An acquaintance recently wrote to me, shared her heart for adoption as well as some of her own fears. She shared with me why it seems crazy that she would be longing to adopt, when she already has a busy household and all the normal struggles of life, I assured her that I could relate to most every point she made.
For some reason people look at adoptive families...or families that are doing something out of the ordinary, and think they must be some sort of saints or super family. As strange as it seems some people may even think that about us. Those who know us well may have just spit their coffee out all over their computer screen in laughter.
I think it's human nature to put other families or people up on pedestals. I know I do that. There are always families, especially online, who appear to have it all together and in comparison my messy house, tangly haired kids, and drained bank account seem really inadequate. Comparison can be a horrible trap. When you hold an unattainable standard up, like a just out of reach carrot that needs to be obtained before you decide to surrender the reigns and say "Yes" to a child in need of love...you may miss out.
There are families who just seem to float through life on rainbows and pixie dust. They do family devotions and the children actually listen. They eat every Pinterest meal together with well mannered children having delightful conversations. They actually play board games and like it. You're pretty sure their children have never thrown tantrums or said naughty words. My theory is that most of that is an illusion whether created intentionally or simply assumed by onlookers.
If my family is anything it's a testament to the fact that God uses very imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will. He is the skilled marksman who can hit a bulls eye with a crooked arrow. We just trust that he is shaping us, these broken arrows, as we are willing to be used.
Every day I fail. I get impatient. I battle selfishness and laziness. I get discouraged. I'm a flake when I should be consistent. I overreact in anger when I should be modelling grace. Occasionally I resort to making parenting decisions out of pride or embarrassment. Fairly often I wonder why God would think I'm fit to raise any child, never mind children born to another woman. Sometimes I'm almost crippled with the enormity of the responsibility of that.
If I let my mind wander among the "what ifs" I can become paralyzed with fear. Fear that I will fail at this task. The irony is that even in that fear I'm elevating myself. That fear exposes pride. I'm taking on a role that is not mine to assume. These little ones, they belong to the hands that created them. I am just stewarding their little hearts, minds and bodies as best I can. It IS a huge responsibility but He has the final word in their lives, not me.
Daily I have to trust that God's grace will meet me where I am and fill in all those spaces where I so desperately lack. I choose to trust that God is sovereign and that the Holy Spirit is at work in the hearts of my children guiding and drawing them in. My job is to obey and trust that he loves them more than I do.
Any redemptive story that happens behind these walls is His work. I'm like the three year old with a plastic hammer "helping" her Daddy build a garage. He has invited me into this work, not because of my stellar parenting skills or because I'm especially needed, but because it is His good purpose and joy to do it. His joy has become my own.
So to the ones who long to someday open their homes to children in need of family but feel that they must first reach some new stratosphere of holiness, or have a perfect marriage, or have a nicer home, or make more money, or discover the key to being a flawless parent.... rest assured that the One who ignited that burning desire deep in your soul is faithful. He is the one who will make orphans sons and daughters. Jesus is the rescuer and redeemer. You are the three year old with the plastic hammer. Waiting and hoping for a shiner plastic hammer really doesn't' make that much difference. Just be willing to join the Father in His work and stay close by his side.