I was going to write today about how our financial fast is going, but then I clicked on over to It's Almost Naptime and read about how some "friends" of theirs had written a mean email, attacking their motivation for adopting, I went on to read the comments, various degrees of support and shared misery. I read about people who no longer had a relationship with their parents due to their reaction to their adoption. I started to go down that road, to bring to mind the times that I had been wronged, the people who didn't congratulate us the way they would have had I been pregnant, the ones who had failed to hide their distaste for seeing my family become interracial, the accidental slights when someone's true feelings came out in a words they never intended to say.
The funniest thing happened, I couldn't quite seem to get my footing on that road, somehow the path had been washed away by forgiveness and I could only vaguely remember that these wrongs had happened but when or by who or the details, they were gone.
When I tried to further judge those who had done the hurtful things I read about in the post, God gently reminded me who I am. A terrible sinner, who is on a journey. One who for the first 15+ years of my relationship with God never took one step forward but remained an infant Christian confused on how to even know if I had a relationship with God and whether or not I could lose it at any moment.
A girl who has not always been a lover of orphans, a lover of the lost, a lover of the people of this world. A lady who once said to God, "I'm going to go over here and do what I want to do, even though I know it's wrong, because it feels good, and You, I don't feel You at all." A woman with a big mouth who often speaks before she thinks and has more often than I know hurt people I love with my insensitive words. Just a person, nothing special about me, except the love of the God who saved me, all by Himself, with no help from me.
It's easy to get your feelings hurt when your in the adoption community, even people who love you well will occasionally open their mouths, insert their foot, and say words that equal, "Your children aren't really yours". But my children are mine I say politely, quietly, because their words hurt so bad that if I don't fall upon my good manners I will scream and kick and hurt them for hurting me. But alas, feelings get hurt in this life. No matter who you are or what decisions you make their will be people who disagree, people who don't cheer you on they way you dreamed they would, people who will tisk tisk, causing hurt and shame and tears.
But a broken relationship is rarely the answer. And I say this as a mama who has to use all my effort sometimes to tame that impulse to protect Jack, no matter what, from anyone, anywhere that would ever say something to hurt him. But if I expect everyone to respond the way I do, then I'm forgetting who I've been, who I am, and that I would have never gotten here if Godly people hadn't let me stick around even when I was thoroughly confused about loving God. If I pounce in that moment and say, that's it, where done with them, then I lose so much and steal so much more from my son. God works on people's hearts and I need to pray for those people and watch Him work. I need to stick around for those who don't know Him, so that they look at my life at my journey and finally be willing to consider Jesus Christ, because He is evident here.
Our flesh yearns to punish those who hurt us, but I hope I give people second chances, even if they aren't happy about the way we're building our family. That I have a honest conversation with them, letting them know of the hurt, giving them the opportunity to apologize. He receives more glory that way, people are drawn to Him when they see it happen, our children are perhaps less protected but more prepared to love even those who are hard to love in this world.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." The Bible, Ephesians 4:2-6
Updated: just clicked over to Sit a Spell, such a great read and kind of related in some ways.