Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Letter to my Former Self

I've been thinking about where we were a year ago when we were in the process of adopting an unknown to us little boy. If I could write a letter to my then-self, this is what it would say:

Dear Tara,

I am so proud of you for taking this leap of faith. Given your propensity for expecting the worst in any situation and your desire to control every little thing, the step you're taking is monumental.

I know that you are terrified. You've long had a passion for orphans to find homes, but stepping out to home one yourself is a different story. 

You are looking at this from every angle, worrying about the money, about adding another into this madhouse we call a family, about your parenting skills, about whether you can love one born to another.

But fear has no place here.

You know you have been called. You know He who has called you is faithful. You know He has promised you everything you need for life and godliness.
"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3 (NIV)

He will send you encouragement all along the way. He will provide for every need. And people will pray, oh how they'll pray, and you will feel it. Be brave. Stay the course.

Just as fear has no place here, neither does pride.

People will tell you that you are amazing and the word "hero" will come up once or twice. You will be told that you must be special to consider something so extraordinary. You will want to believe them.

Don't. 

Because you work with old people who often have no filter, you will also be told that you are foolish to take on such a big burden and that no one needs this many kids. Some will look at you like you've grown a second head and you will feel the need to defend yourself, to tell them how much thought and prayer and research went into this decision.

Don't.

Just as you have no business believing people that say you are amazing, neither do you have any responsibility to convince others that you're right. Both the accolade and the denigration are a lie. You are neither wise nor foolish, but investing yourself in the opinions of others keeps you focused on yourself.

This is not about you.

The adoptive parents who've gone before you are telling you not to stress about the home study. Please believe them. Before you freak out and threaten your family into a mad cleaning frenzy, take a breath and realize it is not about the house, either. Promise. (Just distract the social worker with fresh baked cookies. He won't even go upstairs.)

There will come a time that you will have to leave your children behind. Your heart will try to jump out of your body in effort to stay behind with them and you will feel like you can't breathe from the fear of it. Please know this: You are doing those children a favor and you will bring them a gift. He is worth it...and they will think so, too. 

Be brave.

Your son is precious. He is funny and affectionate and sweet. He will fit into your heart like there has always been a place in it carved out just for him. Having him home will be everything you expected, except hard. What you are feeling and experiencing now and in the months to come is just a blip in light of eternity and even in light of the life you will have together.

Soon, you will have your boy and, in the normalcy of life thereafter, there will be moments of wonder where you will look at him and be amazed that he has only been yours for such a short time, so complete will his absorption be into your family.

God wants the best for him and for whatever reason He has decided that best includes you. 

Just trust Him. He's got this.

Love,
Me

P.S. Don't even bother taking your curling iron...your adapter will fail and you'll blow a fuse the first day. Also, a jar of Jif will be totally worth the room in your suitcase. 

5 comments:

  1. Can I pretend this is to me?

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  2. Wow. I love the point about focusing on others opinions being about them/us. It's not the point. It's about a life. Applies in so many other situations.

    And the blip in life perspective. I need that quote badly for today and to share with some special loved ones. Thank you

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  3. You're welcome. I often struggle with keeping an eternal perspective. It's too easy to get stuck in the here and now.

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  4. Tara, I too wish this had been written to me. It's awesome on so many levels, old people having no filter- family, other opinions and feeling "if they only knew"- reminding them I am just as human as they are, living each day on prayer and grace. It's hard, God is faithful. So so glad you said "yes!" To the calling. It's beautiful.

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