Friday, January 21, 2011

feeling convicted by my 6 year old

After my conversation with Logan on Wednesday, I went outside to wash my car. The sun was shining, the car was covered with the accumulated grime of several trips through the mountains, 2 snowstorms, and the resulting dirt that comes from sandy roads and copious rain. Plus, I needed the space. Logan’s words had hit me hard, and I just needed to think. Feeling convicted by a 6 year old? Absolutely!

So many things go through my mind when this comes up. I struggle with the bottom line, though—selfishly, I don’t want to do the work again! Bringing Logan home was hard. The first 6 months were brutal. Absolutely BRUTAL. He would have tantrums that lasted over an hour…kicking, screaming, crying, hitting, and even trying to bite. Sometimes we had several a day. Always there were several a week. If he knew the words, he would have screamed “I HATE you!” He made it abundantly clear that he had no use for us. As it was, he spent hours and hours and hours begging me to send him back to China. Alone. I spent long hours wondering what we had done. Had we destroyed our peaceful family? Would it ever return to something even remotely resembling ‘normal?’ After 6 months or so, things started to settle. A little. Most days were still hard, but not necessarily brutal.

Some of the issues were our fault. Probably most…maybe even all. It’s hard to have preconceived expectations for behavior, and have a child essentially thumb his nose at any and everything you expect. I can promise it does not bring out the best in a parent! It didn’t help that Logan had difficulty hearing. He had difficulty with speech and being understood. He had difficulty with his gross motor skills. Some of our expectations were, quite frankly, well beyond his ability. I reminded myself daily that although his body was 4 (or whatever age) his skills were not even close to that well developed. Occupational therapy helped. A little. Speech therapy helped. Some. Adjusting our expectations helped more, but getting a handle on where the line is between having the bar high enough and causing great frustration because the expectation is unreasonable was hard. Having a child wired like none of the other 5 was challenging.

Things have settled down quite nicely. There are still days when we have tantrums, but they’re mostly related to the frustration of Logan’s limitations. He generally works hard at school, but I have to keep his global apraxia in the forefront all the time. One of the hallmarks is the total inconsistency—something that he could do yesterday might not be possible today, or next week. It is hard to watch. And it makes expectations…and progress…feel like pipe-dreams.

So with all Logan’s progress, what holds me back? Lots of things: cost, paperwork, time, our age, spacing in the family (I don’t necessarily want to bring home another older child and I don’t need 3 families!), commitment. They all factor in. And yet, if I am completely honest with myself, all those things have the same root cause—selfishness. I don’t WANT the work. I don’t WANT to deal with the questions and the stares and the intrusive remarks from strangers. I don’t WANT to spend the money. Or, more honestly, I don’t have the money available. It would take work to raise enough to adopt again. Could we? Sure. Do I want to do that? Not really. I don’t WANT to make the sacrifices. Instead of changing the world for a child, I’d love to have a car that is newer than a 1996. I wouldn’t mind a real vacation. It would be nice to have a slighter larger budget. :) Those things are selfish. Are any of them insurmountable? Not at all! Even the money isn’t really an issue…if I truly have faith.

The fact is that God calls us to look out for orphans and widows (see James 1:27). He tells us to care for those around us in need. He makes it clear that He provides for those who do His will. Is it His will for us to adopt again? I HATE that question, because if I am honest with myself, I know that the answer can only be ‘yes.’ He COMMANDS us to care for others. All the excuses I can come up with are just that—excuses. If I had faith, none of those things would stand in the way. Only God closing the door would stop us.

I am NOT making an announcement. We are NOT planning to adopt again. I’m really just processing…and as I re-read what I have written, so much sounds like ‘justification’ for why we ‘can’t’ adopt again. I don’t think I like this place.

Clearly, if my desire is a heart that longs for God, that is hurt by the things that hurt Him, that is willing to say “Not my will but Thine, O Lord”, I have a LONG ways to go.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, I've always seen you with one more; a little sister for the boys to dote on. It's just a feeling, but it's always been very strong. :)