Admittedly, I was not always a country music fan but over the years my tastes in music have changed and, with the crossover of country music into more mainstream popular music, I find myself liking country music more and more. There is something enjoyable and uplifting about the relatively wholesome lyrics. Let’s face it, if I have to ask my kids to make sure they are listening to a “clean” version of a song one more time, my head may explode. In addition to my growing love for country music, I love being an adoption attorney. It is one of the few areas of law in which I practice that almost always brings me joy and a true sense of accomplishment. So, imagine the overwhelming happiness I felt when driving with my son in the car and he played Thomas Rhett’s song “Life Changes”. Of course I was thrilled that I did not have to mutter the words “clean version” but the best part about this song is its lyrics. I learned that Thomas Rhett and his wife are adoptive parents. The first few times I hummed along to the song I didn’t catch it, but when I actually paid attention to the lyrics, I discovered that the Rhetts had adopted a child from Uganda. The song celebrates that addition to their family, but what was most striking to me was the song’s chorus. It goes:
Ain’t it funny how life changes
You wake up, ain’t nothing the same and life changes
You can’t stop it, just hop on the train and
You never know what’s gonna happen
You make your plans and you hear God laughing
Life changes (yes it does), and I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
And I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
It got me thinking that his lyrics truly captured what fostering and adoption is like for many families. I often tell my foster and adoptive families that they are truly gifts from God because it takes a special person to foster children and to adopt children. Thomas Rhett and his wife are those type of people and more importantly he, or perhaps his songwriters, captured the crazy life train that foster and adoptive parents ride when becoming foster and adoptive parents. These wonderful families are compassionate, giving, selfless, loving, accepting and most of all flexible. They enter into the foster and adoptive process not knowing what is going to happen or what wrench will be thrown into their plans, but yet they do it and for some, time and time again. These families open their hearts and their homes to children of others only to make them children of their own through ultimate patience, sincere love and yes, flexibility.
In honor of National Adoption Month this November, I say bravo and thanks to the foster and adoptive families that I have had the honor and pleasure of working with over the last twenty-two years. Your ability to be flexible and embrace the concept that “life changes” makes all the difference in the world to the children that you have cared for, impacted and for some, made a permanent part of your family.