I talk and wonder. I read and wonder. I search and continue to wonder. As I am talking and reading and searching, I am also trying to be very careful. Careful to be sure what I say is clear and accurate. I want to give voice to issues but not say too much. To inspire, but not shame; making sure what I say has a positive effect on the little boys that call me mom. I want to do right by them, but most importantly, I want to do right by Him. So, I'm nervous because I talk and blog about a group of people that I am not part of and that leaves me wondering what exactly should I be saying?
It's November and if you are someone involved in adoption or foster care then you know that this month is about awareness. This month is the month that churches in our country host "Orphan Sunday". Not gonna lie, I hate that title. It's not a bad title, it's just that most of the time it's an inaccurate one. I like the term Adoption/Foster Awareness better. I struggle with the title because our kids, who we added to our family through adoption, are not orphans. They have birth families living around the world, people who could someday show up and into our lives. I do know that some children are waiting because they are in fact true orphans. In either case there is a need for a home.
A few weeks ago, I got up and spoke at my church. My goal was to inspire other people to open their eyes, hearts and homes to children who need them. I was instructed by the pastor I had been working with to sit in the second row of the sanctuary. Some time during the middle of praise and worship I turned and looked around. We attend a large church, there were a lot of people in both services. I was nervous. Later after it was all said and done I realized that the crowd was not what I was nervous about. My nerves came from my desire to say the right thing. I am still learning what that looks and sounds like.
I read a lot on adoption. The last few books and articles I have read scare me to death. They consist of viewpoints from adoptees themselves. They include first hand accounts of adoptees thoughts and feelings. Some of it is so good and some of it is so sad and all of it makes me second guess myself and blogging about adoption. Yet, the fact remains, too many kids do not get to experience growing up in a family. So, what's a good balance of bringing people into awareness about the need and not making it about any one individual child? I repeat: I am still learning what that looks and sounds like.
I am hoping that in sharing my heart about the journey of adoption, I have not overshared about my own children. The story of their life, is just that, theirs. But the prompting of the Holy Spirit that moved us towards action and involvement in adopting is ours. This is a balancing act with some pretty heavy packages.
What I want it to look like is this:
- The journey I share is honest and raw. It is packed with emotions because we are dealing with God's most important creation, people.
- The words I say are kind, considerate and filled with grace.
- God's faithfulness is revealed in both the lives of the adoptive parents and the adopted child.
- It does not involve me telling every little detail about any of my kids.
- It does not involve any one "right way" for my kids to process, grieve, share, not share, care, not care about who they are and how they came to join our family
- It does include me relying heavily on Jesus and His Word, daily.
That is what I want it to be, but I know that mistakes will inevitably be made along the way. Mostly, I want to glorify God and protect the heart of my children at the same time.
So, lets be aware. Aware of the need and the way we present it. Aware of adoptees and their right to privacy as people, not as a campaign. Aware of the questions we ask and things we assume. Aware of the parent's who are protecting the children they love. And as we navigate through our lives let us be aware of our Heavenly Father. For He meets us all right where we are and loves us just the same.