Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning Places

My emotions are raw, and riding high right now... We didn't keep the babies. We chose to allow another, younger, child-less couple to take them into their foster home. It was harder than I thought it would be. Not foster-parenting. But parenting babies -- a 2 year old and a 9 month old. We had them for only 13 days and I was utterly worn out. Exhausted. Completely spent. And I had help!

What made me think I could do this? Starting over with a baby who doesn't sleep through the night. At my age -- I'll be 42 next month. When we completed our training and certification to become adoptive parents, we specified the age range of the children we felt like we could take into our home. And that range did not span the infant-toddler age group. But we received a call from our RD explaining that these babies needed a foster home in our county. She made it clear that she realized we didn't really want to foster-parent, and that these children were not in our preferred age range and we did not have to take them. But knowing how eagerly we've been waiting to adopt, would we be interested in fostering them, with the probability that they would be free for adoption within a few months?

Our preferred age range? That sounded so shallow to me. Didn't we believe that God was calling us to take care of those who couldn't take care of themselves? To provide a safe home and a loving family to those who needed one? How could we then determine the age range of the child? How could we be so specific or better yet, so picky about who the Lord was bringing to us? Wasn't this God's will for our family?

We have prayed about this for over a year. My husband and I were both in agreement that we should adopt a child slightly younger than our youngest child, who is 12. So when we received the call, my husband said no. But I wouldn't leave it there. I talked -- no, a better word would be cajoled -- him into at least meeting with the RD and the children, and at least considering it. He agreed, we had the meeting on a Tuesday, and on Friday of the same week, we brought them home.

Two days into this and I knew we had made the wrong decision. And I feel guilty just saying that. How do you make a wrong decision when taking in innocent children who need a loving family and a home? How did I misread God's will in this situation? Somehow I knew we weren't the family for these babies. Yet I completely felt like this is what God was leading us to do. But I knew that I just couldn't go back and start over with babies. It was hard for me to admit that, and I felt like a failure. My friend asked me if I was adjusting, if I felt like they were mine. I had to be honest. I told her I felt like I was baby-sitting someone else's children, and I was ready for their mother to come get them.

My husband made the decision to call our RD and explain to her that we just could not parent babies. Not really sure of what her reaction would be, I was completely surprised at how ecstatic she seemed about our decision. As it turned out, her dear friends had recently had their home approved for foster-to-adopt during the period that we had the children. And they wanted babies. So 13 days after we brought them into our home, this young couple took the babies into their home. We experienced a flood of emotions on that day. Sadness. Relief. Joy for this young couple who have chosen to grow their family through the miracle of adoption.

I have been so confused in the following days, wondering if I had misread God's will. I have carried around a load of guilt for admitting that having babies again is too hard for me. Have I completely misunderstood God all along? Are we even supposed to adopt, after all?

Then God spoke to me in that still, quiet voice. Taking those babies for even the short time we had them was no wrong decision. It was not a mistake. We were just a safe harbor, a temporary lay-over, until He brought them to their forever home.

This was another one of those learning places for me. He used this situation to teach me much. I might not be sure all the time of what He is doing in my life, but He is always sure. He never makes mistakes. And I have learned to trust Him even more.

Am I sure that God has called us to continue this journey towards adoption? My husband says yes. And I agree with him.  


  1. Thank you for sharing from your heart Melissa...its just what I needed to read today! I love you so much and am so thankful for your walk with Jesus! Misty :-)

  2. Melissa, you provided a needed temporary home for the children while a fitting permanent home was being made ready. You served them and you served your Christ in serving them. Don't beat yourself up. God's will is revealed in Scripture, and you have obeyed that; feelings-based and subjective "Is this God's will or not?" is commonly taught in many circles but it's a spiral that leads to confusion and despair as it lacks grounding in truth and leaves out the concept of simply obeying the revealed will of God according to the heart of God to be found there, with liberty regarding peripheral matters (move or not move? this job or that one? if all things are equal). We serve a sovereign, good Father who works all things together so that we who belong to Him will be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:28-30) and for the good of our salvation. In fact, if I may share this from the Heidelberg Catechism with you for your comfort:

    Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and death?

    Answer: That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ; who, with HIs precious blood, has fully paid for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.

    May our Father bless you with joy and knowledge of Him in each situation and each trial. He is so good and He loves so much.


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