One of the hardest things about adoption, for me, is the way that it brings all of my insecurities to the surface. Despite the myriad ways that God has affirmed this journey, assured us of His perfect design for our family, and proved His loving and sovereign hand over it, I doubt. I doubt myself, but I know that in doing so I am really doubting Him. In doubting my own abilities, I'm doubting that God can/will enable, equip, and bless, and redeem me as He says He will.
There are times when I just don't think I'm a good mom. And of course, sometimes I'm right to feel that way. Although there are plenty of times of grace and joy and love in our home, there are also times when I fail, and repent, and fail yet again. And it's in those times that the enemy slides behind me, and the words he whispers, the half-truths, swirl behind eyes closed in frustration. "They could have had a better mom." The pain of it grips my heart, and hot tears move behind my closed eyelids every time. Someone else could love this precious girl more; make her feel more secure. This sweet little boy would have bonded more quickly to a different, better mother. He's talking to me about Gracie and Little Man. He's playing on those insecurities that are often so near the surface. I've had plenty of times, over all of the years I've been blessed by motherhood, when I've questioned myself as a mom, but this is new. The older children never had any other options; their very existence depended on me as their mother, from the instant of their being. But Gracie and Little Man? Well...it could have been someone else. Some other family could have made that call, filled out the paperwork, traveled across the ocean to bring them home. Seven thousand children were adopted from Ethiopia last year, and it's easy to wonder whether these two little ones didn't miss out on some better opportunity. There. I've said it. And that's when I have to turn away from that half-truth and grope for the Truth. Why is it a half-truth? Well, the fact is, there are better moms than me. I'm not going to lay out all of my specific areas of sin and failure as a mom, but we can all be fairly sure that no matter what it is we're doing, there's probably someone out there who could do it better. But here's why it's only a half-truth. Because God has promised me that He is in charge. ("The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all" Psalm 103:19). It doesn't matter if there are better moms out there, because I'm the one He picked for them. They are the ones He chose for me. He knit them together in their mother's womb, yes. And all of their days were written for them before a single one of them came to pass. Even the day when their father died in Ethiopia. The day when the were left in an orphanage. All of the days when they were hungry and sick, scared or lonely. And...the day when I picked up the phone and made the call that connected them to me, their mother, across an ocean.
All six of my children are right where God meant for them to be. All six of them will benefit from every ounce of grace and love that God pours into them through me, and they will all survive my sin and weakness, and God will use it all to grow them and shape them and love them. It is all His grace. For them. And for me. And that is the Truth. The whole truth. I am sure that I will hear those whispered half-truths again, and I will spend long moments in doubt and fear. But I am hopeful that each time I will be quicker to turn to the Truth, and that all six of these precious ones entrusted to me will learn that lesson along with me.
The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.
All Thy works shall give thanks to Thee, O Lord, and Thy godly ones shall bless Thee.