Fight the Good Fight...
Just as predictable as school buses are painted yellow-adoption is clothed in risk. That is not going to change. So, how do you fight the bullying menace of doubt?
Anyone who has walked the adoption path knows that nothing is certain until a judge deems it so. In the mean time, if you keep giving all your lunch money away to doubt, He is going to rob you of subsistence...critical subsistence that is necessary to maintain the duration of this adoption journey.
Your goal is to go the distance and at the end hold your child in your arms. This is going to require a steady flow of energy-a psyche that is not depleted by doubt. You just can’t hand over your precious energy. Giving into doubt will undermine your ability to withstand the hills and valleys along the way. You have to bravely, and purposefully stand up to this greedy Goliath and say "No", I’m not giving it to you.
3 Lines of Defense against Adoption Worries...
1. Disarm Doubt
2. Seek Christian Friends
3. Turn to His Word
Everyone knows a bully. We can see their face, remember their names. They are an expected inhabitant on the middle school campus, just as doubt is a pervasive nemesis in adoption.
The first step is to acknowledge it and realize that you are not alone in your worry and doubt. Questions of worry are numerous, “Will this work? Will I be standing with a child in my arms at the end of the adoption road? How will we pay for this? Will our child have medical issues? What if an expectant mother changes her mind? Does that shirt in our profile picture make me look washed out?”
While you must fight the bully of doubt-you also can’t beat yourself up over it when doubt reaches into your pocket to steal your lunch money. Take the time to address it, normalize it-saying to yourself...
'"all those that have gone before have felt this same exact feeling. Doubt is normal-not abnormal. This is just part of the process-a hurdle I will overcome.”
Then slap that bully square on the hand and do not give him permission to rob you.
Take a deep breath, and move to step #2. It’s time to call in some back-up. Turn around and notice that your friends, hopefully including some Christian sisters are standing behind you in a show of force. They are pulling for you, reminding you of God’s grace and amazing plan for your family. If you are struggling to see the flank of faithful sisters behind you-it’s time to build up the troops. Join a bible study or small group, get those prayer warriors armed and traveling the adoption road with you.
Once you’ve addressed that ugly doubt and sought support from faithful friends, now comes the 3rd step (and most foolproof)-lean into the Lord’s word.
You see, two years after being called to adopt, I sat at my kitchen table , not having taken a single, solid step toward adoption. I was physically sick, depleted and overwhelmed with worry about how I was ever going to be able to fulfill the Lord’s calling in my life.
As I trudged through thoughts, my mind suddenly shifted gears. I reminded myself to take a deep breath and have peace that this adoption would happen. I willed myself to have patience in the Lord’s plan. I said a silent prayer to the Lord: “I trust You.”
That mantra, "peace, patience, trust" got me through those first four years of waiting to take solid action.
While human promises may disappoint, God’s word is foolproof. This is what God promises you:
· He will always work for good in your life. (Romans 8:28)
· He will never leave you. (Hebrews 13:5)
· He will take away your fear. (Psalm 34:4)
What He doesn’t promise is that you will never experience pain or that adoption will be easy. One way to set yourself up for success is to manage your expectations according to the Lord’s word.
Do you expect the Lord to be a part of this adoption? Do you expect that the Lord can navigate you through the bumps on this road to adoption? Do you expect the Lord to strengthen your marriage, your family and your faith through this process? Do you expect that at the end of this process, you will be holding your child?"
Scripture for the Road...
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
-Alison England, LMSW Author of Best-Selling Book in Adoption-Tandem: A Devotional for Adopting with God in the Lead
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