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Love & Pain

by Troy Livesay Published Jul 29, 2010

Written By: Troy & Tara Livesay

(Guest post by Troy and Tara. The Livesays have been serving full-time in Port au Prince, Haiti with Heartline Ministries and World Wide Village since January 2006. They are also the parents of seven children; five girls and two boys.)

Our journey to adopt was born of a desire to have a son. The path was long and winding. It eventually led us to Port au Prince, Haiti where we met our son and daughter in 2002. We’re grateful that God took that desire and used it to teach us and draw us in and eventually led us back to serve in the country of our adopted children’s birth.  We find ourselves continually humbled by His love and mercy as we attempt to know Him better and share His love in Haiti.

Over the eight years that have passed since we entered into the adoption arena, we’ve learned so much about Christ’s love or us and our responsibility to love others.  We hope to share just a small piece of what we’ve learned today.

Adoption is built on love and pain.

In recent months we have had extra opportunities to really examine the pain our adopted children experience.  Besides being built on love, adoption is built on pain and loss.  This paradox cannot be denied.

A couple of months ago we worked through our first true grief session with our son.  It was so intense and raw that I hesitate to share too much.  He sobbed for a very long time after learning about another adoption story.  (It was a difficult one.) He kept saying “He was only a little boy, he was only a little boy.”  While he would not say his grief was at all related to his own story, I believe subconsciously it was.  He was incredibly grieved for the boy who had been removed from his Mother and he wept for both the Mother and the boy.  After a long evening of talking and praying (at his request we prayed for this Mom and boy) he calmed down and fell asleep.

That little glimpse into our son’s loss was something we’d never seen. If anything, it was a good reminder that navigating the loss and painful portion of adoption will be ongoing and could crop up in the lives of our adopted children all throughout their lives.

When we say, “Adoption is built on pain”, we don’t mean pain is the end of the story. We know that Christ comes to redeem us – and our pain.   The parallel is this: God has adopted us as sons and daughters and the way He accomplished it was through Jesus’ death.  As Christians we live the great paradox: that our eternal hope is secured by the unimaginable suffering of One Man!  Our adoption was built on pain. Love and pain.

The love and joy our children add to our lives cannot be quantified. As adoptive parents we ask God for unusual sensitivity toward all they have experienced and lost and pray that He would provide us everything we need to love them the way He does.

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