I think these questions and feeling are completely normal and I wish people openly discussed them more often. Simply being honest about feelings and fears does not mean one regrets the decision to adopt and may actually be healing for individuals and families when done in a constructive and supportive environment. Adoption is hard and is not, in my opinion, God's "Plan A" for children or families. God designed creation and reproduction beautifully in a miraculous and a specific way and even though Scripture tells us time and again to care for those who cannot care for themselves, that does not mean it will ever be easy. (Of course, parenting biological kids is not easy either!) In fact, I am nearly certain we purchased our family a ticket to the life-long hard road. But do you know who is on that road with us? Jesus...every stinkin' step of the way. So, where else would I rather be? As the saying goes, "God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called."
With that being said, I will be completely honest and tell you that there have been many nights, when after the hustle and bustle of the day comes to a close and I am finally, FINALLY off of my feet for the day, I listen to the silence and wonder what we have we done? What are we doing? On the flight over to Ethiopia last month to attend our court hearing, I had a silent battle with God during the 13 hours in the air. Me: God, I am not sure about this. Really, God...I just don't know if I can handle another child right now. Especially one who has been through so much hurt over the past five years. What if she doesn't want this, God? What if? I can't do this God. No, I can't. Please take this cup from me. God: Why are you always trying to get ten steps ahead of me? If you couldn't do this, you wouldn't be doing this. You do realize this is not about you, right? Right? You can and I have provided abundantly for you so that you could share that abundance. One step at a time...crawl if you need to, but keep moving forward knowing that you are not alone. Me: But I am scared, God. Really scared. I know how this goes. Transitions are hard. Grief is real. God: The choice is yours, that is beauty of free will. You can continue on the path I have set before you, experiencing the heartaches and blessings, all the while learning more about my heart and your purpose or you can divert and call it a day. Me: I am not a quitter and I am not going back...back to a time and place when I was capable of making it through the day on my own without your help. No, now my days are long and tiring and stressful (at best) and I need you every second of day, but I also feel your presence more abundantly than every before. You are so very real and I know you are with us. God: Remember to have faith like a child. Look for me in your children, listen for me in their words. Their hurt is my hurt, their joy is my joy. In them, you will find me.
And so we go. Big Sister was officially added to the family roll call in April and should be home any day now. I know some of you think we are crazy. That is completely OK, because I also think we are crazy. Life is hard and one way or another, all of us end up exiting this life. I want to make sure my prayer and worship are not just empty words or pretty songs, but rather that they are filled with meaning and action and that they are not about me. Are there times during the day when I want to scream out, "Stop touching me!" Are there times during the day when I do scream out, "Stop touching me?" Absolutely! Do I lose my patience, throw temper tantrums like a two-year-old, have off days, sad days, angry days, resentful days, and everything in between days? Yes! Are there days when I gaze through the chaos and glimpse Larry and Moe playing together, and wonder, if just for a second, what would have been? Temporarily grieving the loss of a simpler, perhaps easier life? Yes, I do. But, I try not to linger in any of those thoughts or feelings. I allow myself to feel them, to express them, to pray over them, but not to linger in them.
God tells us to carry one another's burdens and essentially that is all we are doing. That does not require riches or perfection, a college degree, or any other elite skill set, it just requires compassion. That's it. So, whether we are carrying the burden of an elderly parent, sick child, lonely neighbor, out-of-work friend, grieving widow, hungry family, orphan child, or homeless wanderer...whether near or far...you are doing your part to level the playing field. One day, we all may need someone to carry our burdens. I imagine that is how God wants us to live our lives. Not throwing up walls and boundaries between us and "them", whoever the them may be, but breaking down walls, reaching across all lines that separate and divide, and coming together in the love of Christ. So, yes we have gloriously wrecked our simple two-child home. We cannot afford college and our food bills are atrocious. My home if filled with toys, noise, mess, chaos, and lots of sibling bickering, love, and prayer. We have signed up for the Marines when we our training would have pointed to the Cub Scouts. We are in over our heads, but exactly where God wants us: out of the boat!
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2
What fears, questions, or concerns have entered in your home post adoption that you wish others would discuss more openly? Why do you think they are not more openly addressed in our training?