The Gospel In My Living Room

In her book Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis wrote, “Adoption is the gospel in my living room.”  I know I have posted that before, but I’m realizing how wrong it feels out of context.  The full quote doesn’t sound as nice, but there’s a reason Katie wrote every word of:

In an effort to be real, I will tell you: It was hard. . .  [Adoption is] the greatest blessing I have ever experienced.  Adoption is also difficult and painful.  Adoption is the gospel in my living room.  And sometimes, it’s just hard. (72)

I haven’t talked about the hard side of adoption here that much, mostly because I want to protect my siblings.  I don’t want others, people who can’t understand how hard their road to family was, to judge them.  Because of that I’m not sharing specifics.  But I’ve been avoiding posting about the grit of adoption, and I feel like I need to face it.

Adoption is like the gospel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean what we want it to.  When we think of the gospel, we like to think of nice things–forgiveness, healing, life.  Crowds of people with enough bread and fish to eat, men raised from the dead, women healed, children sitting happily in Jesus’ lap.

And that’s all very cozy, but there’s more to it than that.  Some parts of the gospel are not so pleasant, and some parts are downright nasty.  The gospel is rough; it is blood, and sweat, and tears.

The gospel is stains, and scars, and grime under my finger nails.  Redemption is my lungs constricted with sobs, and dust clinging to my sweaty palms.  Adoption is jumping ship and walking on the water, and realizing the waves are tall and the wind is strong, and feeling my faith flicker like a candle caught in a draft.

Adoption is not running to the pain–adoption is bringing the pain home with me, into the stronghold that was my only safe place.

It took me so long to fully understand how every adoption has and always will start with tragedy and heart-tearing sacrifice.  I can look into a child’s eyes–wrap my fingers around five smaller ones–and whisper yes, because someone looked into the same wounded face, answered no, and opened her hands.  My joy and my gain is, and must be, tainted by their grief and loss.

Adoption is a kind of warfare; against pain and shame, and injustice and abandonment.

“Adoption is redemption.  It is costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous.  Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed him.”  –Derek Loux

Adoption will cost you.  It will hurt you.  In a way, it will kill you.

Adoption will leave you on your knees, breathless; staring into Jesus’ face, that shines with radiant light.

19 thoughts on “The Gospel In My Living Room”

  1. *has no words*

    *very literally has no words and no idea what to comment (yes, this sometimes-poetic writer is speechless) because this was SO BEAUTIFUL and touched me*

    Thank you for this, Hanna 🙂

  2. Wow. Hanna, just- WOW. I know I have probably said this millions of times before, but I’ll say it again. You have SUCH A TALENT FOR WORDS. Thank you, Hanna. This touched me.
    Jaidyn Elise

  3. This is beautiful-and so true. Adoption is hard. It’s full of tears and obstacles. Sacrifice and gain. Adotpion is beautiful-and it is also, in its own way, ugly.

    Thanks for writing, Hanna.

    1. You are so right! It can be hard to learn how to appreciate beautiful things when they are ugly as well. Your perspective on adoption is awesome!

  4. Okay…. *sits back and stares at post for three hours* *tries to think about what words are compared to this*
    After I read this post, I just felt so…amazed, and I really want to put it into words, and so here I am trying to tell you how beautiful and raw and powerful this was.
    With Lucy and now with Henry you come back from China full of all these beautiful words and insights into love and sacrifice and this was just AMAZING. I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface of all that writing talent and your gift with words.
    And, my friend, not only that, but you yourself make sacrifices. You give yourself away, and you’ve posted about it a few times to encourage us and give us a peek into your life, but I know you. *wink* I know that there are sooo many times behind the scenes where you have laid your life down in the small ways and nobody seems to notice but God but let me tell you IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT. Keep pressing on, Hanna!! Love you so much, and I miss you!!!

  5. Aww, I love this. =D Hanna, Ariel is SO right. Like- seriously. Your gift for words is amazing. You are going to be an amazing author some day. =D
    Jaidyn Elise

  6. This is beautiful Hanna. Praying for you and your family. Your joy and your gain can also be a healing salve on their pain and loss. I saw that happen so many times with my kids going to forever families. There is a reason that God adopted us all. In a not always easy way it is healing, it is life giving and hope instilling.

  7. Beautiful Hanna! (I feel like I’ve said this before🙄) So inspiring, gorgeous, but most of all, TRUE.
    Adoption is a beautiful, and hard thing.

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