Monday, August 26, 2013

Training Our Hearts

A peek at my notes from my online adoption training. Yes, I often take notes in paint. It makes it more fun to refer back to them!

I've always thought of myself as an "eyes wide open" kind of girl, thinking through all the facts and not setting expectations too high. Okay, you optimists would call me a pessimist. But I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed. I hate disappointment. Because let's face it, we don't call our expectations "expectations"... we call them reality! So let me tell you from a realist's (as we pessimists like to call ourselves) perspective: it's not going to be easy. 

Children raised in orphanages need to be taught to attach.
The adoption ride so far is likely a small taste of the ride ahead. I know that our "gotcha day" will not be an end to the complicated journey we're on. All of those cautions I've heard ring in my heart from time to time, have been made strong warnings of a reality by our required online adoption training (notes above and beside)

We all struggle with identity, belonging, feeling loved, and understanding what we're capable of and headed towards... how much more would a child that can't point to where they got their curls from or even how they landed here?! I suppose the most difficult question we'll be asked by our adopted son will be, "why didn't my birth parents keep me?" I can think of several possible, [almost-] logical answers, but they won't answer his heart's wondering. Not even close. And even if I could think of some replies, I myself would still be left wondering, and hurting for my child. I guess that's what makes good adoptive families hurt so much: we hurt together. 

Any parent knows this. Your child gets a scrape and you wish your kisses really could heal. Your little one is sick and you wish it were you instead. Your baby feels lost and you want to point them to a solid roadmap. But our parental empathy can sometimes get in the way because our sight is often fixed on the boo-boo and not on the quiet blessings that ouchie can provide. 

My own upbringing, though joyful and full of love, was not smooth. The bumps on the road left their bruises, but I held tighter to God's hand. My mother had to work nights at times, but I saw God's provision. And when I felt disappointed by human love, I found a Perfect Father. And that's the best I can ask for any child, biological or adopted. 

I pray that my boys would know who to turn to. I pray that they'd train their little hearts to search for the quiet lessons and deep comforts no earthly parent or person could give them. I pray that we--all four of us--would rest in the Father that holds our messy past and our uncertain future fully nestled in his palm.