I can’t get my head around it – a year ago I didn’t know my daughter.

In fact it’s been barely 11 months since I first heard her name, saw a tiny image of her face, imagined what it’d be like to meet her.

It’s impossible to put into words those first emotions. Ben came running up the stairs saying he’d received an email from our social worker, suggesting a suitable match, I couldn’t believe my ears. Struggling to stand, we both lay down & with a small phone screen hovering above us, we read about her together. All the while remembering to stay guarded, to not fall head over heels, she might not be our daughter.

But how could you possibly know? How do you know if this document is describing the new addition to your family, your perfect match? At first I was confused. I had convinced myself we’d be adopting a boy, and for certain he’d have dark hair, but here we read about a little girl with blonde hair. We read the file countless times, and all the while praying. My biggest prayer being that we’d agree, I can’t even imagine the heartache if we’d had different gut reactions.

Knowing how God has had his hand on our daughter’s life since before she was even conceived is so overwhelming

One of our biggest apprehensions in the adoption process was the sacrifice of choosing our child’s name. I can vividly remember discussing with my sisters in great detail our favourite baby names, at the mere age of 10! Ben and I had always loved talking about names and especially their meanings that was something so important to us. So it came as no surprise to Ben that the first thing I did was Google this little girl’s name & its meaning. It was a pretty name, I could definitely have seen us choosing it, but as my search result revealed, it couldn’t have been more perfect. Her name meant BELOVED. Oh my word, that made my heart skip a beat.

And YES, she is so loved. Before we even met her she was so dearly loved. By her birth family, foster family, their extended family & friends and above all by her LORD & saviour. She was already HIS beloved. As Psalm 139 says:

You created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

While we were going through our season of miscarriages Psalm 139 was a passage I found hard to hear. It confused me, pained me … why weren’t these words true of our pregnancies? Was I really fearfully & wonderfully made if my body wasn’t functioning as it should? But in a crazy juxtaposition I now found great comfort in these words. Knowing how God has had his hand on our daughter’s life since before she was even conceived is so overwhelming.

It didn’t take long for us to realise she was a very suitable match. Amazingly, the social workers and matching panel agreed. For about 40 days, until we met her, I watched a short video of this little girl on loop. Knowing she was our daughter but not yet really knowing her was confusing for both my heart and mind. That precious video was all I had to get to know our daughter as much as possible. In hindsight it is CRAZY to think that’s all I knew of her. From all my video studying I’d conjured in my mind who she was, and yet she is actually completely different, she is so much more than I had imagined. She’s beautiful, active, humorous, loving, generous, gentle, social & loves to eat! I love her so so much. I’d loved her before we met her but now I can’t even begin to measure the love I have for her. She is so LOVED.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the shift that would come in my relationship with Jesus. In glimpsing the vast vast love my God has for my girl, I am utterly overwhelmed. I now find it so hard not to cry with joy when praising Him. I am equally overwhelmed by His perfect design and how He really did match us with the most suitable little girl for us. There are countless coincidences that couldn’t have been put on paper that only He knew, made her our daughter. He really has created beauty from ashes in all of our lives.

If you are beginning to think about adoption, I would urge you to start asking questions. In my experience it has been incredible. It is by no means easy but definitely worth investigating if you even have an inkling it’s for you. Equally if you are facing struggles with the adoption process, do seek help. Home for Good is an amazing charity committed to supporting people through the adoption process & which aims to see a home for every child who needs one. I can strongly recommend contacting a member of their team to begin asking any niggling questions.