I’m struggling. Truly struggling. I want so much out of this life but I don’t know what I want most. I want to glorify God and do the work of his kingdom. I know I want to be a wife and a mom. I know I want to adopt a boat load of kids and show them what true love is. I, most days, want to be a nurse and bring new life into the world in that way. And I want to “do ministry” with Michael. But my days and nights are so full of “stuff” I don’t know which way to turn. I’m praying for clarity and for joy in all things. I pray I would remain in this season when I’m in this season, rather than always trying to look forward to the next. I pray I’d never get off the path God is laying out for me. But sometimes, it’s just so hard.
On another note, we finished class 2 out of 4 of our foster/adoption training. It’s hard because they put a lot of emphasis on fostering and we don’t think that is what God is calling us to. We want to give a couple of kids some permanency in their lives. We want to adopt them and move on with making them ours and making us theirs. We don’t want to confuse Michael Paul or upset him.
We’ve learned ALOT, though. We’ve learned alot about their behaviors, where they’ve come from. The biggest eye-opener has been that, although they will come from abuse, neglect, drug use, etc. they still love their families above all else and are not happy to be taken away and may not be happy to see us.
We did an exercise in class that was so amazing. It’s very similar to the story below which I borrowed from my friend, Amy, who is also going through foster/adoption.
It’s just another day at home. You’ve just finished washing up the dishes and now you’re thinking about tackling that huge pile of laundry. As you walk past the living room window you notice an official looking car pull into your drive with a cop car following it.
“What in the world is going on?!”
The police officer and the official looking lady come to the door. You watch anxiously as your husband answers it.
Apparently someone informed the official looking lady that your husband is not really all that great of a husband. They even knew that he hit you pretty often and express that they are concerned for your safety.
You are now in shock and only hear bits and pieces of the enraged protest your husband is giving.
The official looking lady hands you a garbage bag and tells you that you must quickly pick out some of your most beloved belongings and place them in the bag. Already in a daze you can hardly think clearly enough to try and decide what is of most importance to you. As you place some things in the bag you can’t help but notice that what few items you can take are being transported in a garbage bag. A garbage bag. Your most beloved items = trash to this lady who says she is concerned for your well being.
As you tie up the bag you hear the police officer tell your husband that he must calm down. The official looking lady assures him that if he does everything correctly, you can come back home soon.
As the lady drives you up to a very nice looking home you are informed that the man inside is a very nice man and that he has been waiting for a new wife for a very long time.
When the lady introduces you to your foster husband you can tell that he is disappointed that you didn’t want to hug him.
The lady leaves after only a couple minutes. She has entirely too many things to do today and not enough time to do them in. So you are left alone in this strange house with this strange man, holding your garbage bag of belongings.
Your foster husband gives you a tour. The house is nice. Much, much nicer than your home. There are new appliances, much more cabinet space and everything is so much cleaner.
The foster husband is nice. He smiles gently and talks softly, unlike your real husband who always smells of alcohol.
But you’ve been married ten years. You can hardly remember what life before your husband and your home was like. It’s all you know. You love him- sure he’s got problems, but he’s your husband. You love your house that you have worked so hard to make a home. What about your friends? All the rest of your belongings you couldn’t fit in the bag?
You visit your husband for one hour, once a week, in the Social Service’s office. Your visits are monitored by three different people.
Sometimes your husband shows up and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes you see him come in, but he smells like alcohol so the official looking lady tells him he must leave.
The weeks pass. The months pass. A year has come and gone.
The worker comes back. She informs you that your husband never took those Husband Classes he was supposed to take. He only went to half of the required AA meetings. He’s still behind on bills and is on the verge of being fired from his job.
You won’t be going back home.
But there’s good news! They’ve found you a ‘forever family!’
“What?!” You were just getting used to it here! You were starting to warm up to your foster husband and your new home and appliances and car.
It seems that your foster husband doesn’t think you all are a good match anymore. You are just too withdrawn, too sullen, and quite frankly you haven’t been too pleasant.
She hands you another garbage bag. This feels all too familiar.