National Adoption Day 2020: One Year of rewriting HerStory

I woke up this morning and Facebook just so happened to tell me it’s National Adoption Day 2020. I always miss these National —Fill in the blank— Day’s, as I’m usually about 3 or 4 days behind on what is going on in the social world these days. Let’s be honest I’ve got to protect my mental health these days from the 2020 crazy storm out there and that requires lots of social media breaks.

I don’t think there was any mistake that I just so happened to see this one today (honestly I thought it was a couple weeks ago 🤦‍♀️), before the day was over at that, because on this day exactly 366 (hello leap year) days ago our lives changed forever when she walked through our the doors of our home and into our hearts for forever.

There have been so many days that I’ve wanted to pick up my keyboard and start writing again, in frustration, in happiness, in deep grief and sadness, in shame, in hope, in anger, in inspiration, in longing, in growth, in praise, in brokenness. But in a journey that we were so open about from day one, I felt immediately silenced the day she walked into our lives. Maybe it was out of fear of the unknown, the judgement, the legal processes, but what I do know is that my job became immediately to protect her in a ways that no one ever had before and that required sacrifice.

I’ve prayed for the day we could share our story of becoming a family, but still it’s been over a month since our adoption day and finalization and I’ve stayed silenced. I’ve started and stopped writing so many times, but I just didn’t seem to have the words. How do you tell the story of our last 366 days? Where do you start? Do you start from the beginning and which beginning? Do you start from good days? The bad days? Or maybe even just from this morning when she gave me nothing but attitude and sass for the first hour of our day all before family Christmas photos because SHE didn’t get up to her alarm (two alpha females that hate mornings in the same house is a struggle more days than not)? Or how about I start from our first night, 366 days ago, when she cried in my arms for hours on end and prayed to God that the family that left her in our home, that promised to be hers forever for over 2 1/2 years of her life, would come back to get her?

We as a family of 3 have endured more than I know I ever thought imaginable. We have been pushed way past our breaking pointing more times than I can count, and have the chips in our paint and cracks in our foundation to prove it. This journey has not been for the faint at heart, but what I’ve begun to realize is that as much as our past 366 days+ matter and deserve to be shared and heard, as I’m sure they one day will be, none of those days matter nearly as much as tomorrow or the next day.

Because our tomorrow is a new day, a day that we all wake up forgiven and new in our Savior, a day for hope, a day for love, a day for sadness, grief, or longing if that’s what we need to feel in those moments. Our next days will continue to triumph over our past days, each in their unique way. That doesn’t mean they will always be easy, because Lord knows they are not, adoption may be beautiful, but only from complete and absolute brokenness ever single day. However, somehow through his Grace we are each given just enough strength to make it through every new day. So today we turn another page, we write a new story, we heal, we grow, we become braver together, we share our truth together in hopes of impacting the lives of other families walking this journey before us, behind us, and along side us. And then tomorrow we wake up again and do the same.

Until next time,

The Starks