This is another one of those vulnerable and raw emotion kind of posts...sorry in advance!
According to our agency, we are now 'prepared' for our adoption. We have completed the necessary books and website readings, we have watched dozens of videos and seminars. We have talked with other adoptive parents. We have gone through interviews and scenarios. We have been checked out by a medical doctor, a psychologist, and a social worker.
And all of them have agreed that yes, we are 'qualified' do adopt a sibling group of up to 4 children. And not just 4 children who understand what love is and what a family is, but 4 children who come from potentially unimaginable situations...abuse, neglect, trauma, starvation, being taken advantage of, lacking in basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, clean water, access to medical attention, appropriate mental/emotional stimulation and education.
These are children who have been swept aside, hurt. They have been taught that they are worthless.
And I feel so burdened, and yet underqualified to tell them that not only are they loved by us, their new family, but that the God of creation, the God who created everything we see, from the fist and the birds and the animals and the plants to the stars and the sun and moon, who holds the universe in the span of His hand, created them in His likeness and image, and loves them beyond the love that we can even imagine.
I feel underqualified to show them how to love, because throughout the adoption training, I have seen just how broken I am from my childhood. I am not sure that *I* know how to love and "fully connect." I am not sure that I know how to lead them all the way through to a place of healing and letting go of coping mechanisms because I still use those myself!
But I do know that God is bigger than this. That He can bring them through. I am so glad that I have had all of this education so that I can work through at least some of these attachment issues that I have, keeping people at a 'comfortable distance' and avoiding eye contact with certain people and/or strangers, staying reserved and emotionally guarded, even from those who it is not appropriate to do so with. Allowing the Holy Spirit of God to work through me and in me, changing me for His purpose so that I am better equipped to handle the children He is bringing to us...
And yet, part of me knows that I will *never* be prepared. They will come with their unique hurts and traumas, and their unique perspective on it. Even 2 children who grow up in the same home will have very different perspectives on their childhoods - for better or worse, each child is an individual. And we are now looking at bringing up to 4 unique individuals into our home who have had a less than ideal start. At the very least, adoption MUST START WITH LOSS. For whatever reason (and please understand that I won't be sharing specifics on my blog for everyone to see, and even for those who know us in real life, know that I won't be sharing my children's story), they have lost their birth family. They might have had a loving, caring family, who died tragically. They might have never have been wanted, and ended up in care because of abuse and neglect. Either way, that is loss. That is tragic. That is pain, sorrow, hurt, and only the love of God can heal those kinds of wounds.
I pray that God's love would be able to flow through me to my children, biological and adopted, because I cannot do this in my own strength.
I am not the best parent out there. Not by a long shot! I do the best that I can, and I get by. There are so many areas for me to improve in, and my goal over the next year, while we wait to travel and beyond, is to be intentional about those changes. May God continue the work that He has done in me, and grow me into the wife and mother that He would have me to be, to His glory.
Am I ready? No. But by God's grace, I will be able to handle the challenges as they arise! (Remember, I was the one who said 10 years ago that 'God would never give me a disabled child because I couldn't handle it?" And now I couldn't imagine life without my Callie Grace!)
God is good, all the time!
(And feel free to keep us in prayer throughout this process and well after our children are home - I am going to need it for sure!)