My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Friday, January 29, 2010

An answer to Autumn

I met an adoptive mom in the world of blogging. She is also an AF wife, who loves Jesus and leans a little toward hippie-ness. We seem to have some similar interests. So we have commented back and forth over the last six months.
She is actually how I met Tricia, whom I went to see on Wednesday.

Autumn and I have been talking back and forth a bit about adopting. She started to write me an E-mail the other day, then decided to post it as a blog. I think it is worth reading.

Then, you can read my response to it.

Autumn - Thank you so much for sharing - for giving me a view inside your life and heart, and a link to other's who have so much emotion that needs to be shared too.

I spent time in India when I was a teenager, and saw the "never let a child leave the home country" thought process lived out. I know there are a lot of countries, and people in countries, all around the world, that feel strongly that all of their children belong there - no matter what. Emotionally, I can respect that. Having seen where they live, and how, and having been part of a Christian ministry that supports schools and orphanages and sometimes simply buying food for families that can't afford it at that moment - no matter what their religious leanings - well, I didn't want to leave all of them there.
I don't want to "save them". I don't want them to feel grateful to me for the rest of their life. I don't think that has ever occurred to me. Heavens, if I wanted someone to be grateful, I already have that - I pushed 9 lbs out of a tiny hole, and those young'ins wouldn't exist without me. Parents don't have children in order to have someone to be grateful to them - or if they do, they are going to be sadly disappointed. Children question, and frustrate, and antagonize. That is their job. But they also love and give so completely and utterly. They don't think to be grateful. No, I am not trying to "save" someone. I just want to complete my family.
When I was very very young I read a book about a family that adopted lots and lots of children, from all over the world. Their family was literally a rainbow. I always wanted that. Unfortunately, I don't think that is very realistic for us. Two more is probably all I will be able to talk Andy into. He would probably be content with one more. I suppose I am really idealistic. I know that I was.( I am trying to stop.)
I was a Psych major in college, which included a lot of sociology classes. My sister is a sociology major, and calls me on a regular basis to talk. I like to think I am fairly well educated. But, she and I have realized that our family has a problem. Because we ourselves truly and honestly don't see color - all people are just people - we tend to be blind also to the people who are hateful. We are white. I HATE that word. I don't like being identified by my skin color at all. I am curly headed, slightly spacey, wife and mother, hopeful a good friend... but seriously... the color of my skin? But for this example, I will use it. We are white, and are part of the "majority". Thus, we are rarely discriminated against. And because we ourselves truly and honestly do not discriminate against others, we tend to not see when others are being discriminated against. My sister has pointed out to me recently that I am going to have to be a lot more aware in the future. If we adopt a child who has skin that is not the same color as ours, not only is she going to receive discrimination of her own, most likely so will we. Or at least questions.
I have dealt with poverty. I have dealt with more medical issues then I care to think about. I have dealt with Hindu's hating me because I am a Christian, and am in their country. I have been one of the only "white" people (with my family) within 50 miles, and thus stared at. I think I have some understanding of being different then the mainstream. But I have not dealt with loss - not like my child will have. We are hoping for a slightly older child. Perhaps 2 years old. That way there will be no doubt of them being an orphan, unclaimed. However, that also means that they will have spent two years NOT being part of a family. Then, we are going to change their entire world. I am well aware that is going to have life long ramifications.
But - I have complete and utter trust that GOD is leading us where we are supposed to be. I have lots of questions, most days I have more questions then I have answers. But trust is bigger then questions.
An example: There were other boys that I dated, and enjoyed their company, and had similar life goals and personality traits with. We could have married, and been happy, and made it work. But Andy completed me. God put us together. He was the right one.
I am counting on that to happen again. I am sure there are children out there who would fit in our family, and whom we would make it work with. But with each delay in our adoption process, I am more assured that God is leading us to the perfect situation. The child (or children) that will complete us, as a family. They will be the right one.

In response to your thought about anniversary grief and my positive attitude - I think I have allowed the children I already have to feel any and all emotions. I hope I can do the same for all of my children. Anger, doubt, fear and sadness - they are real. I have never tried to turn them off, or tell them they are not allowed. Even bouncy, eternally positive me has them at moments. I hope that my positive attitude helps others feel positive. But I don't expect them to never have a sad day.
I had Andy read this before I posted it and he reminded me of some friends of ours who grew up in foster care here. They stayed in their country of origin. They even spent some time back with their birth parents - back and forth. They still deal with grief and abandonment. Not leaving the country, even being in a (foster) home, rather then an institution, couldn't keep that away. All you can do is love a person through that - one step at a time. Forever.

That is what being a parent is. One step at a time. Forever.

I really appreciate you! Bethany

Autumn has been very helpful to me, introducing me to different points of view that she has already encountered as an adoptive parent. It helps for me to be able to see things beforehand, rather then afterwards, when I am already trying to adjust to a new child too!


Carrie said...

wow! That's a lot of information to chew on!

Tricia said...

Well said.

autumnesf said...

You rock!

I just wish I had had someone to talk to me about this stuff before we adopted!

EmileeHope said...

Having recently had a long conversation with a foster parent, there are so many children here, in our own country, that need a home, some just foster parents, but some that need adopted. Have y'all looked into that at all? I don't know much about the system, but it sounds like there is always a ton of red tape. No system is going to work best, we live in a world ran by humankind, which means it is flawed. I know you have so much love to give! You give it to everyone, I know I feel blessed being your sister and having your unconditional love given to me continually!

Adventures of Me! said...

we are foster parents. very well, love, love. one day at a time. amazing post...God Bless, Tina