What if we get a child who disrupts our life?
What if that child's needs would be too overwhelming for me as a mama?
What if that child wouldn't fit in with my other children?
Will I be able to love that child as I love my biological children?
What if our home is just too small?
What if we can't afford it?
What if I don't feel attached or bonded to that child?
What if the process itself is just too overwhelming?
Will I be able to care for another child without sacrificing the needs of my own children?
I am a little teary as I sit to write today. I've just read again through your comments on this post, and so many of you have shared so openly and honestly your fears and the questions you have. Thank you for that. I am so grateful for your words. I've just spent some time praying that God would use me~ somehow, as only He can do~ to address those fears.
I feel very humbled by the opportunity to write on this at all. I'm just a girl who loves Jesus and is trying to take Him at His Word and live to honor Him. And doing a whole lot of stumbling around in the process, mind you. A big part of me is saying, "Surely there are others more qualified to tackle this. Who am I to speak to these deep fears and questions?" (Heck, I have them, too!) But then there is another part of me that is eager to share what God has taught me and what I think about it all. So here goes.
Here is my encouragement to you if any of the above fears are yours: take them to Jesus. Lay that fear before Him. Lay it down and walk away. Fear is Satan's tool, not God's. In Christ we do not need to be afraid. Period. Do you know how many times it says in the Bible, "Do not fear" or "Do not be afraid"? LOTS! Start looking them up, and then: take Him at His word! Keep taking those fears to Jesus.
I came very close to walking away from our second adoption due to fears I had, and all the what-if questions that tormented me. I was familiar with several of the "horror stories"-- and for a time I was paralyzed by the fear. I prayed and cried and talked to Mark and a couple of other people, and finally I found solace within the pages of my Bible. I wrote out every single verse I could find on fear and just journaled and prayed through each one until my fears subsided and I was resting on the promises of God instead. I trusted Him, that He had called us to this, that He had confirmed it again and again throughout the process, and that He would be with us through every bit of it-- that even if it was horrific, we would rest in God's Word and trust that He had called us to it. So we moved forward. I could literally weep at the thought that my fears could have kept me from this beautiful girl.
God will meet every single need of yours. You just have to choose to believe Him; to take Him at His word.
There are no guarantees. All of the fears you have may come to pass. Many of the fears listed above have been the case in our own situation with Isaias: the attachment struggles, the disruption from the peace in our home, the overwhelming nature of it all. Yep. Been there. Still there on some of those issues. We're living it. I won't lie to you-- it is difficult. But it can be done, because God has sustained us through every bit of it. We rest in Him and in the truth of His Word when we are fearful and overwhelmed. He meets us, every time. God is the only one who has the power to heal the brokenness in these children, and it is our privilege to lead them to Him.
I absolutely think you need to be prayerful about each step of this process. And I think there is wisdom in prayerfully setting some boundaries. (For us, we have determined that if a child has a history of abuse, we are not going to sign up for that child to be in our home while we have little, vulnerable children. We pray that God would raise up someone else (perhaps someone whose children have left the home, or whose children are older) for those children. Mark and I have also made the decision to foster and adopt only children that are younger than our youngest child.)
So we've established that there are some unknowns; that you have fears and you need to take them to Jesus. Then you need to leave it in His hands. Your prayer becomes, "Lord, we want to obey You. You've put this on our hearts and we want to honor You in this. Will You choose a child for our family?" Then you leave it to Him. It is God who sets the lonely in families, not us. Rest in the knowledge that He knows you completely. He knows what you can handle. He knows your biological children- intimately. He created each and every one of us! There is no one who knows you like the God who created you. He will bring you the child of His choosing.
Next up: Attachment Struggles with an Adopted Child