Parenting

Rule #16: Love makes a family.


There’s a saying I hear often in the adoption community: love makes a family. As the Willard Family of Five celebrates our one-year family anniversary, I’ve had this saying in my head for the past few weeks. I’ve also been trying to hold on to this incredible life-giving saying, which truly fills my heart with joy. And I don’t say that lightly.

love makes a family
Adoption Day 9.8.18

Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with how difficult parenting is. I’m stressed by the pain and joy and heartache and grace that comes with adoption. But recently, I have focused on the incredible fact that love makes a family. Families are created in so many different ways. Lately, I’ve done my best to focus on how life-changing and life-giving adoption is.

And I don’t mean that adoption is life-changing or life-giving for the adoptees. Instead, adoption has given me more life and love than I ever thought possible. Adopting our three girls has shown me who I really am, has pushed me to love beyond all measure, and has certainly pointed out my strengths along with my weaknesses and flaws!

Adoption has made me more human than I ever thought possible.

It’s not easy. Most of the time, parenting is not fun. Stress and anxiety are daily struggles for me. But there are so many glimpses of God in adoption. The building of trust. The unconditional love. The grace and love extended to me by the girls, even when I’ve made a mistake. Even when I’ve overreacted. Even when stress and anxiety take hold.

My girls love me unconditionally. They know me as Mommy. My girls put their trust and love in me every day. And they offer me grace every single time I make a mistake or don’t respond with the love they are seeking.

Doesn’t God do the same for us? Doesn’t God love us unconditionally? Isn’t God full of love and grace? If I look at adoption with wide-open eyes, how could I not see God when I look at my girls?


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