Friday, November 13, 2009
When people find out that we adopted our son, if they have any connection to adoption, they will share that with me. I always enjoy this, getting to hear that friends of mine were also adopted or that they have friends or family who have adopted from Korea as well, I feel connected to them on another level.
I also hear quite often, "We have a heart for adoption too, but..." or "We really want to adopt a baby, but..." Those "but"s could mostly be summed up as "but we're afraid". They never say that of course but that is what they mean. I feel a connection to these people too, when we were discussing whether to adopt and many times during the process of adopting, I was afraid.
I heard it said once that only 2% of people who ever want to adopt actually do. I'm sure there are several things going on there, but I wager that most of them stop because of one or more fears.
"What if I can't love a child that I didn't give birth to as much as I love my birth children?"
"What if we can't find the money, or in finding the money we have to greatly alter our lifestyle?"
"What if I adopt a child of another race and our family is no longer accepted?"
"What if the child we adopt grows up and is angry that he didn't get to know his birth parents?"
"What if the birth mother changes her mind and the child gets taken away from us?"
"What if the child we adopt ends up have special needs?"
"What if he asks me hard questions and I don't know how to answer them?"
"What if, What if, What if....."
I could give you some reassurance in all the questions above, but if you are going to let fear stop you from adopting then you'll come up more "What ifs". And really the answer to any of those questions is not the point. The point is that being afraid is normal, you are always afraid of big changes like adding a child to your family, regardless of how that comes about. Don't allow fear to stop you from obeying a longing the Lord has placed on your heart. The God we serve is bigger than any "What if" you can come up with.
For me when we began this process, I was afraid, so I checked back with God, is this really what you want us to do. He said yes, then it became a matter of obedience and I was more afraid of not living out God's will in my life than I was of all my "What ifs". It was my experience, that the process of adoption is about so much more than just adding a child to your life. So as you go down the path and God begins to work on you, on your ability to trust, on your understand of who God really is and how great his love actually is, on letting go of your dreams and goals in exchange for His, you will experience pain and you will experience fear. But if you can just cling to God's promises and keep on going, you will be forever changed, made more like Christ, and know a joy that you've never experienced before.
If God asks you to adopt, just do it. Take one step at a time, trusting that He will provide for whatever you need in that moment. He will provide, the trust, the patience, the money, the support system, the resources, the changed hearts. Remember we serve a Big Big God, He's got this under control.
"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10