For me, this is what it feels like Beyond the adoption of your child.
If Before is sunrise,
if During is noon,
if After is sunset,
then Beyond is dawn.
Beyond, for me, is a recounting.
Beyond is healing.
Beyond is calculating and coming up with leftovers when all is said and done.
Beyond is riches.
Beyond is gratidude.
Beyond is gathering.
Beyond is straightening.
Beyond is affirming.
Beyond shields your eyes from the glare to finally peer out.
Before there was anticipation and it was lovely.
During there was electricity and it was beautiful.
After there was restoration and it was sweet.
Beyond there is awareness and it is breathtaking.
Adoption will split open your heart - whether foreign or domestic -
and make you aware of things you simply cannot unlearn
even though life would be easier if you could.
Adopting "ONE" is not the only point of adopting
- and many adoptive parents I have known will agree.
All our babies are the "ONE" we were blessed enough to add to our own family tree
and each is as special as
...Unique and Important and Enough.
adding that "ONE" is not what Beyond is about anymore.
Adoption opens eyes.
Adoption reveals weaknesses.
It spreads awareness like ink spilling onto paper - indelible.
For a while, you think " well, good - everyone's really learning something here."
And all at once Jesus whispers again.
It's not a command this time to something big and courageous
but rather a gentle rebuke, something small and personal.
He utters: "No, little girl. You. You needed to learn much here.
This isn't so much about her needing you
but more about you needing her.
It's about more than her coming home.
It's about what's Beyond, too."
Today at roughly 15 months back home, Beyond has arrived and it is mercifully peaceful,
and uncomfortably expectant.
Sometimes Beyond fades into