Things are all dark and unknown in the womb, yet we all felt safe there once. We had no control, we knew no answers, it was dark, and we were content and comfy there, right?
Babies are so content with that feeling that we try desperately to recreate that for them when they come out. We swaddle them. We shield their little peepers from the bright sun. We use white noise machines. They liked the dark, tight, unknown place. We all did once. But then we grew and….. yikes.
When did that happen? At what point did we decide that darkness and not knowing is terrifying? I don't remember some precise, life-changing moment when it became a thing for me, but geez— has it!
People ask me if it feels different now that Corinne is adopted.
I feel free. I feel in the light. I feel like I can move, and breathe, and sleep, and enjoy things, and not be constantly anxious, or unsure, or stressed.
I'd love to tell you that I felt perfect peace and rested confidently in God's sovereignty at all times of that journey. Ha! I didn't. I believe God is sovereign, and I believe He's good, but that doesn't mean that everything that happens FEELS good, right? So, that's where I felt I was. In the darkness, in the not knowing, and generally freaking out and eating a lot of junk food because I didn't know how I'd feel the next day, or the next, or ever.
Fostering, to me, felt like sitting a dark room. Pitch black. And people would come in and out all day, but somehow never open any doors, so I never saw the way out, and nobody EVER flicked on a switch or told me anything. Sitting in the darkness, knowing nothing, powerless to make my own path or know what the end looked like, or even see what was going on around me.
At some point I thought to myself about how I felt, and then I thought, "shouldn't that be like a womb? Why is it so hard? Why do I feel so dark about this darkness that I'm in?"
Because I have forgotten how to be a child.
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?"
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." matthew 18.1-4
There's spiritual value in "becom[ing] like little children." When I think of how the 502 days of fostering Corinne felt, it felt dark, and like I was powerless, and most upsetting of all— like I didn't know things. I'm convinced that I don't need to be in control. God has proven that to me. I'd make a horrible God, but He's a good one, and I am not Him, and things are GOOD in Him, so I don't need to be in control.
But my struggle really was in the not knowing. I wanted to accept whatever God's will was… but I needed to know it. The darkness felt oppressive. I just wanted to see what was coming, what would happen, just to prepare my heart and feel settled one way or the other. I just so desperately needed to know the things. All of the things. But I sat in the dark.
See, though, little children don't do that at all. Not even a little. They wake up, they play, they eat, they find comfort in their parents, they struggle to learn and accept discipline, but they don't feel trapped in a dark room because they don't know how their lives will work 502 days from now.
They trust. They follow. They know that we are right there to help them if they just call out. They are okay with only having a "lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their path." Me? I want to turn on my brights. I don't want to see today's path, I want to know what to do with my heart forever, beginning today.
We're gearing up to do this thing again. I'm not sure when exactly, or exactly what it will look like, but we know we aren't finished. And, I'm walking a fine line between feeling more prepared now that I've done it once, and also more terrified than ever.
We've been through something dark, and twisty, and difficult [and really we're still in it because adoption always has its foundations in brokenness, and that fight to overcome and heal doesn't end when the judge bangs the gavel], so looking at doing it again is different this time.
I KNOW how I will feel.
I KNOW how much I'm not like a child.
I KNOW what it feels like to be grown through this, and while it's good, it's hard, and I'd be lying if I didn't say it hurt too.
My struggle is needing to know. I'm a total lunatic. I can't stand not-knowing.
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
I feel an unquenchable need to know the things. An almost paralyzing need to know. I'm weak, and if I'll admit that, then it's easy to place my trust in the One who is strong, the One who KNOWS THE THINGS, just as a little child knows he's weak and trusts his parents will protect him.
Instead of feeling like I'm putting on my gloves for round two and getting to feel strong and pumped— I know I need just the opposite. I need to remember how to be like a child. To trust. To rest. To learn to walk through each place with tiny steps, not sprinting to the end or chewing on complex questions, or feeling strong, but relaxing because I know I'm weak, but cared for by a tender, yet fiercely strong Father.
Lastly, I find it delightfully paradoxical that these kids who come from hard places have to grow up before their time, deal with hard truths and needs that only big hearts should have to handle… yet in order to serve them well, we have to become like little children, trusting, and not scared of being in the dark, but comfortable in the womb-like darkness of not knowing the outcome because we know we're protected and loved by our Father. What a beautiful place to meet and grow together. Right in the middle of childhood.
Friends, I've just told you all about how dark and hard it felt… but we're doing it again. Hear that? YES, it's hard… but not so hard that the joy of it is lost. The goodness we find in the love our family has for this child far outweighs the fears and trials of it all. This could be true for you, too! Could this be the year that you do hard things, sow in tears, and reap abundantly in joy? If you think it could be, let's talk!