Adopting Rachel has been a very emotional experience, and it has caused me to think a lot about things. One thing that has come into my mind is how much more personal the Atonement of Jesus Christ is to me now.
As I watched Anna endure the physical pain that comes from childbirth, the emotional pain of not being able to raise her baby, and the joy she felt for Jeff and I that we are able to have a child, it made the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me much more personal. She did something for us that we could not do for ourselves, just as the Savior did. He endured great physical pain as He paid the price for my sins, and as He hung on the cross. He endured emotional pain as He felt alone in His suffering. I can’t really comprehend the Atonement completely, but I feel like my understanding has increased, at it has certainly become more personal to me.
As I was in the hospital with Anna, she cried with both sorrow and joy, and I cried too with both sorrow and joy. I only just met Anna, but I feel like she is my sister. It is hard to comprehend the selfless love she demonstrated, both for Rachel and for Jeff and I.