Thursday, May 19, 2011
I have created a monster.
During the past month, Miss E has been exclaiming, "Perfect!"
I usually gulp.
I am a type A lady---organized, determined, structured. I always have a plan. I like things how I want, when I want, where I want. Period.
I think part of my personality stems from being an oldest child. Another part comes from my diabetes---because without calculated moves (from when I exercise to how much I eat to when I test my blood sugar), my blood sugars get out of control. And that can be bad. Really bad.
It's no surprise I'm a teacher---which basically means part of my job is to be in control, to hold the power to move my students forward in their writing abilities.
My personality type has its perks. I am easily able to verbalize what I want in life, and I go for it 100%. I also can put together dinner parties, small events, lesson plans, and play dates with ease. I am able to monitor and control my blood sugars, plan family meals, keep my house clean, and stick to an exercise routine.
BUT....my personality can be incredibly annoying, persistent. It is its own beast. I am easily annoyed, impatient, and disappointed. I can't tolerate people who can't put on "big panties" or pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Drama? No thanks. And I know I can annoy other people with my resilience.
So yes, when Miss E says, "Perfect!" I get a little nervous. I guess I wonder, will she be as high-strung as her mother? I hope not.
So what is the point of this rant?
My heart has been pulled toward the children waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. But there are so many "what ifs"---way more than with domestic infant adoption. There are more things to check on that horrid checklist---scary things. There's age range, abuse history, neglect history, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental issues, drug exposure, failed placements, siblings, .... The list goes on and on and on.
My personality SCREAMS at me to not have faith. To not trust anyone but myself and maybe my spouse. Even though I am a Christian, I continuously battle the need to control everything, including God. HAHAHA. Control God? Right. I know. Ridiculous.
BUT, I have never been more faithful than in our adoption journeys. Why? Because adoption renders a person hopeless. There is sometimes nothing you can do, say, think, or pray that will control an adoption situation. Thank God for that.
I have attempted to read The Whole In Our Gospel and RADICAL twice (they are always due back to the library before I can read them). Both are popular Christian books that talk about letting go of the American dream and taking care of business---the needs that are right in front of us. That's what Jesus did. He stopped for a drink and had a conversation at a well that changed an outcast woman. He told his disciples to take a chill and let the kids come to Him....even though he was SO busy. He prayed alone in a garden.
I think what I'm getting at is that life isn't meant to be "perfect." And what we decide is "perfect" for us is hardly what God has in mind.
I strive to be balanced and controlled every single day, so considering foster care is totally against my personality. I know it's messy business to go into foster care. I have dear friends who are foster parents and adoptive foster parents, and they will tell anyone that it's a rocky ride that doesn't take a break. Their lives aren't perfect.
But they are beautiful.
And they are doing something that so many people simply say they cannot do because "those kids are just too messed up." Or those who believe taking care of the kids in foster care is someone else's job---someone younger, more experienced, more financially stable. Whatever.
Even after you make a decision to say yes to foster care or foster care adoption, there's still room for doubt, unfaithfulness, and fear to creep in. "Oh, I could never take an older child." Or a child with a disability, or a history of abuse, or a sibling or two or three or four. Or. Or. Or.
I know this because I am already thinking what I will and won't accept in a child who might come to us through foster care.
But God probably has other plans. And I pray I have the strength, courage, and conviction to do what is right,
not what is easy.