(story written by Meredith Roberts)
We became a family of three in 2009 when Zoe was six months old.
Then 5 years later, a week before Eli's second birthday, after 11 long months of staring at his picture and explaining to his big sister why he was not yet with us, we became a family of four. Both Zoe and Eli were born in Ethiopia, a beautiful country with fascinating history, rich culture, amazing food and some of the most beautiful and loving people you will find on the planet. These children are among the greatest gifts God has given me and being their mother is a joy and privilege like nothing I have ever known. I am certain that my love for my children and their love for us and each other could not be any greater were we to share DNA. Adoption is indeed a beautiful thing.
But if you tell me that my children are so lucky they were adopted or that God made them just for our family, both things that we hear often from kind, well-meaning people, you will see me cringe. Zoe and Eli's stories didn't begin when we became a family. And the story of their birth family didn't end when our adoption decree was signed. Adoption always begins with tragedy. Always. So, yes, adoption is beautiful. But it is also a sign of how broken this world is. Rather than believing that God inflicted loss and grief on one family in order to form mine, I believe that he came along and lovingly picked up the broken pieces, just like he always does, and put them back together to form something beautiful.