I've been in a funk lately, and not the fun kind. I've been really weirded out about the adoption for a few weeks now. There is a lot of shame involved in writing this post- but that's what makes me know I really must write it. One thing I do know for sure is that 'hiding' never heals anything. So I"m putting it out there. Shame be damned! If you are a person who has adopted, maybe (hopefully?) you have felt some of these same things and will let me know that maybe (hopefully?) it's normal and that maybe (please God!) it will pass soon. If you are a person who has adopted and you have never felt any of the following... well... please just keep that to yourself. ;-)
It started right after we got on the waiting list. Simultaneous joy and terror. And when I say terror, I don't mean the average 'wow. this is big. i'm taking this job seriously.' kind of terror. I mean waking up in the middle of the night w/ a pit in my stomach thinking things like, "There is NO WAY I can do this!!! TWO more people in this very small house??? What were we thinking??? This was a huge mistake. Why on earth did I do all that freakin' paperwork??? I don't have room- not in this house, not in the budget, and maybe not even in my HEART to do this!!!" See- terror. The reality of adding two more people to our lives was just overwhelming to me. Everything I was thinking was totally fear-based. (I'm writing in the past tense, because I'm hoping it passes soon, but really, it's very present tense for me right now.) I was afraid of whether or not I would love them and they would love me. I was afraid of how it would challenge my marriage. I was afraid it would make me neglect Jack and Ben. I was afraid that we wouldn't have the money to do anything fun ever again as long as we lived because I remembered about how little kids have to go to the doctor like every other day and need medicine for every little cough, bump, fever, etc... Things are so easy right now with Jack (8) and Ben (almost 6). "Boys, go take a shower." (yes, you have to remind them to wash themselves, and then check to see if they really did, but still- easy.) "Boys, buckle up." "Boys, fix yourself some breakfast." "Boys, go get your clothes on and brush your teeth and get your backpacks and get in the car." So easy. And I am willingly going to dive back into diapers and baby food and naps and the crying and the fit throwing and potty training and grocery shopping with small children? And how a mom w/ small kids is NEVER really clean- someone has always wiped a mouth or a nose or a sticky hand somewhere. NOT easy. I was even worried about how on God's green we would put FOUR kids through college. I finally said the TRUTH to myself: I don't really want to do this. There. I said it. Everyone give a mutual GASP on the count of three, and let the judgement begin.
Yes, I realize how terrible that sounds. Believe me. I've been thinking "I don't deserve to get to adopt these kids... they should go to a family that is LONGING for them." The crazy thing is: I WAS that person before the funk. So I have to believe that I will be that person again. But right now, not so much.
So... I had to ask myself why I am doing this. Really. I mean, I've been talking about my desire to adopt for YEARS now, and I did paperwork for 6 months to make this happen. So apparently I really do want to do this. Why? What pricked my heart and made me desire this in the first place? Well... not to pass the buck, but: God. It's probably obvious by now that I am not a saint. I don't always think or do the right things and my heart can be exceedingly unfaithful. I want things that are not good for me and can be tremendously stubborn. Like my man Rich Mullins wrote: "Surrender don't come natural to me. I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want than take what You give and I need." But somehow, God got through to this unfaithful heart, spoke to this deeply flawed character and planted a seed in my heart- a seed that said, "I want you to make a difference." And I said, "Okay."
I have to believe that because this is God's dream, He will be there every step of the way to help me. I absolutely KNOW that in my own strength I CANNOT do this. I am far too selfish, lazy, carnal, and weak. So even though the funk isn't over, I am trying to trust that it soon will be.
I went back and re-read some of my favorite quotes to help get my mind, heart, and attitude back where they need to be. Here's what I need to continually remind myself of:
"It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." Mother Theresa
"Why is my life more valuable than this baby's? Someone asked me recently why I don't save money for emergencies, or retirement. My answer was how can I justify saving for myself "just in case" something happens to me when something IS happening to so many already. 29,000 kids will die today of preventable causes. If I'm to love my neighbor AS myself, why spend so much time worrying about me?" Francis Chan
"...Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." (Proverbs 24:12)
Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, US said,
"I believe that this could very well be looked back on as the sin of our generation. I look at my parents and ask, where were they during the civil rights movement? I look at my grandparents and ask, what were they doing when the holocaust in Europe was occurring with regard to the Jews, and why didn't they speak up? And when we think of our great, great, great-grandparents, we think how could they have sat by and allowed slavery to exist? And I believe that our children and their children, 40 or 50 years from now, are going to ask me, what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?"
I know that it feels like the problem is way too big for us to really do anything to make a difference, but I know with all my heart that touching the life of just one, just ONE, child can truly make a difference. And if everyone touched the life of just one child, we could reach them all. "
Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, took some liberties with Matthew 25:35 and wrote a paraphrase version for today.
"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thristy, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do." Edward Everett Hale
And last, but certainly not least, there is this:
May I have
The courage today
To live the life
That I would love,
To postpone my dream
But do at last
What I came here for
And waste my heart
On fear no more.
Source, John O’Donohue
To Bless the Space Between Us
...So I continue to say "yes" and trust that there is some bigger picture, something much bigger than me and my little life that this is all a part of. I do want to live a life that I can be proud of. But things you are proud of always involve sacrifice. I believe that it will be worth it. Not easy... but worth it.