Monday, January 17, 2011

Trusting My Unswerving Hope

I have not written a blog in a very long time. The holidays are tough for us (and many people), and when you throw in something as huge and emotional as the adoption of a grandchild, it’s hard to capture enough coherent thoughts to make enough sense for a blog. But today, I’m going to give it a shot…

On December 21, our adoption was finally final. It was the day we for which had waited and worked for over two years. We had endured the probing questions of our social work for our home study. We had child-proofed our home. We had attended the required class. We had had our well tested. We had had a fire inspection and a safety inspection. We filled out what seemed like endless paperwork—twice—once for our state and once for our granddaughter’s state. We had had two FBI/BCI background checks. We had physicals to make sure we ere healthy enough to parent a young child. We had secured five references. I had made ten 2,000 mile trips out West, my husband had made five. We had been to court hearings, supervised visits with our little girl and finally graduated to unsupervised visits. We brought her home for two weeks, then took her back. Two weeks later we went to pick her up for good. The process was exhausting—and we didn’t even have any opposition. (I can’t imagine what people go through in bitter custody battles.)

I thought I would wake up on December 21, feeling exuberant, filled with nothing but pure, unadulterated joy. I did have joy—this was the day for which I had pleaded with God—but I also had so many other emotions raging in my soul. I was an emotional basket case, but I wasn’t ready to admit that yet.As I endeavored to go through my day, emotions securely stuffed, I began to realize I couldn’t do it. Some of those emotions began to leak out.

The first emotion I was able to admit was the grief… Grief that we have been denied the privilege of being our little girl’s grandparents--where we would go and visit every few months, be together as a family every Christmas, and maybe even have her come and stay with us for summer vacations… Grief that her parents still struggle with addiction and mental illness--that, despite their intelligence and creativity, they are not yet living as happy, healthy contributors to society… Grief that our little girl’s auntie, her namesake, is not here to enjoy her little niece.

Later, I realized another powerful emotion that was not as securely stuffed as I thought--fear. We’ve been down this parenting road before and we had thought we were doing a pretty good job, but now, 25 years into our parenting journey, we have one child entrapped in addiction and the other is deceased. Will we fail again? What could we be thinking… could our hearts survive the sting of failure and the pain of loss again? What could God be thinking… isn’t there someone younger and better equipped to do this job than us? What could the authorities be thinking… they put us through this rigorous process and they say we passed--do they really know what they’re doing?

This is where trust comes in… and hope. Trust that God truly is in control and that He knows what He’s doing. Hope in His promises that He knows the future he has for us and our little girl and her biological parents, that they are plans for good and not for evil, plans to give us a future and hope--unswerving hope!!

I made it through December 21. And once I did, I was ready to celebrate! And we did just that this past weekend. More about that later... when I am able to capture all the thoughts and emotions that are swirling. Until then, I will trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly and love extravagantly!

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!