My Daddy was a man of many trades, from taxes to law work to ranching, but the first job I remember him having was a photographer. He and his father had an office in town for their photography business, which would later become their tax business. Even now, I find myself driving past "the office" when I visit my hometown and looking into the driveway. I think, deep down, I wish that maybe I'll see him just one more time walking towards his truck, only to stop suddenly to go check the locks on the door one more time (he was a *bit* OCD with locking doors and always double-checked.) I have so many mental snapshots of the 25 years I had him in my life, and I find myself "flipping" through them as I work on our paperwork and try to explain in words who I am and where I've come from. But a big part of our paperwork is more than just mental snapshots; a huge part of our paperwork is our "scrapbook," where we show actual pictures of our family, friends, etc. This is what the birthmother will go through as she is deciding who she feels is the best match for her and her baby. No pressure, right?! Um, wrong!
I really enjoy taking pictures. I love looking behind the lens and searching for that perfect shot; I love capturing special moments and being able to relive them; and I love that when I take a good picture, it feels like part of my Daddy is still with me, because I'm carrying on in his footsteps in a way. But it's funny to me, because while photography is definitely a hobby of mine, the idea of this scrapbook has me pretty stressed out. In fact, I realized tonight that I've actually been unknowingly putting it off. I thought DH and I would just sit down tonight and put it together, but I quickly realized this wasn't going to be a short-process. How do you present yourself to someone through a few pictures?
I received a lot of good suggestions from FB friends on what to include in our scrapbook, with several encouraging us to choose very "real" photos and not to try to paint a picture of the "perfect" sitcom family. I definitely want to be real and give a proper portrayal of who we are as a family. I've had several people say to us, "I'm so excited you guys are adopting--you guys are just the perfect family!" While I totally appreciate this encouragement (we have been so blown away and blessed by everyone's support of us to adopt--thank you all SO much!), I have to admit that when I hear those words, I kind of stop breathing and brace myself, because I feel anything but perfect. And then all of the doubt starts creeping in...what if we aren't good enough? But you know what Christ so gently reminded me of this evening as I was searching for those "picture perfect" snapshots? He reminded me that No, I'm NOT good enough--but His grace is so much bigger than any of my imperfections. He is my restorer, my defender, my Saviour and my guide. And that's what I want to convey to our baby's mother--a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a friend, a neighbor... who has been transformed by Jesus and who is striving to be all He has for me to be. I am praying over this process and ask that you would join me, too, in asking the Lord to help us put together an album that will truly convey our hearts to the birthmother of our child. It seems overwhelming to try to make a photograph portray all of who we are, but then again, a picture IS worth a thousand words... :-)