(Differences in Adoptive Parenting Part 3 of 4)
“These [trials] have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (I Peter 1:7)
God uses adoption to refine our character and strengthen our faith; it seldom seems fair or feels good! If we’re trying to help a child in need, why all the roadblocks, challenges, expenses and delays on our bumpy road to parenthood?
Last week a missionary friend emailed me about her adoption story; it rocked me to the core, underscoring the lack of control many adoptive parents experience, regardless what type of adoption they pursue.
She and her husband, adoptive parents of two children from the US foster care system, are in the process of adoption a special need preschooler from the country in which they serve.
We've known Henry for almost 3 years, she wrote, and he's lived full time in our home for the last 9 months. Well, it seems the home made a BIG mistake placing him with us so early. This premature placement was supposed to be a foster situation but of course, the paper work never materialized. Yesterday, the home informed us that we have to return Henry to the home till we are matched with him by the agency. Yes, they are demanding we return him to live at the home and act like we have not parented him for the last 9 months…how we can do the healthiest transition for Henry? We're desperate to do this as carefully as possible.
I still can’t wrap my head around this. Who in their right mind would order a child back into a special needs orphanage in Africa? What’s so hard about getting paperwork done within nine months so a little boy could have a forever family, decent medical care and a shot at life? This needless tragedy, and the ongoing impact it will have on this family, saddens me – and theirs is not an isolated case.
But I wrote her back with my advice on his transition. It sounded shallow and inadequate.
Your response is a great kindness to me. She responded. Yes, although those transition tactics are in my head, I needed to be reminded of them since we're living in a painful fog; I have to remember to even breathe. Common sense feels "un-accessible." Always praying. Always. Choosing to live by faith faithfully and not indulge my emotions. I know they are there for "expressing" but not for me to follow. Pray we chase after Holy Spirit and walk in peace that passes understanding.
Saying “yes” to adoption is not just about permanency for children or becoming a family. It’s an open invitation that allows God to do His work in His way. In His hands our lack of control is a tool that helps us learn to live by faith faithfully.