I wrote this post during my visit with Hannah in September. I wasn’t quite brave enough to publish it then, but it still speaks to me, so here it is, three months later.
Friday morning began with Hannah leaving early for the hospital. I got up and chatted with her while she got ready, hearing a little bit about a surgery she would be doing later that day. Then I crawled back in bed hoping I might be able to sleep a little more, since my body was still on Pacific time.
When I woke again, I found a text from Dorothy who asked if I wanted to go for a walk – which I did, but I needed coffee, serious coffee. She arrived 15 minutes later with coffee and muffins, and a conversation began that lasted nearly three hours. We never made it out the door for a walk, but we managed to fill every moment with dialogue punctuated with phrases like, “I know just what you mean!”
We talked about our kids, adoption, disabilities, marriage, churches and so many things that even my head was spinning. One topic we settled on for awhile is the fact that adoption doesn’t always look the way we imagine it will. We have a dream, an image in our minds, of what our families are going to look like once we get our children home. But what do we do when no matter how hard we try, we can’t hold that image together – when we find ourselves with a family picture that doesn’t include every member of the family?
Can we accept that? Can we accept that God is much bigger than our plans, hopes, and dreams? Can we surrender ourselves to the plan He has and let go of our own? Can we endure the shame and gossip when everything appears to be falling apart, and yet we know that it is actually being held together by the hands of the living God?
So often we are scared or tempted to feel shame, but we need to love our children enough to journey with them, not controlling every single move, but letting God’s story of redemption and healing unfold.
Can we, in the adoption community, love each other enough to refuse to judge our fellow adoptive parents? We may have to extend love and support, knowing that we are unlikely to ever be privy to the full story of the challenges they’ve faced. There are some circumstances that are so painful, or so private, that in order to protect people, the details can’t be shared.
These are the questions I wrestled over with Dorothy and it was amazing. We only stopped talking long enough to sip coffee, or run to the bathroom, and then we prayed.
Let me ask you these questions too. What do you think? Can we accept this for ourselves – for others? If you need to sip some coffee or do something else – don’t worry, I’ll wait.
I hope to hear from you today.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Trust-Based Parenting DVD! It’s a fantastic resource.
Encourage one another,