I grew up in a Christian home. We were at our church two to three times a week, sometimes more. From very early on in my life, I was taught to memorize Bible verses. Like many kids at summer camp, I rushed through the process to earn my camp t-shirt, truly caring less about the meaning behind the verses I recited to my cabin counselor.
As an adult, it's amazing how what I used to believe were meaningless, red-tape assignments from Jesus-minded adults has paid off.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling rather anxious about something (can't remember now what it was), and I distinctly remember hearing a gentle whisper in my heart that went something like this...
Don't worry about tomorrow. Focus on today.
(Yep, you Bible scholars...that's from Matthew, 6:34 to be exact).
When I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with all this adoption education, I remember reading a Bible verse where one Biblical figure was commanded to...
Write in a book what I've spoken to you.
(Looking it up, I found it in Jeremiah 30:2).
There are countless moments like this in my daily life, and I can hardly articulate them in a way that my readers will find intriguing, but I share these few moments to say this:
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Nothing renders me more dependant on God than adoption. Nothing. Not even when I was laid up in a hospital bed coming back from the dead. Not even when my grandfather died unexpectedly. Not even when I was waiting to hear if I'd been accepted into graduate school or selected to become a teaching assistant.
Becoming a mother SHOULD be a big deal. :)
I don't wish to minimize the anxiousness that comes from becoming a mother biologically. I'm sure there's plenty to worry about. The health of the baby, delivery, adjusting siblings, the health of one's marriage. But adoption does add additional, unpredictable, and burdensome (at times) layers to parenthood.
I write all this to say that there are definitely moments when I feel quite anxious about adoption, despite already having adopted twice, despite running an adoptive mom group of thirty women, despite having read hundreds of books and articles on adoption, despite speaking at local agencies on adoption topics, despite knowing that I am a capable, good mother.
Will we ever be chosen to adopt another baby? We already have two. Won't an expectant parent want a young, infertile couple over us? I wonder how many other couples are waiting to adopt. What do their profile books look like? How long will we wait? Will we experience a failed adoption? Will I take a semester or two off or keep working? How will I handle three kids under the age of four? Will our next adoption be open like our first two? What if it's not? Will this adoption be transracial? What if we adopt a child who develops special needs? Am I ready to get up every three hours at night for months on end? I hope our marriage doesn't suffer. Who will want to babysit three children under age four? What if we can't agree on a baby name? I hope my kids adjust well to a sibling.
I cling to that which I was taught many, many years ago. I am thankful that despite my bad or wrong attitudes, that adults took the time to instill in me that memorizing Bible verses is rewarding and essential to personal peace. I'm thankful that even though all the times I attended church camp or VBS or Sunday School or a mission trip didn't seem to matter all that much in the moment, that I participated in them.
I never know what verse I will hear next or when. But these whispers of grace ease my anxiety about anything, adoption related or not, better than anything else.
Friends, take a moment today to stop, breathe, and listen. There are jewels waiting for you.