adopt and buy earplugs

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So, although we have never had a real conversation about adoption, it has been on my heart a lot recently.

I know it began a few weeks ago when I picked up a book at my public library by Scott Simon, a journalist for NPR and other programs, titled "baby, we were meant for each other". I am not sure why it called my name in the library or if it just was an easy pick from the "new release" shelf, but either way the book came home with me. It is described on the cover as "a praise of adoption" and I fully agree with that description. It shares details of the Simon's trips to China while adopting their two daughters. It also shares stories from other persons who adopted children of their own or were adopted previously in life.  One significant point that I took away from the book is that adoption takes great preparation of your heart for the trials that will come, both while trying to adopt but also during the life of your child. The realization that people will say hurtful things to you that are never meant to be hurtful, like "can you really love someone else's child as much as your own" or "do you wish you had a real child" physically birthing a child is the only thing that makes it real. The scenarios rushed into my head as I read the book and I thought to myself "I could handle those things" because I would see those comments for what they were...not people being malicious, instead just people talking without thinking of how their words could affect others. You see, I have a habit of feeling like I can handle bad behavior or otherwise difficult things as long as I can justify why they occur...because honestly i do not think that most people intend to do harm. Regardless, I read this book thinking that it would be hard, however I could handle the comments that came with raising an adopted child...if I could just have that child to love.

Then the other night my illusions of strength were brought into reality when spending time with friends. A girl was talking about her dog and it's difficult/odd behaviors such as being skittish around large groups and chewing on things. She then discussed the fact that the dog was a rescue animal and it had never had a real home before her, not to mention that she was not sure what type of difficult things that the dog might have endured before it was placed into her care. She then said "you know it's like when you adopt a child at like a year old. So before you get it, it hasn't been held much and then is bound to have some attachment disorders or other things wrong with it".

I sat shocked in my chair.

She basically said that all adopted children were defective from the start (as was her dog) and that there is nothing you can do about it. Now, I will not take the time to get into why I think that this statement was completely wrong from a developmental standpoint ie. Erikson, Freud, Piaget, etc. Nor, will I address all of the other reasons that her dog may act out the way it acts out. However, I will say that for the first time I sat there feeling personally feeling offended by a statement about adoption. Now, I know we have not adopted a child nor have we decided if this will even be an option, however I saw my possible future and felt hurt for myself and for my imaginary adopted children.

I recognize that this event is a time when I must extend God's grace to others. There is no way that my dear friend meant to paint all adopted children (or animals) with such a broad stroke. And if she truly did, then who am I to sit and judge her opinions or ideals about the world. However, as I step away from her comments and from Scott Simon's book, I have a new gravity that comes to my situation. I am realizing that by telling people about our infertility, I am also opening myself up to their opinions. Their thoughts, convictions, judgements, and ideals about adoption, IVF, or living in a childless marriage. I know that people share their feelings about decisions that I make for my life of a regular basis, but I admit that I cannot imagine people feeling like they have a right to cast an opinion about if or how I have a child, until they have been in my shoes, period. This struggle and heartache just feels so personal, so raw, and so uncertain in my own heart, I admit that I am terrified today to think about also dealing with how other people see my decisions.

So today I reside to the truth. The reality is that 3 weeks after finishing "baby, we were meant for each other", i now recognize that to survive adoption or assisted reproduction I will have to develop a tough skin and an ample supply of the Lord's grace. It also means that I will have to face my insecurities about telling people that we cannot conceive and I will have to learn to let their judgements and statements roll off my back  - since God's judgement is really the only one that matters. I pray that we will reach a decision about adoption or assisted reproduction and I will feel so confident and so at peace with my choice that I will not even hear the questions that other people will raise about my situation. However, I know that to achieve this peace it takes a surrender to God's plan that I am still struggling with on a daily basis. Lord, please provide me with joy and peace while I continue to struggle.


"Do not worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 4: 6-7 NLT


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Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
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A glimpse into my journey to grow my faith and my family. Each day I am trying to trust in God's plan for my life, while I struggle with my own desires for my career, my marriage, and my hope for a family.

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