Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Adoption & God's Will

Well, it's on the calendar. On October 28th and 29th, all day both days, Melissa and I go in to have our adoption training. The official journey has really begun. I've almost got the scheduling details worked out. I only have to miss three classes, a Hebrew quiz (no make-up available), a whole day of work, and my weekly meeting with my field education supervisor. This training only happens once every four months or so, so there isn't really any way of finding a more convenient time. Though I suppose nothing about adoption is ever convenient.

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited about the possibility. It's just that the possibility is a long way off, and in the mean time, we have the process. I'm getting a little tired of processes, as you might have noticed from some of my previous posts. And when faced with this particular process, it's not to think about how much easier birth parents have it. They don't have to get permission in order to have a child. Even some of the worst parents out there can still have children simple due to an accident of nature.

I've heard stories from a few other couples who can't have biological children. I've heard many of them question whether or not God wants them to have children. Appearantly the dominant idea out there is that if you aren't able to have biological children for some reason or another, then it means that God is giving you a sign that you're not meant to be a parent -- that you're not good enough to be a parent.

It can feel that way. Fertility proceedures are very arduous and spendy and often don't work. Adoption is just as arduous and spendy. And the burden of proof is on us. We have to prove that we would be good parents. I hate that. I don't even know if I'm going to be a good parent. How could I? I've never been one. I have the same doubts and fears that so many first-time parents have, but I'm not allowed to feel them because I have to be proving to countless people and agencies that I can be trusted with a child. In the face of that, it's pretty easy to despair and to slip into the belief that God is against us.

Well, I think that's bunk. Since when is everything that God calls us to easy? Hardly ever, is the answer. Sure, sometimes things just fall into place and it all seems right and God-ordained. But most of the time those divine moments are both preceeded and followed by long periods and long, thankless, but faithful work and striving. I remember that's how it was with choosing a seminary for me. I was agonized and tortured about whether God was really calling me to seminary and if I should even go. I still had to go through the long and difficult process of wrestling with school bureocracies to apply, etc. And eventually, it did all just fall into place, just about all at once I knew I was supposed to come to Iliff, and all the right doors open. But it wasn't easy getting to that place. And it hasn't been easy since. But if I had given up and waited for the easy "God-given" answer, then nothing would have happened. I had to struggle in the wilderness before I could receive the assurance.

That's how I feel about this adoption process. Sure, sometimes God opens doors in amazing ways, and I'm pretty that will happen at some point in this process. But a lot of the time God is struggling with us in the journey. God is so often most powerfully present in the most difficult times and situations, and God calls us to press on in faith. to stay on track with our eyes on the goal. With God's help, we will.

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