CERTAINTY, ASSURANCE, CONFIDENCE, SURENESS, NO SHADOW OF A DOUBT. Our planes don’t just land here by chance. These are the final destinations that we move all of our family and belongings to……………….in ox wagons. They are not just last-minute holiday destinations. And I believe these are the gem places that we need to find! But let me speak a bit more personally…
I am realising very quickly that when it comes to child~”finding” (-:) ~bearing and ~rearing there are so many opinions and often with a little chili added on the side when all put together at a dinner table 🙂 Some of my friends have had elective Caesareans, others gave birth at home (in the bathroom, with no intervention and a retired midwife to be exact). Some have chosen to free-school their kids (let alone home school) and others have sent their littlies to pre/play-school before they can talk. Wonderful – we are all different!
But if these are convictions then why does a differing opinion often invoke so much emotion? Are we too concerned with what others think of us? Are our decisions and choices a reflection of our heart and character, our belief system and values? Are we making decisions because it is in vogue or fits in with popular culture? Is child-rearing so closely wrapped up in our success as a person (obviously getting that a little life entrusted to us is huge and comes with much emotion)? Do we sometimes impose or reject a way of doing things to maybe reaffirm our own choices or circumstances?
Will I be willing and open as a parent to receive parenting correction and suggestions graciously – flip I hope so, I mean which parent gets it all right and makes no mistakes? Am I willing to be a salmon? And am I also okay with being disliked because of my convictions and choices? Even if i can say “Yes I am willing”, it doesn’t mean that I don’t / won’t feel the pain…..
I’m a CHRISTian… so I do already know what it feels like to be labelled all sorts of things. It’s ok, i get it. But I can’t change it. I am convinced, I know THE God I serve.
So i’ll take the blows and at the same time I will always hope that God will use me (amidst my failings), to shine His love and character even to those who dislike me because of the one I follow, Jesus…. the most beautiful name to me and yet a swear word to others [do you ever find it strange that you don’t hear people cursing any other name?? Just something I think about]).
So… the whole point of me starting this post is……………… (yes i tend to digress… ALOT and my hub normally reminds me to bring the story back… but he isn’t here, so I may venture back out into the wild… sorry:)
so ………… My husband and I are about to enter the adoption process (this seeming glibly dropped comment deserves some purple…. because, OH MY, does it have a whole ox-wagon and small country in tow. This decision has been BeeeeeeG for us! I will be recording our journey as we go, starting with our first assessment meeting next week… 🙂 As I understand it, we are going to have to answer a lot of questions during, after… & forever…. heck we are already having to answer and explain many our decisions around this. My hub is quite amazing in this way tho – he finds it easy to simply state what he believes or feels about something without feeling the need to justify his answer even if it seems controversial. It was one of his main character traits that I first noticed and fell in love with – I remember someone asking him which team sports he played ‘at school’ and his answer was, “I didn’t play school sport”….. what he failed to add was, apart from a multitude of other hobbies, he actually played provincial sport ‘outside of school’…. but that wasn’t what they asked and he didn’t feel the need to further affirm his worth in that way. He is a secure man and I SO love that about him!! (Altho I do sometimes think he could throw a bigger shame-i-see-you-are-trying-to-get-to-know-me-here bone… that’s where I fill in the gaps! What a team 😉
So birthing options and free-schooling are not exactly in our sphere of questions to ponder at this point, instead we are having to think about our feelings / answers around race & gender, around health (HIV, Downs etc), the circumstances around conception (rape, incest etc!), also should we receive our child straight from birth and run the 60 day risk of the BP’s changing their mind or should we go with an agency who kangaroos the babies for that time. I have been told that it is selfish to desire a child from birth. There are so many orphans in this country, we should adopt an older child…. etc etc. We have had to wade and work thro SO MANY comments like this to find our conviction. My husband is sterile therefore it is assumed that we should help the orphan crisis in our country. Don’t get me wrong….. my heart aches for the crisis and the needs of the poor around us daily… it sometimes feels overwhelmingly unbearable…. BUT I can’t have that put on my shoulders alone… WHY DON’T YOU ADOPT THEN? Are pregnant women accosted in this way? I am also told, JUST ADOPT cos then you will relax and have your own baby…. shame I don’t hold this comment against any of the well-meaning and very special people who have said it to me. It’s just, well, my husband has NO SPERM, NOT ONE and so relaxing AINT our problem…. if anything, the opposite.
So many friends and young couples in our church are adopting at the moment, some are adding to biological families… and it is beautiful to see… and even tho perhaps in some ways this has opened our eyes to adoption, it is also not why we are adopting. Again, this has to be our own journey and conviction, we need to know it is right and the right time and we have waited a looooong time to get to this place. WE ARE SO EXCITED and we are SO excited that we are excited… cos there was a time when we didn’t know… and we certainly never wanted to embark on adoption to quickly plug a hole or desire.
ADOPTION IS OUR CONVICTION… and it has now become as exciting as if it were our Plan A.
I must be honest tho, I am finding it quite hectic to have to think about all those questions we are going to have to answer at our assessment (not knowing exactly what it will entail)… It seems so weird to say ‘we would prefer……..’ when talking about a child, a life. I have tried to look at it differently……. if I were to be pregnant now, I would be praying for a healthy baby, I’d be hoping for the best for this child. And so some of my answers have been rooted here and in other maybe more hectic areas/questions we have just had a knowing that we will be graced to handle that scenario.
I am becoming so aware that aside from the big questions above, adoption is going to bring about a new/different set of challenges (understanding also that all good parenting simply is a challenge). I am already bracing my heart for that day when my child(ren) come to tell me that they are ready/want to find their birth parents. I am being real about the fact that it will be felt in my heart… but perhaps it is a similar feeling when children finally all leave the nest? I have searched for my great-great grandparents graves… there’s is no doubt in my mind that had I been adopted, I would totally want to seek out my birth parents. Anyway so what i am saying is yes, there will be emotion and I also want to hope that perhaps when that times comes, our family will only grow wider and stronger. Family can be so much more than just our immediate nucleus (as important as that is) – I see this displayed so beautifully within our church context.
So we have settled some of these answers….
My husband has at times had to use props to help me get a concept simply and to move my emotion (or perhaps concern of being misunderstood) out-of-the-way. I want people to know my motives & heart when we draw lines in our answers. Obviously it is in all of our human make-up to want to be loved and accepted but I also mustn’t confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. I have retraced many of our decisions back to the root, I have tested my heart to see that a choice isn’t made from a preconceived or even convenient for me, place. You could say I have also over-analyzed!! Thank goodness for my husbands simple engineering clarity. But I am grateful that we are stretching our boundaries and having the opportunity to check our hearts and motives in this way. We are also really looking deeper at where we are graced and what we will have capacity for in a bigger picture, so that we can run and live this life fully and with purpose, whilst raising a healthy, strong family well.
So – I’m not sure I can tie this post up with a nice little bow at the end, but let me try….
…. at that dinner table, I don’t want to add chili. I want to find my security in the fact that it is ok if others don’t always understand or agree, because we know why we made our decisions and we need to live by them… So can you please pass me that bottle of grace… after you! 🙂