Sherri Gragg

Writer. Mom. Daydreamer. Dog's Best Friend.

Choosing Hope

I was in my office with Roseline in my lap.  We were savoring the last few moments of quiet before the rest of the kids arrived home from school and serenity dissolved into mayhem.  Ro and I were chatting, playing and trading hugs and kisses; just enjoying each other’s company.  I leaned back in my chair and propped my feet on the desk.  She leaned against my chest and propped her feet on the desk too, careful to cross them at the ankles just like mine.

“Hey,” I said.  “I have some new music.  Do you want to hear it?”

“Yes, Mommy!  Me hear music,” she replied.

 I leaned over and pushed the disk into the player and selected track number 15.  India Arie’s soulful voice filled the room as Roseline began nodding her head in time to the music.

I  choose…to be the best that I can be!

I choose…to be authentic in everything!

I choose…my past don’t dictate who I am!

‘Cause you never know where life is gonna take ya and you can’t change where you’ve been…

Roseline listened intently, watching my lips as I sang.  Pretty soon, she was singing along.  We danced and danced there in that chair until we could remain seated no longer.  When the song was over, we began it again.  I removed Ro’s socks so she would not fall and stood her on the desk so we could dance together.  That did not last long because she jumped in my arms and we began dancing around the room.

I choose….

I choose….my past don’t dictate who I am…..

We played the song over and over.  We danced and we danced.  It was tremendous fun but oh, so much more. 

It was an inoculation against despair.

There is so much negativity in the world surrounding adoption and it is true that every adoption begins with the trauma of tremendous loss.  I recently read a blog by an adult adoptee that was filled with angst and fury.  At one point, she said that “adoption is never the best option.”  I know what she means.  In a perfect world, all would follow the original plan:  one man, one woman, one family, one lifetime. 

But this world is a fallen, broken place.  It is far, far from perfect and the reasons for relinquishment are as diverse as the mothers who face that difficult, rending, and painful choice.

There are also countries in this world that are plauged by disease, poverty and famine where mothers’ and fathers’ lives are cut short. 

Children die too.  So many, many children. 

And in a world like that….adoption is a gift.

I am not saying that once a child comes home there are no issues.  The are issues, many of them formidable.  The adoptive parent must face those issues realistically and offer their child compassionate support and resources.  Most of all, they must offer them the gift of their own belief that the child can overcome.  I refuse, refuse to believe all hope is lost because of what my daughters have suffered or because of the scars they continue to carry.

I refuse.

Instead…I choose. 

I choose to pray.  I choose to encourage.  I choose to speak life into them.

I choose to hope.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1

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8 comments on “Choosing Hope

  1. Ericka
    May 4, 2007

    Thank you Sherri, your words come at a great time, having a bad “adoption” day. Your words are a gentle reminder to stay my course and ask God to once again guide my thoughts.
    I love that song as well 🙂

  2. Tanya
    May 4, 2007

    I am just starting a haitian adoption, and your words touched me, and help me to beleive that I am on the right path. Thanks

  3. everydaymiracle
    May 4, 2007

    Thank you, friends. If I can offer one person the hope Christ has so faithfully offered me, then my work is done!

    Ericka, you are always such and encouragement. May Christ’s peace rule your heart today.

    Tanya,

    Welcome! If you would like to read our adoption story, go all the way back to the beginning by clicking “previous entries” at the bottom of the page. It was an amazing journey!

    Blessings on your own,
    Sherri

  4. Jayleigh
    May 5, 2007

    Sherri, thanks for sharing this sweet scene of bonding between you and your daughter.

    I completely understand what you mean when you said, “It was tremendous fun but oh, so much more. It was an inoculation against despair.”

    Your strength and love for your family is inspiring and I’m glad I get to peek into your life! 🙂

  5. totaltransformation
    May 6, 2007

    Sounds like a good song. 🙂

  6. Sarah
    May 6, 2007

    Although we are strangers, your words continue to be a blessing to me! Your adoption story in itself, is amazing, but was so beautifully written and eloquently expressed! I stumbled onto your blog through Mendelt and Marisa’s blog, as my husband and i are among their church prayer warriors. We became first-time parents in October when we adopted our 2 beautiful girls, so to read your encouraging and hope-filled blog on the ‘hard’ days is a great joy to me. May God continue to bless your family, and as your relationships continue to blossom, know that you and your family are now also in my prayers!
    In Christ,
    Sarah

  7. everydaymiracle
    May 7, 2007

    Sarah,

    Well, if you are part of Medelt and Marisa’s prayer team that means you are a Believer and although we may not have met, God says we are sisters!

    Thank you for your kind words. I know how difficult the first few months after homecoming can be and will pray for you. Hang on….it gets easier.

    Blessings,
    Sherri

  8. Melody
    May 7, 2007

    Sherri,
    I was at the women’s conference you spoke at, and since then have been reading your posts. They are so encouraging and so beautifully written. My husband and I have two children (Ethiopian), and we also go to strong tower. We did a private adoption, so I was in Ethiopia for three months fighting for my babies. The struggles were enormous, but God was so good through it all. I was in Ethiopia during the political riots, country wide strikes, and to top it off I had to have surgery in an Ethiopian hospital. Our journey was so short compared to most (6 months from starting the paperwork to arriving at home), but it was very intense. Your post has really encouraged me, and allows me to celebrate the miracle of adoption on the days when miracle is not the way I would describe my children (smile!).
    I too, have been doing some intense research on transracial adoptions. I am working on my Ph. D. and am developing a prospectus for my dissertation on transracial adoption. This is not the final product and I am three classes away from starting the actual dissertation, but I am working heavily on the research aspect of it. Thank you for your honesty. You are such a gifted writer. I have never been one to read blogs, but you always keep me coming back for more.

    Warmly, Melody

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