Now don’t get me wrong, I am not one to sew or quilt, hem, or even replace a button, so I am no expert on the topic; but have you ever seen a patchwork quilt, like a really beautiful one? The artistry that goes into a Patchwork (or Pieced Work) is breathtaking, the way they sew together small pieces of fabric into a larger design, each piece carefully measured and cut. My family is the Patchwork family, many different pieces deliberately chosen by a Creator to be stitched together to make up a complete and beautiful family. Our larger design is adoption. Both my older brother and I were adopted at birth, both from different states, both from different brave young women that hoped for a brighter future for their children, both placed in the arms of the most wonderful parents a child could ask for. Similar yet so different.

Usually when people find out that I am adopted there is a moment of surprise, followed by a little awkwardness, and then the question they all ask…”Have you ever met your real mom/real parents?” Or if they have any background knowledge in adoption they refer to them as my biological parents. This is where it gets sticky, but this is also where the beauty comes from. Something that many think of as broken, is actually what has made me whole. “Of course I have met my real parents,” I reply, “They are the ones that raised me. And also I have met my real biological mom, she is a wonderful woman.” You see in my story and in my patchwork there is no real or fake, no real or make believe. There is only real and true and lovely and redeemed.

My biological mother loved me in a way I will never be able to understand fully. Putting herself aside, her desires aside, and thinking solely of me and the life she desired for me. And the teenage girl decided to place me in a home with a loving mother and a loving father, a place where she saw for me a future filled with hope.

My mom and dad (my adoptive parents) also love me in a way I do not fully understand, and until I hold my first child I don’t believe I will be able to. Putting themselves aside daily as I grew and providing a home for me, a place where I felt safe, and a place that let me be a child who dreamed of her future filled with hope.

Is that not what we all desire? Is that not what we all want for those we love, and even for ourselves? A future? And even more than that a future FILLED WITH HOPE! No, I am not broken, and my life is not broken. Since the beginning of time my Savior was perfectly writing my story, giving me a glimpse of the love that He has for me. And as I continue to grow and learn, I continue to be filled by the promise that I have a future filled with hope. We are invited to partner with our Lord in the work that He is actively carrying out in the world today. We are invited to come along side women, children, and families. And even further than that, make those that are hurting a part of our families. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. Let’s do it. Let’s lay aside what we think we know, think we desire, and let’s place ourselves in a place of listening. A place where the Lord can answer us as we pray perhaps the most dangerous prayer of all, ”Lord, make my heart a reflection of yours, let your joys be my joys, and let the things that break your heart break mine as well.” In the world we live in today, we are risking living with a broken heart, but let’s not leave it there. Let’s join forces to be the answer to that call. And as my grandfather always said, ”If you have a bee in your bonnet, what are you going to do? Leave it in there? I think not! You’re going to take your bonnet off, you’re going to do something about it.” So, as we allow our hearts to conform to the heart of God, let’s let our feet also be His feet. He doesn’t want part of us. He wants all of us. He gave Himself, let’s in loving response give all of ourselves as well.

There is so much more to come, and eagerly I stand here saying, ”Here I am , send me.”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

*Author: Molly Barnes Gonzalez, originally posted November 2, 2016*

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