“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)
Monday, February 25, 2013
Adoption Fantasy Vs. Adoption Reality
There are many who have answered the call to adoption either through prayer support, for those walking down the adoption path, through financial support, or actually adopting themselves.
We have had the great privilege of walking hand in hand with prayer supporters, financial supporters and then each other as we stepped out in faith to bring our children home.
It is a normal thing to "fantasize" about what your child is going to be like; dreaming of what their personality will be like, but it becomes DANGEROUS, when you expect your fantasy to be REAL.
You may have fantasized about a docile child and your child is hyperactive! You may have expected a child with long blonde hair and your child's head is shaved and her hair is dark brown. You may have expected a girly girl and gotten a tom boy, or a boy who is great in sports, but he prefers the violin! These are VERY SHALLOW thoughts, really, when it comes to bringing a child home, or even giving birth to a child.
THE PROBLEM WITH INDULGING OURSELVES IN DREAMS AND FANTASIES IS THEY GET IN THE WAY OF REALITY!
There is NO TIME to dwell on the "what if's" when your child comes home with unexpected behaviors, illnesses, syndromes INCLUDING FAS, RAD, PTSD, ADHD, ODD, or any OTHER label your child can be given.... HONESTLY, the ONLY REASON to have these diagnosis, would be to help SECURE your UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION so that you can PARENT YOUR CHILD, the CHILD GOD HAS GIVEN YOU, in the BEST WAY for THEM to SUCCEED!
Sometimes the path is HARD.... and sometimes NOT. But there is JOY in the JOURNEY, no matter the path! GOD FULFILLS HIS PURPOSES in our lives, weaving that Beautiful Tapestry of Life, sometimes with the fabric of tears, and sometimes with the fabric of great joy!
Sometimes that GREAT JOY comes from a child who learns, finally that they are loved, or for a child with learning disabilities, the first time they remember how to spell a word!
Sometimes joy comes when a child hugs you for REALLY REAL for the first time after, being home for years.....or when, like Erika, they call you, "My Precious Mother", "My Precious Father", from the first time they see you.
Sometimes that joy comes when your 2 year old sits up for the very first time, or when he walks without assistance for the first time at 8! You get joy in just cheering him on!
There is NO TIME to waste in the "what if's"...... and IT IS A WASTE OF TIME! It is also a mindset that will allow Bitterness to set into the heart, if we are not careful!
ALL CHILDREN are a blessing, and there are no perfect children!
I would like to strongly appeal to those on the adoption journey; ALL CHILDREN who come into your family through adoption are Special Needs Children! And asking for a child with "minor, correctable issues" such as a cleft lip or pallet is only dealing with the physical!
There is NOTHING MINOR, about being abandoned and living in an orphanage. There is NOTHING MINOR about NEGLECT, ABUSE and STARVATION, and it cannot be "corrected"! The emotional scars of REJECTION are NOT MINOR, no matter HOW YOUNG your children come home. Each little personality is DIFFERENT and they will handle those stresses differently!
Some will regress and be ANGRY. Some will be so fearful they cannot respond. Some will have behaviors that are downright BIZARRE, and some will come out of situations like that seemingly unscathed; but I would say that is the exception, rather than the rule! It is up to us to LOVE OUR CHILDREN WITHOUT HOLDING BACK!
Don't WASTE years being angry because you don't think everything was disclosed to you!
You have the child that GOD HAS GIVEN YOU! PARENT THEM! LOVE THEM!
TAKE GREAT JOY IN THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! TAKE JOY IN THEIR BABY STEPS TOWARDS WHOLENESS..... REMOVE the PLANK from your eye, so you can see HOW to clearly remove the speck from your child's eye.
Bitterness has NO place in the life of a parent. It will only beget Bitterness! PRESS ON! MOVE FORWARD! DON'T LOOK TO THE RIGHT OR THE LEFT, but KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE GOAL! Bringing your child towards wholeness and healing!
Fantasy Land is a very dangerous place to live!