June 6, 2012 by greenhouse04
For many months my eyes were focused on one goal: the adoption of our children. My world centered around the day they would finally be completely ours’. When I imagined our lives after “Adoption Day” it was through rose-tinted glasses: “wow, how relaxed everything will finally be! I can’t wait – the biggest challenge of my life will be over! My life will seem so peaceful and content! I’ll never have anything to worry about again!”
Ok, maybe I wasn’t that unrealistic as I thought of my life “A.A.” (After Adopting) – I’ve learned, as we all do, that ideal circumstances do not elimnate worry and discontent. But I’m beginning to glimpse the fact that parenting well is hardly ever relaxing or easy; that in fact, worries and fears for the futures of my children are still fully with me, and that for the next couple decades (if not much longer), I will still have to daily depend on my heavenly Father for wisdom, love and patience that are beyond me.
At times lately these realizations have been overwhelming. Sometimes I ask myself with disbelief, “this is the daily – no, hourly! – struggle I will be dealing with for the next TWENTY YEARS!!” (please, don’t let it be much longer than that!!) There are days when I just don’t want that struggle. I want my small, self-centered life “B.A.” (Before Adopting) back. I want a day to read and write to my heart’s content, or to get up and drive somewhere with my husband with no babysitter or baggage to worry about.
On top of that, sometimes an ugly, deceitful voice tells me “you have it even harder than most parents – you’re an adoptive parent! Besides all the “normal” parenting challenges, you’ll have even more! Your children were handicapped at the very beginning of life by their abandonment!”
But thankfully, even on those days, Jesus reminds me of a bigger perspective. He tells me “this is what My life is about – living for others while being completely dependent on the Father. You want My life, not your own.” And I say, “yes, I do. Your life is abundant, loving, powerful, gracious and pure; mine is small, petty, weak, selfish and sinful.” And He’ll remind me that He died for me so I could have His life. And I say, “thank You for parenthood – for this new way to learn a little more what it means to be like You.”
As for having bigger challenges as an adoptive parent, sure, I’ll have unique challenges. Sure, my children may very well struggle with their identity and abandonment. But tell me honestly – what child isn’t born with an insatiable need to be loved, to belong? And what parent – biological or not – can perfectly fill that need? And what heart can’t Jesus heal?
So, on those days when it’s hard to be a parent because I’m tired or my hormones are off and my old sinful self is more obvious, I have to depend on God. I find myself asking for wisdom or love or patience, and when I ask, I receive.
But those aren’t my only days. On the other days, when I’ve gotten almost enough sleep and my energy level is high, I . . . blog! No, I still depend on God, because no matter how “together” I feel at the moment, growing two little people into two grown-up people is always beyond me. I’ll never, in myself, have just the right words to say to him or know how best to love them at that moment or have enough patience to make it through another of her melt-downs.
And… wow… isn’t this the life I prayed and prayed for? I have two children! Two years ago that statement would’ve seemed like an impossible dream. How blessed am I! And yet, how sinful and weak, to let feelings of discontentment come in again, after I’ve been given so much.
Every day, no matter how hard or easy, I find myself looking at my children and being amazed. Amazed that I’m now in my life “A.A.” – and I wouldn’t trade the struggles and challenges of it for the world.