Thursday, November 19, 2009

As One's Own

  **I've been extremely concerned at the feelings of others as I have written this post. I have typed, then deleted.  Posted, and then gone back to edit.  I have cried and stewed over how to share these feelings thoughfully, and with kindness and love. Please take this post for what it is meant to be. I love you all, and wish you every success in building your families. xoxo**

November is National Adoption Month.

 I've been reflecting what I could say that hasn't already been stated either here or on numerous posts out in the blogosphere. I've thought a lot about what adoption means personally to me, and I've looked up several different definitions.  Each one seemed disconnected and heartless.  I finally found one definition of adoption that I somewhat liked, (but only slightly covered the definition):

adopt \ə-däpt\ (v): To choose or take something as one's own.

I have two incredible parents.
I have two beautiful children.
Both have come through the miracle of adoption.

But adoption isn't only about what's on paper.
(although the paper-part is wonderful too) 
It's about what's in your heart.

I am so grateful to have been adopted.  But truth be told, I've been adopted more than once.

We have been great friends with the McCuistions for almost 10 years now.  Craig was in my ward growing up, and when he met and married Cindy (who is also adopted), he adopted her beautiful daughter, Brittney. 

We became reacquainted with the McCuistions after completing a temple session together. 
A blessing in more ways than one.

Craig, Cindy & Brittney have taken us into their hearts and their home. Each and every Sunday we get to have dinner with our 'Sunday Bunch', at Grandma Cindy's house.  We've been doing this since the very first week that we met them nearly 10 years ago.  Seriously.  If you ever need to find us on a Sunday, you may as well call or stop by Cindy's house first.
Cindy's motto has always been: 'Friends are Family you choose along the way.'  She often tells us that because her own family is so small, she has decided to adopt each of us.  She has taken us into her heart, and loved us as her own

When we lost Craig in June, I felt like I had lost my father, my brother, my friend.  It has been a difficult thing to digest.  Even though we see Cindy & Brittney at least once a week, I have been thinking about the McCuistions quite a bit lately.

Cindy, Craig, & Brittney

This beautiful family has been such an amazing support system.  They have seen us at our lowest and highest moments, and loved us regardless of the outcome.  Cindy is the primary reason we have Eli in our home today.  Without her, we would have never known about, or been able to make contact with Eli's birthmother, Amber.  Cindy loves-on our little boys just like they are her very own grandsons.  She spoils them shamelessly. 
Oh, so shamelessly.

The best part of adoption? 
Adoption is based on love.
We just need to do what is innately necessary for us to be happy in life by following our Savior's example: 
Open our hearts, and love others as our own.

What's in your heart?


Mary said...

Amazing Amanda!!! Hugs! (O:

Deanna said...

Simply beautiful and not in the least offensive. If anybody is offended by adoption, they quite simply don't understand what it means and what it can do for a family; on paper or in a relationship.

I love reading your blog. I love that you share your feelings and your testimony.


The Kitchen-Cook Family said...

Amanda, that was so great, I just love reading what you have to write. I think that you do a great job with it and also with your cute family. Love and miss you guys.

kimsueellen said...

Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts. Beautiful beautiful post.