who's child I am,
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Parenting on Mission
I have had a couple of questions recently from people about adoption and adopted kids. I am by no means an expert on this subject and I approach the subject very carefully because there are a lot of different views and experiences out there. I am speaking from my experience, so if you don't agree that's O.K.
Adoption is a blessing to the family that has adopted and to the child that is adopted. God has adopted His children as sons and daughters through Jesus, and that would include me!!!
Praise God for adoption.
That being said, all adoptions on this side of heaven come out of brokenness. There was a break in the relationship from the birth parents, weather it be from death or abandonment or a decision; for some reason the child can not be with his or her birth parents and for that reason alone there is brokenness.
God refers to us as His children all over the Bible.
I learn a lot from each of my kids, birth and bio, and the relationships we share and how this can reflect and teach me what it means to be a child of God.
The birth of my bio kids teaches me of how loved we are before we can even hold our head up, and how completely dependent we are on our Father for EVERYTHING and how He created us and loves us like CRAZY
even before we were formed in our mother's womb.
When I think about my relationship with God, I have a lot of the same tendencies that look more like my relationship with my adopted kids.
When I think of the adoption process and how we sought these kids and we pursued their adoption into our family with intention and effort and perseverance; this process reminds me of how God pursued me and did all the work and paid the price to bring me into His family. I could do nothing to earn it or make it happen, just as adopted children can not do anything to make a family seek them and pursue them.
I am NOT saying I am the savior of any of my kids AT ALL!!!
We ALL need a savior, and there is nobody on earth that can be saved apart from Jesus.
I watch my adopted kids often times struggle with trust in close relationships.
They have been hurt and abandon in their lives and it is a constant battle for them to believe that they are loved and wanted and treasured by a family. They have been hurt and they just expect this hurt will happen to them again, so they put up walls that make it challenging for those close to them.
We go through spells when it is harder than others for my adopted kids to believe that they are truly loved EVERY SINGLE day, not just on days when they feel worthy or are behaving well.
They have a tendency to think their value and position are conditional.
In comparison, I think of how I have to remind myself EVERY SINGLE DAY of the Gospel, and how GOD'S LOVE IS NEVER FAILING.
I have to make an effort to remind myself and live in the TRUTH of how truly loved I am,
who's child I am,
who's child I am,
WHO I AM IN CHRIST,
when I don't feel lovable or act lovable.
My tendency is to default into acting like I have to earn it or like God is going to change His mind about bringing me into His family.
He isn't....He loves me the same every single day.
His love does not change based on my feelings or actions.
Here is a small example of what I am saying: adopted kids with trust issues that have been hurt will often ask,
"Are we having dinner tonight?"
This makes me crazy, because dinner is provided every single night, and it is implying that dinner may not be provided all of a sudden.
It is a lack of trust, and they are sincerely wondering if they will actually get dinner again.
By comparison bio kids will ask, "What is for dinner?"
they just expect it and trust that dinner will be provided like it always has been.
There is a big difference in these questions and the interaction in these relationships.
This is how it reminds me of my relationship with God....I will often ask in my heart,
"Will God really continue to provide? Will He really come through EVERY SINGLE DAY, or will he abandon and reject me one day when He has had enough of me?"
God has NEVER let me down. He has never abandon me and YET I act as if he can not be trusted. It is understandable for children who have been abandon in their lives to have major trust issues with flawed people, and we are all flawed.
So what is my excuse when I have trust issues with a God that has never left me or forsaken me, and never will?
I am implying that because I have been let down or disappointed by people that God will do the same.
This is what I need to keep in mind when I am parenting these kids through the struggle of trust. I need to remember how patient God is with me, and how he continually pursues my heart and loves me and cares for me and is generous and kind, even when I struggle and put up walls and try to push away from Him. When my kids do this, it is frustrating because it can come out in many different and difficult behaviors, but I need to remember to have a Christ like approach and be patient and kind and generous and continue to pursue their hearts even in the midst, or ESPECIALLY in the midst of the struggle.
I don't always do this well, but I know this is the WAY to love and parent the very best.
I have let my bio and adopted kids down about 100 times a day. I am not saying I do this parenting of any kid perfect or even well, but I know that me and all my kids have a perfect heavenly Father that we can all look to and turn to for the perfect, generous, kind, and FAITHFUL love and we can all learn and grow from that. I stand a little taller than my kids (well, most of them) and I can point straight to the PERFECT LOVE OF GOD AND WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM HIM.
***I feel it is important to share these things because maybe it could help someone else, and I want to encourage others, but I'm also very aware that these kids are precious gifts that God has graciously blessed our family with, and we must protect them. So I purposely don't give too much detail because it's not important and I also waited for a time to post this when things are going smooth, so it didn't turn into a gripe or vent session.
The smooth road may last an hour or a day or forever, but for right now,
things are smooth sailing and we are feeling VICTORY in Jesus.***
*Trust me when I say, I am NOT comparing our love as parents to God's love....we fail every single day, BIG TIME... and God will NEVER fail.
But God teaches me a lot through this mission of parenting.*