The Archibald Project would like to introduce the darling Jamie Ivey, mother of 4, wife to one :) Jamie and her husband have 3 adopted kiddos, two of whom are from Haiti. We know and love the sweet Ivey family and wanted all of you to be blessed by her wisdom. We asked Jamie to touch on some harder sides of adoption and are excited to share what she has written. To read more of Jamie's writing, click here!
"Recently someone asked me what has been the biggest adjustment in our family since we brought our kids home from Haiti. It never takes me long to think about this answer because I have thought about it so many times. This doesn't sound like an adjustment, but more of a realization, but my biggest adjustment has been the reality of the ugliness in my heart. The reality of my sinful nature. If parenting brought some of my sin to the surface then adoption yanked them all to the surface.
Adoption is not just an act of bringing a child into your family and giving them your name. Adoption is committing to walk through the fire with them. To take on their pain together. To lock arms and never let go, no matter how much the other is pulling away, or pushing you down.
For the past four years we have been on a new journey as parents. We have been on a journey of pursuing the heart our children. We have two children that know of our love, and trust our love, and don't require so much actively pursuing of their heart, and then we have two other children that have come from hard places and need lots of pursuing.
My two children from Haiti need me to pursue them even as they are pushing me away, and you would think that this would be easy for a momma to do, but let me tell you there are days that it isn't easy. You know why? I'm selfish. I'm sinful. I'm out for my own good. I put myself before others. I've had my biggest sin tendency's highlighted for all to see as I have been a parent to my children the past few years.
You see, as a Christian, I have come to sense my need for a Savior even more throughout our journey as parents these past few years. I see the way my kids will distance themselves from me in hopes that I will once again prove my love to them. They way that they say with their actions that they aren’t 100% sure I’ll never leave them. They way that they are almost always waiting for the shoe to fall and this whole “unconditional-love-family-thing” to be over. When I step back and take it all in I am in awe at the way that God passionately pursues me even when I'm pushing him away and want my own way. When my kids are fickle with their emotions towards me, and I'm constant with mine towards them it reminds me of Jesus' love for me. Jesus didn’t just love me and die for me when I had it all together. Nope, God showed his love for us in that while I was still a sinner, Jesus died for me. Loving people when they are loving you back is easy. Loving your children as they push you away is hard. Really hard.
God has used these moments so much in my heart to draw me closer to him. I understand his love for me better now than I did before our adoption journey. Our road of parenting children that have come from hard places has moved me closer to the cross and has helped me love my children better. I can love them passionately and unconditionally because God first loved me that way.
(Pictures courtesy Coati Photography)