Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Have a Good Teacher

Guess what?
It’s not about me!

This is one thing I feel like God is teaching me throughout our adoption journey. When I first felt that God had put adoption on our hearts, my initial thoughts went something like this:

How will we be able to add on another child when we already have 2 little ones?

How will we afford this?

Can I really love a child that is not from my own flesh and blood?

What if we adopt a child that isn’t a good fit for our family?

Etc. Etc.

When we found out Solomon would be staying with his parents, my underlying thoughts centered around this:

Oh no. How could this happen to us? This stinks.

So, you can see what my self-centered perspective has been like. The eye opener came for me a few weeks back when I read through the blog of our social worker’s trip to Ghana. This part struck me:

During church there was a mother who stood up in front of the congregation where she spoke, sang and prayed in behalf of her baby boy. Through translation I understood her to say she wanted a better life for her baby boy who's first birthday was on this day. I watched as she spoke about her great love for her son and the opportunity that lies ahead him. She asked for him to be watched over and blessed. After the service I was introduced to this mother----and found out her son's name is Samuel. He is being adopted by a family who I have become close to over the past year and he should be arriving to his forever home here in the DSM area in the next 2-3 months. =)

Reading that excerpt was quite the solemn reminder that on the other side of the world, there are families who have to give up their children just to survive. It’s unimaginable. Unthinkable. Heart wrenching. I've slowly gotten away from remembering this.

Then a few weeks after reading that I was sitting in a gym in Minneapolis at one of Jake’s tournaments. I began chatting with one of the player’s mom’s and she was asking me how the adoption process was going. I explained to her what had happened with Solomon and she began telling me her adoption story. This mom had herself been adopted from Korea when she was an infant. However, her adoptive parents had originally been adopting a different child to start. A few days before they were to leave for Korea to pick up their child, the child they were supposed to adopt died suddenly from pneumonia. So, because of that, this mom was instead the infant that the family ended up adopting. As she ended the story she said how she felt so blessed that it was meant to be for her to be adopted by this family. She said who knows where she would be now, if the first child they were supposed to adopt had worked out. Hearing the sincerity in her voice brought me to tears, and again I felt God reminding me to take the focus off of myself in this process.

I believe God brought us to Solomon and his family initially for many reasons, and I now can’t help but be sure that one of them was to begin teaching me about self-lessness…….that this is not about me, us, our family, blah, blah, blah. But, it is about what is best for the child who is trying to survive in despairing situations. It’s about leaning on God for understanding, strength, guidance, and certainty in an uncertain journey. It’s about obeying God’s voice. It’s about gaining a global perspective that there is a big old world out there with people in need, emotionally – physically – and spiritually. It’s about learning to have compassion, and seeing people the way God sees them. It’s about teaching people how to escape the poverty cycle. It’s about embracing differences, learning about another culture, and accepting how things are done, even if it’s not the way I would do them. Yes, I can think about a lot of other things that this journey is about then just me. Thank you, God, for teaching me this.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


Jen said...

AMEN, Janel! I can relate to so much of what you said. And it was good for me to be reminded of these truths, too.

Tamara B said...

a good reminder... thanks a bunch.