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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What our child will be like.

I've said many times that I will be honest in what I say here. Sometimes painfully honest, and today is no exception. Sometimes, I think that some of the things I say may be misconstrued, misunderstood, or taken out of context. I hope not, but even so, I will continue to write. After all, these are my thoughts, and this is my outlet.

This feels to me like a metamorphosis of my life. From the beginning until now. From May 10, 2007 when we first completed our pre-application to our agency until today. 978 days. 2 years, 8 months, and 2 days of metamorphosis since we began this process, and perhaps even before.

I often say: I am not the same person I used to be, and I hope I will not be the same person tomorrow as I am today. God, continue to change me into Your likeness.

I've been thinking. It seems I do a lot of that during this time of waiting.

What am I thinking about?

God's will. Our response. Where we are. Where we have been. Where we want to be. There is a saying, and I do not know who said it: If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always gotten.

Then, what have I always gotten?

* 13 years of marriage. I think I'll keep that one. It's nice.
* 12 years of infertility. That one can be tossed aside. It does me no good. There is no need to dwell there.
* Almost 3 years of process and paperwork. This one is necessary. It may be annoying, but it does serve a purpose.
* More than 1 year of waiting to be chosen.

Chosen. That is an interesting word. Webster says that it means: selected or marked for favor or special privilege. A chosen few. Ain't that the truth! Few. Not many.

How, then, does God define chosen?

* For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household...
* Let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac...
* The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession...

...and many, many more. Good choices. Bad choices.

* Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress...
* Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day...

You see, sometimes it is a pleasure to be chosen. Other times, it is a pain to do the choosing. It depends on who is in the driver's seat.

What about the adoption process? Who does the choosing? You might think we just go in and pick out a baby. Not so. You might think we are on a list and when our names get to the top, the next baby is ours. Again, not so.

The birth mother does the choosing. Of course, different agencies have different policies, but this is pretty standard policy in today's adoption industry. Based on what? Well, that depends on a lot of things. Age. Maturity. Likes. Dislikes. Family experiences.... good or bad. I have heard of birth mothers choosing a family because that family says they will buy the child a car when they turn 16. I have heard of a birth mother choosing a family because she likes what the father does for a living or how he looks. I have heard of a birth mother choosing a family because she "identifies" with them.

All kinds of random reasons.

The reverse is also true.

I have heard of birth mothers not choosing a family because they are too rich, too poor, they have pets, they have no pets, they have a disease, they are "too perfect," they live in the country, they live in the city, they like to travel, they don't travel enough... you get the picture.

Why haven't we been chosen so far? Well, the most recent reasons we have been given have included:

* Dogs inside the house
* Need for childcare (i.e. I have to work)
* We don't already have children
* I have MS
* She didn't feel a "connection"

None of these are easy to hear because you feel like you are being scrutinized and everything is wrong with your life. With you, as a person. (Lies from Satan!!!) However, they are also all valid reasons, and I would never tell a birth mother that she was wrong for choosing in whatever way she deems best for her child.

Then, what if you are never chosen?

I think about that all the time. You see, Satan has such a unique opportunity in the world of adoption to point out our flaws, to focus on our weaknesses, to twist the truth, to tell us lies.

I know God has a baby out there somewhere, sometime for us. I just don't know where, when, how, or who.

I also don't know what that baby will look like. Will it be a boy or a girl? What color will its hair be? What about its eyes? Its skin? Will it look like us? Will it be healthy or will it be sick? Will it be smart or will it struggle in school?

Then, I thought: aren't these the same things all of you wonder about your children before they are born?

The difference between us, though, is that you have control over what you put in your bodies. The diseases you pass down to your children are... well... your diseases. The traits your children inherit from you are... well... your traits.

We have no choice. We have no influence in utero. We can only pass on ourselves through our daily interactions with a child.

Of course, we do have some say in what we want. It's called our child acceptance form, and in some ways, it protects us. In other ways, it limits us.

We have requested a meeting with our current agency to review this year from both perspectives and to brainstorm what things we might want to change or adjust on our child acceptance form. God has not spoken to me specifically about this, but I sense Him telling me to trust Him more with the outcome of this adoption. Especially this last weekend, God provided us with an opportunity to show our trust in Him, not just in our words, but through our actions. At the end, there was no tangible result that we could grab on to and say, this is why God asked this of us. However, He did move us out of our comfort zone. Especially, as it relates to our child acceptance form. It makes me wonder. What have we said "no" to? What have we said "yes" to? What have WE said? What about God? What does HE say? Isn't HE our protection? Not what we say.

So, I wonder. What changes do we need to make? To what things do we need to open ourselves up? Some things? EVERYthing? With what circumstances do we need to trust HIM? What, then, will our child be like?

These are hard questions that I am contemplating for which I do not yet have any answers.


-stephanie- said...

YES!... What does God want for you?
He will give you more than you ever asked or imagined. I'm excited for you.

TheEvjes said...

I appreciate you sharing those things I think and do not say or blog. Other waiting adoptive mothers think similiar things as I do! :)
We got out quareterly report yesterday and had a reason on there why we were not chosen was for the dog too! :) Some people do not realize how much joy and love dogs bring! That's ok! We do!

Jessi said...

I don't know what to say except that I'm praying...for patience, for guidance, for a baby, for protection from hurt, for peace in waiting.
Thank you for sharing your journey so openly.

Mindy said...

Erin, this post really touched me. My little guy, Max, is a special needs kiddo and he is the best. We do have extra challenges, but he courage, joy and love in abundance. I always wondered what my babies would be like and this was never what came to mind, but what he has taught me in just 4 years and the blessings he has given me are irreplaceable. I know you will end up with exactly the right baby. Just the one God has planned for you, maybe because he/she needs you as much as you want him/her. xoxo.

Claire said...

This is such a beautiful and honest post. I am praying for you.


Anonymous said...

I don't think I ever realized how difficult adoption is until I met you. I have known people personally that have flown to China, Russia, Guatemala and BAM they have a baby. Why is it so difficult in this country when there are so many children needing homes. Why are birth mothers so picky? I know everyone wants what's best for their child but a dog in the house? That's a little crazy! Sorry, I guess this post just really got me thinking. Continuing to pray for you!

Mocha Momma said...

I didn't remember that you were waiting to adopt. I pray for peace and for you and your husband to hear God telling you what needs to be changed or left alone.

A good friend of mine & her family has adopted a girl from Romania. She is one of my daughter's best friends. She is the sweetest young lady and I like her a lot compared to other friends my daughter has.

I'll keep you in prayer,

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