Feelings are such a fickle thing. One minute they tickle your fancy and the next they shake you at the core of your being. Adoption can stir them like a whisk stirs a cake mix! Its been a little over a week since we received our 4 new children. What a week its been. We are feeling the need to be transparent about our adoption on this blog, knowing that many readers are either (a) parents thinking about adoption who need to understand some fundamental truth and emotion around adoption, or (b) already adoptive parents who will know when we are “shooting the bull”! So for better or for worse we’ve decided to make our posts as transparent as possible without violating focus on the reason why we did this to begin with: the deep, abiding conviction that God is calling His people to care for and win an enter generation of orphans for the Kingdom of God. No matter what happens we are very much aware that we are simply “pinch hitting” for God here on earth with our children.
With that said, let us try to sum up our first week. There are certain words that come to mind when we think of this week: chaos is one. Overwhelmed at times another. Other descriptors include perpetual energy and perpetual crisis. Yet others include needy, crying, broken keepsakes, interruption, screaming, stubbornness,and movement (lots of it). But then there are some smiles, occasional moments of contentment, and laughter.
The reader may wonder at this point why in the world would anyone want all of this? It’s a legitimate question. We have asked ourselves the same question. In fact, yesterday in my prayer time (driving in my car to an appointment) I (Russell) found myself a little overwhelmed, despairing and maybe even a little self-pity about the situation. I asked the Lord to refocus me on why we did this. That refocus came last night while reading Spirit of Adoption by Randy Bohlender. He brought out an interesting point about the very last words in the Old Testament in the book of Malachi, which just happened to precede 400 years of God’s silence. Those words tell us that before that great day of the coming of the Lord that the hearts of the fathers would turn to the children and the hearts of children would turn toward the fathers. But as Randy points out, there were a few more words tacked on to the end of this prophecy. “Lest I strike the land with a curse”. The Old Testament ends with this beautiful prophetic picture, but also with a warning.
We chose to enter adoption because we felt the call to do it. We knew that the process would require battle and to some extent, we knew the process of raising the children would require battle. Every time one of our new children, ages 2,3,4 and 7, ask us “Are you going to take us back to the shelter?” we understand the battle all over again (its been a common question this week). It’s the same question that many of us Christians ask our Heavenly Father: Are You going to disappoint us all over again? Is it when I yell and scream? Or maybe its when I don’t do what I’m told. Or maybe its just because I’m too difficult, unlovable and needy that will send me back to the shelter this time. It’s a question coming from the innocent, but war-torn, broken spirit of a child that wonders if there is anything in this world that can be trusted. We have the chance, no the privilege, to answer that question with a resounding “No. You’re not going back to the shelter. You are with us now forever!” Its the same answer God gives His children: No, you're not going back to darkness, no man can pluck you out of My hand now! (see John 10:29).
Over the next few weeks we will be making some candid posts about what its like to adopt 4 sibling children at one time all who function on a social, emotional and behavioral age of about 2 years old. We promise that we will be open, for better or worse, richer or poorer, about the pros and cons of such a decision. We recommend that all Christians become involved in adoption is some tangible, direct way. Start by reading Randy’s book Spirit of Adoption. We must reverse the curse!
We close this blog with a request. If you are reading this blog and are blessed or in any way touched or affected by it, we'd love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment and let us know who you are and where you're from, and your thoughts. Perhaps you have been through adoption and have a story to tell. We're all ears! Just leave us a note!
God bless you!