I remember before adoption was ever really even a thought on my horizon. I had this picture of the family that adopts orphans. They have it all together! They make good money, have a large house, a rock-solid faith in God, know all the parenting answers, and have everlasting amounts of patience. (I wish I were kidding, but that is what I always pictured!) Yet what I have found out, in my research and conversations, is that this isn't the case.
Adoptive parents are normal people. They argue with each other. They struggle with how to discipline their children. They don't know everything, and sometimes feel completely ill-equipped to handle the situations they have been given. And they aren't always patient.
Now that we've come out into the open about our desire to adopt, I want to make this as real as possible. We definitely DON'T have it all together. We live in a modest, 1285 square foot cape, and if we decide to adopt a girl, it will take a bit of demolition and handyman work to fit our 2 girls in the smaller bedroom upstairs. We currently don't have anything set aside toward the daunting $20,000-$40,000 it will cost to adopt. We sometimes yell at the kids. My patience runs out more often that I would like. Going to the store with 3 young kids is sometimes still a nightmare. We have a car with 3 kids crammed in the back, and have no idea how we'll afford to get a larger vehicle when we add to the family.
But here's what we do have: Faith. Trust. Willingness. Compassion. Love.
You don't need to be the best parent, have a big house, or the perfect marriage in order to give a child a loving home. I'll be honest, I still struggle with feeling inadequate for this undertaking. But then I am reminded of two things:
1) I am 100% confident I can love this child
2) I can do all things in Christ
Sometimes, all God asks of us is that we are willing. We look around at other Christians and ask, "why not them? They are (smarter, more patient, richer, etc)" and God can point at us and say, "why not YOU? I will equip you. Just trust me."
What it comes down to is that God cannot use someone who isn't willing.
Giving up control to someone you cannot physically see is a bit daunting. I don't care what anyone says, we all like to feel in control of our own lives. I personally hate feeling out-of-control! But we must be willing to give up that which we hold closest, those things we clutch with white knuckles because we never, ever want to let it go. Will God make you give those things up? I don't know. It could be like Abraham and Isaac, where God only needed to know Abraham was willing. Or He could be calling you to sacrifice your dreams, your desires, your treasures at the foot of the cross.
"Sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." - Jesus (Matthew 19:21)
I am working on focusing on the eternal. The things of this world are all temporary. They don't last!
But a legacy, that is something that lasts.
Beautiful souls going to heaven, that is eternal.
These are the things that matter, and I never want to lose sight of that.