My Journey to Joy

October 10, 2013

Loss

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Those familiar with adoption realize that it comes with much loss.  A child loses his/her original family.  Bio-parents may die, have their children forcefully removed, or surrender them for the hope of a better future.  Adoptive parents may have lost their dream of biological parenthood, feeling a baby grow for 9 months, and being there to hear their baby’s first cries.  We live in a fallen world, and there is loss.

So often people talk to me with stars in their eyes about adoption.  And believe me, I love adoption!  I want people to be excited about the possibilities.  But it is real, and it is hard.  It involves sacrifice.  And there is always loss.

My husband and I tried to prepare ourselves for the pain that a second adoption would inevitably bring.  We worked to steel our emotions.  But there is always something unexpected…

In the midst of our early grief and trauma over my grandmother’s murder, my father was taken to the hospital with heart attack symptoms.  A procedure was scheduled.  Just routine, but there is always a chance of something going horribly wrong; I knew I wanted to be there.  That morning, as I bathed my little man, I got a phone call.  A friend knew of a birthmother looking to place her sweet, 4-month-old daughter; could she tell her about us?  That set into motion a day of frantic phone calls to our social worker and lawyer, all while getting to the hospital and waiting through my dad’s procedure.  (Which mercifully turned out fine!)  Everything was moving forward at a breathless pace…until I got the text: “She only wants someone in our family.”  And it was over.  I know now that I wasn’t meant to be her mommy- but, oh, I wanted to be!  I wanted her, to love her.  An adoptive mommy can fall in love awfully quickly, without even trying.  And I did.  And now there’s loss…

A few weeks ago I met a precious woman who asked me to parent her baby.  We totally “clicked,” and she said she knew God had sent her to me.  (And I believe He did.)  I tried to tell myself that these things often fall through.  I told my social worker “just in case she called and asked about us.”  And lo and behold, she did.  She followed through.  She set up a meeting.  And six days later she had a miscarriage.  And there is loss.  I ache for her, and for myself.  And my heart cries, “Why?!”

We haven’t even completed our homestudy.  We weren’t prepared (not that you can, really) for the emotional roller coaster that is adoption.  I don’t know the “why’s.”  And I hurt, so much.  But I know the Who.  My faith is in Him.  I cling to the promise that my God is working things for my good.  I cling to hope in His perfect plan.  I mourn the loss…and await the redemption of this pain.

September 12, 2013

Fight

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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If you had heard the conversation in our SUV on the way home from church, you might just think I’m crazy.  Little man had dropped off to sleep in his carseat, after a week of VBS and a big Sunday.  As we headed home, I turned to my husband and said: “We’re heading into a spiritual battle.”

He’s used to me, so he just listened, and waited for me to explain.  “It’s like that guy said: ‘adoption is war.’*  Satan hates what we’re doing.  Adoption is God using His people to redeem wrong choices and bad situations.  It’s us being God’s hands and feet, and showing love and sacrifice.  It’s showing God’s glory all over the place, where Satan had been winning.  He’s gonna hate that.”

My husband may have nodded, but I was on a roll now!  “He’s going to try to make it hard.  He’s going to try to discourage us.  Paperwork that seems endless is more than just paperwork; he’s trying to stop us.  Crazy expenses that we know we can’t handle; that’s him trying to stop this.  Disappointments and heartache; he’ll use it all.  We’re heading into a fight.”

It’s certainly a different way to look at adoption, but starting to adopt for a second time, I really believe it’s accurate.  Adoption is hard for a reason.  It’s fought, actively opposed.  Because Satan doesn’t want it to happen.  I think most often apathy is all he needs at his disposal.  Then maybe a sense of inadequacy.  Throw in some fear (change. unknowns. comfort. money. pain.)  A few “what if’s” and horror stories can go a long way…

I don’t plan to face this unarmed.  I’m asking God to remind me that this is His fight.  That He loves our next child more than we ever can.  That He has been fighting for them since before they were conceived.  He’s already won on the cross.  He is our powerful ally.  And we can win…and the victory will be God’s.

 

*https://journalingthejourneytojoy.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/russell-moore-on-adoption/

June 11, 2013

Songs for the Journey- Nothing Is Wasted

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l26UoD-N2hA

April 4, 2013

Mercy

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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“therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken.  And He drove out the man. And He placed cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”  Genesis 3:23-24

This has always seemed like such a sad verse to me.  Getting “kicked out” of the Garden of Eden seemed a severe punishment.  But read verse 22:

” And the LORD God said, Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…”

Now imagine…you had been created with a perfect body, and lived your entire life in a perfect place.  Because of your choice to disobey, all of that perfection has changed.  Do you really want to stay around and watch the decay?  Do you want to live forever, seeing the far-reaching consequences of your sin?  Was this expulsion truly a mercy, from a protective Father?  Things are not always as they seem…*

“God never witholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God’s refusals are always merciful — “severe mercies” at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.”― Elisabeth Elliot

When we were told we were infertile, I was utterly devastated.  I struggled for months (years?), crying and asking God “why?”.  If someone had told me that our infertility was a blessing or a mercy, I’m sure I would have been grossly offended.  It was so very hard.  So very painful.  It seemed so “unfair.”  I couldn’t imagine the plan that God had for our family.  In the midst of my hurt, I couldn’t see the work that God was doing- changing my heart…teaching me to rely on Him…forging stronger bonds in my marriage…showing me the great love and support of dear friends…and preparing our family for our son at just the right time.  It was His mercy to me.

“Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perserverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life?”  Ann Voskamp

A friend of mine is a quadriplegic.  He’s been in a wheelchair since he was 17 years old; he’s now in his late 50’s.  We were talking about how God works in our lives, and he said that his accident is what God used to get his attention.  He said God knew that is what it would take, and that he was grateful.  He found Jesus in a rehab hospital… and it was God’s mercy.

“This paralysis is my greatest mercy.” ―Joni Eareckson Tada

God is changing my vision.  Trials take on a different hue when I truly believe “…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28  I don’t often have the answers or know the reasons, but I’m looking.  And trusting.  And clinging to what I know to be true of God’s character, when things don’t make sense to me.

Let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is great;  2 Samuel 24:14

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
Laura Story, “Blessings”
*I’d love to give credit, but I can’t remember where I read this idea!

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