I recently asked another group of people who do similar work as I do as an adoptive parent, if they ever found it difficult to love those they were trying to help.
Simultaneously, I heard “Yes!!!” I felt such ease and comfort around them. Lifted, because I was not alone. After our adopted kids came home to us, I felt guilt over not feeling love and affection like I did my biological children the day they were born. I expected to be gifted it by God since this was a supernatural gesture. I realize now just how ignorant I was to the challenges I would take on, and how those challenges would affect my feelings toward them. After being their mother for several years now, I have learned a profound truth ….that I love them through obedience. My choice to do so is a sacrificial gift back to God. To love them in such a way, involves my thoughts, my words and my actions and is an obvious fruit of being a true disciple of Christ. This is tested often with children who are sometimes very -unlovable.
We had no idea that our 5 new children had a host of problems ranging from FAS, Anxiety Disorder, Autism, ADHD, RAD, ODD even PTSD. To a woman who does not believe in those “labels” hearing this news was hard to take in. But as I started to pay close attention to their behaviors and how they habitually reacted, those labels seemed to make more and more sense.
As I researched what each of these deficiencies meant for their futures, I came to realize that I in my flesh was not an adequate resource. They needed more than I could offer. As I studied DNA, brain functions, and how their conscience with FAS was affected, I sensed myself sinking into despair over the situation. Until I did what was necessary…. I cried out to a capable GOD! I pleaded with Him to rebuild their brains, and cause new brain cells to grow. I fervently prayed for him to fill in the gaps on their brains that were lost while growing in their mothers’ womb. I entrusted Him with the miraculous job of reversing the damage done so undeservedly by a mother on a drinking binge. My heart ached for them and for me and my efforts. Day after day I prayed. Night after night, I lay exhausted on my bed from the repetitive attempts to retrain their brains. Drained in my human efforts to obediently love as Christ commanded me to.
Then ….one day…. it hit me….. Hope washed over me and with excitement I leaped up and declared to the children what God had showed me!! This was good news for ALL OF US!
I read in a study how the Holy Spirit works in and through the life of a believer. Praise God we all were, so this applied. I was asked to draw 3 circles within each other and label them with body, soul and mind. Then add to the middle circle the letters = H.S= symbolizing the Holy Spirit. Then color in the circles and be intent about going outside the lines as it moved into each of the circles. This felt like a divine revelation from God to me and a hopeful answer to my prayers. On that page it was like the answer lit up and jumped out to me. HE was going to override the damage and reuse their conscience with His deposited Spirit. He would use their already existing conscience as a microphone to amplify his own voice. So they were basically without excuse. His power was going to be made strong in their weakness. And much like the crayon seeped over into the other circles, his spirit would spill over in to their lives and be the source of ability that they couldn’t be on their own!!! Oh, the bountiful joy that caused to rise within me! There was that promise being fulfilled that he declared in Jerimiah 29:11…He had a plan to prosper them and not to harm them to give them a future and a hope!” what needed words for this desperate mother.
Though my children have struggled with these effects, they have learned much like I have to press in and push through with God. Some people may see that as a crutch and not realize just how much power is there for the using, but I know that He has worked in ways that I couldn’t. I see the regenerating power in their lives and now I am beginning to appreciate their resilience and courage to not give up and to grow in their handicaps. Seeing this in them gives me greater ability to love because I can now appreciate what they have had to go through and the challenges they faced to get to where they are today.
This gives me a NEW Hope………..