he has not known them. The most idyllic scenario, Plan A, would have involved him staying with those parents. Ideally, he would have grown in a loving home from birth, surrounded by people who look like him and share ancestry with him. Ideally.

But I know the futility of wishing and straining toward a thing that cannot be changed, and for that reason, each time I begin to think down this winding path, I end at a place of thankfulness. Thankfulness that, Lord willing, Jason and I will get to watch him grow in our home, surrounded by people who may not look just like him and may not share his ancestry, but who are dedicated to preserving his heritage, encouraging his pursuit of whatever is dear to him, helping him heal, and loving the heck out him. I am blessed to be able to stand in the gap, to love him as I wish his birth mother would have been able to, and I am thankful that God chose us to be the recipients of this beautiful gift. We get to be Plan B.

There is nothing “lucky” about the way James has come to be in our family and by all accounts, his experience will tell him it is quite the opposite. In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Though our son has come to be in our family after suffering great loss, I am confident that this, too, can be redeemed, and that God will be faithful to redeem it. So, although it is not ideal, and although I may wish unreasonably that this sweet boy would not have experienced the difficulties that he has faced in his life thus far, I am so blessed to be given the chance to love him with this surprising fierceness, and to pray for him daily until we are finally united.

Lord hasten the day.

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