A difficult decision

This is going to be hard to write. First, because it is hard to explain all the thoughts and conversations and prayers that culminated in this decision. Second, because I fear what other people think of me (even though I shouldn’t). Third, because no matter how right we feel the decision is there is still the emotional and spiritual processing that has to occur.

This weekend my husband and I decided not to pursue having a child placed permanently in our home through adoption any more at this time.

This was not easy to do. I spent 3 days unable to eat anything, in prayer, in conversation with others who know us well, and in deep soul searching.

The simple truth is that something in my gut was telling me that this was not right. I was trying to gloss it over. I was powering through and saying all the right things that Christians are supposed to say about faith and doing hard things and making sacrifices. (I still believe all of those things by the way.) But last weekend I just couldn’t let it go any more. I felt that before we had any child placed with us I had to get to the bottom of these feelings. The process was not pretty. I looked deeply at who I am and who I thought God was. I tried to pull away the layers of fear of others, fear of failure, fear of spiritual weakness.

At one point my husband said to me, “I think you need to understand that no matter what decision we make we are not thwarting God’s will.”  And at that point I was freed from my fear of performing enough to earn God’s favor, or from getting a cosmic spanking if I didn’t “do the right thing”, and I finally said what had been lurking in my heart. “I just don’t want to do this right now. I just don’t want the added responsibility of another child 24/7.” When written down in black and white it looks c0mpletely selfish. I hadn’t wanted to voice the thought because it sounds selfish. But believe me, this decision was not made out of selfishness. It was not made out of a desire for comfort. It was made out of an honest look at who I am, what my strengths are, and what would be best for our family at this time.

In one conversation a friend said to me, “Sarah, you are selling yourself short. I know you. I know that walking away from a placement right now will be just as hard for you in different ways as going through with a placement.” That person was right. There is a whole new battle going on inside of me right now and there is a lot of emotional and spiritual processing that has to occur. I feel guilty. I feel weak. I feel like a failure. I feel like I will be judged. I feel like I wasn’t willing to sacrifice “it all” in order to serve God.

But those are lies.

I have felt God tenderly leading me over the past few days. In the midst of this heart turmoil I have felt His gentle love and care for me. He has cared for me through my husband, who is wise and patient and honest. The deep heart conversations that we have had over the past few days have brought a new unity and strength to our marriage. I have felt God’s love through my friends and family who took my phone calls and were insightful and encouraging and honest. Most of all I have felt God’s love in the depths of my spirit. I have felt Him whisper, “I love you. No matter what you do, I love you. You do not have to earn my love. Nothing you can do can lose my love. I have made you. I know you. I love you.”  I have felt deep peace and calm since our decision was made. I will still wrestle with the lies but the undercurrent of peace remains.

So that is where we are now. We are not glibly prancing away from this process or this need in order to resume our normal life.  We have been deeply changed by the process that we have already been through. We trust God to continue to guide our steps. We continue to care about our community and the fatherless. We remain on the list as a family who will provide respite care for foster and adoptive families, and there is a huge need for that.

I did not start this blog as an “adoption blog.” I started this blog to document my desire to delve more deeply into God’s love for me and to how I can share that love with others. I will continue to write that journey here, with all its twists and turns.


2 responses

  1. Sarah – when my husband and I first started our adoption journey 5 years ago, I was given your # by a preacher friend of ours and called you. We had been discouraged by the responses we’d received from many people from foster care agencies and others. In your kind voice I found someone that was placed in our path to encourage us and help us begin our walk. You put us in touch with Mercy’s Chosen Children. There we found people that were very responsive to our need and helped to clear our hearts and minds for the process. We were more in tune to the path that the Lord wanted us to travel. If we had not spoken to you and met the wonderful people of Mercy’s I feel that the discouragement we encountered would have caused us to not follow the Lord’s will in our lives. We ultimately found DFACS workers that were receptive and willing to have us as foster to adopt parents, and met many wonderful children over the last 5 years. This process has been very hard – especially when my husband and I had to make the same decision you are making now. I felt much like you describe here, but we had to do what we felt was in everyone’s best interest(ours and the children) a year later the Lord placed us in the path of two of the most challenging, beautiful, loving little girls I have ever met. And as we near adoption and making a forever family I look back at our path and I’m glad God placed you and countless others in it. I look back now and see why the Lord led us where he led us, although I couldn’t see it then. God Bless you on your journey. The Lord will provide you with comfort and guide you and your family where he needs you!!

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