Monday, June 14, 2010

To Anonymous With Love

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on my previous blog post.  I sat and thought about what you wrote for a long time.  The concern that you feel is  tangible so, today, I would like to dedicate this post to you.

I can only speak for myself when I say that any decision that we make as a family is made prayerfully.  Do we do it perfectly? Never.  We tend to jump before we look at times, but for the most part, we petition God for His guidance and direction so that we may be lead with a pure and humble heart.

I will honestly say that I don't know how life's decisions can be made without the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We are constantly bombarded with a need to quench our own desires, to be fulfilled according to our own feelings.  Oftentimes what I really need is to stop and consider my motives before moving ahead.

I'm saying this because you are questioning the desire of your heart.  What God brings to the table is discernment. Recognizing God's voice in the midst of doubt and fear is a tremendous gift because so often we are asked to do something that is completely out of our comfort zone or given the opportunity to follow what He has so clearly placed on our heart.  I would encourage you to pray.  To seek wisdom and guidance in His Word because the answers to your questions are all there.  You must replace doubt with truth to be able to move forward.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Following the will of God does not mean that the path will easy.  We are not promised a road less traveled.  In fact, oftentimes when we proceed as God asks, we can find ourselves in the mire and the muck, gasping for air.  But there is a choice.  Obey God, trust in Him that He will make our path straight and know that He will not abandon us.  He can and will use every situation for His glory and furthermore will strengthen us in ways we could not have anticipated.

Adoption can be messy.  There have been moments in the past with my daughter when I have felt such despair in both of us that I could not see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.  She felt so broken in her sadness and as a mother it was gut wrenching to watch.  I stayed awake at night thinking about the unfairness of it all.  The abandonment, the grief, the insecurity.  I found myself angry at the family of a young girl who gave birth to a precious baby.  The only help they gave was to assist her in giving up her child.  When I think of what my daughter could have been spared I feel such sorrow for them both.

But I do not have regret.

I would do it over and over again.

God called us to answer the desire of our heart in building our family through adoption and that includes the layer upon layer of issues and emotions that come with it.  For better and for worse we were asked and answered the call to become parents to both a biological and adopted child and we never doubted that God would be in each and every moment.  That He would bridge the gap for our inequities and that our journey would be guided in miraculous ways.

The things about parenting is that no one can tell you how to do it right.  We will all succeed and fail.   We are broken and imperfect people.  But what we do have is the example of the perfect Person.  Jesus.  He walked on this earth to give us all that we need to not only be happy, but to be whole.  He loved the very best and worst of us.  The leper, the harlot, the sick and the infirm, the poor and the weak of heart.  Society's outcasts, the invisible many, were loved unconditionally by God who came in the form as man so that we could experience love.  He is our example for raising our children.

When I say that nothing I do or say will be enough it's because I often fall short of the glory of God.  For my children, I will raise them to the very best of my ability.  I am not a perfect mother and I know that I may not fill their hearts with all that they need.  But God can.  When I say that we do our best I am not being cliche or flip.  Because getting up every morning and deciding to be a better mother than you were yesterday is doing your best.  And on the days when you fail or falter, you give it to God, pray for the strength to do better, put one foot in front of the other and go forward.

There will always be someone standing by to criticise or condemn.  Even from other adoptive parents or adoptees.  But the point is is that you are not raising a family to please other people.  Adoptees may grab you by the neck and scream "don't do what my parents did with me and ignore, ignore, ignore!!" and adoptive parents may pull you aside and whisper "they'll forget in time, don't worry about it" (wink, wink).  Parents that have never adopted may look at your sweet family and shower you with accolades as to how "naturally" your adopted child fits in-like you've won the adoption lottery and not gotten one of those "difficult" children.

We could stereotype and finger point all day but when it comes down to it, it is a personal, family decision.  When you come to the understanding that you are not adopting a child but their entire history, when you want to be the perfect fit for your child, not the other way around, than I would say you are becoming a mother already.


a Tonggu Momma said...

"When you come to the understanding that you are not adopting a child but their entire history, when you want to be the perfect fit for your child, not the other way around, than I would say you are becoming a mother already."

Perfectly said.

Mireille said...

I love both posts, you are such an eloquent writer April!! You hid the nail on so many points!!

Mei Ling said...

"The things about parenting is that no one can tell you how to do it right. We will all succeed and fail. We are broken and imperfect people."

Hm. I think now I understand something.

When I blog about my biological mother and her would-have-been parenting of me, I am often accused of putting her on a golden pedestal and fantasizing The Perfect Mother Who Never Says No.

I think I see why people come to that conclusion in adoptive parenting - you noted that as adoptive parents you will fail and be unsuccessful time and time again, even through your best efforts. That you won't "match up" or be "equal enough" to the spiritual Parent Who Never Says No.

Because the idea is that in adoptive parenting, the adoptive mother is adequate and the birth mother is not or could not be adequate enough.

So by default, by the paragraph I have quoted enough, the adoptive parents are implied as unsuccessful well-intentioned failures, whereas anything to imply the biological parents might have been "good enough" is automatically seen as being placed onto a golden pedestal - which isn't necessarily the case.

The adoption logic is that one mother is good, the other is not. One mother is not abusive or neglectful, and so the other probably would have been. One mother knows how to parent properly, so the other couldn't possibly have. And so on.

Interesting food for thought. :) Thanks for bringing me to that conclusion.

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