Thursday, August 30, 2012

In the absence of grace

There is nothing substantive to update because nothing substantive is happening.  We are waiting - still waiting - on the signature needed from the Minister to send our paperwork into the Bulgarian courts.  This is supposed to take a maximum of two weeks, but it has not.  This is more of the things that "should' versus things that "do" in Bulgaria.  We have tried to learn to accept it.  Factually, we account for this often and mentally add time to the counter.  If someone says something will take a week, we know it will take at least two. A month could be six weeks or more.  And so on.

We know this, and we work actively to calm the frustration, the anxiety, and the uncertainty we feel in this process, knowing that the process itself is designed to mold us further into the parents we are meant to be for our future son.

In the meantime, both of us struggle with a great lack of grace.

We are aching for grace, and mercy, and peace in our process.  Sadly, these feelings well up with such fury...and not always because of our own personal adoption process.

"See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled"

Lord, forgive us for falling prey to the roots of bitterness. 

All of us are flawed, imperfect people.  This is why there are no perfect churches.  Even the most Godly, God-seeking church can never be perfect, because it is on earth and it is full of flawed, sinful people. 

What is so incredibly frustrating are the number of very human people who speak from high places and with such authority on subjects that they are enormously passionate about...and those who fail to acknowledge their own fallability. 

In our process of adoption, I have seen...

Professed Christians tearing down other Christians.
Files of children clandestinely (and outside of the authorities) passed between agencies
Good adoption workers besmirched for biased and unsubstantiated reasons
In-fighting between professed Christians over agencies, social workers, and most sadly - children.

I have seen people who have purposely prayed against or actively discouraged families to step forward in faith to adopt because they quietly coveted the child (or children) for themselves.

I have witnessed people who stand in high places speak judgment against others in the name of Christ.

I have seen potential adoptive parents weeping and begging for funds while others become funded in mere days.  Those unfunded parents are rarely highlighted.

I have seen people associated with adoption who are critical of those who don't advocate for waiting children...and others who are critical of those who advocate too much.  The factions between those who share pictures and those who do not; factions of those who hate photolisting sites and those who adore these sites as if it were a substitute religion.

I have seen ridicule.  I have read chilling, accusatory, downright untrue comments.  I have seen people who have risen to high places and are treated as authorities when they are not.  I have heard and seen hurt feelings and I have seen those who are sometimes cast out.  I have seen and personally known those who feel as though they "cannot fit in" because they are not adopting a child with a certain set of disabilities; or that they are not adopting a child who is "sick" enough. 

I have seen, read, and heard all of this and more. 

I have also seen tremendous graciousness, generosity, love, and support in adoption. We have been privy to that side too, and that blessing is enormous.  Truly.  It is overwhelming at times when I think of the number of pure strangers that have prayed, donated, and cared. 

It is why we are praying:

 "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” - Luke 6:36-38.

We walked into our adoption process very naively.  We felt we knew what we were personally preparing to do (and I still believe that we know this) but also that the process of adoption was benevolent, full of kindness.  We have learned that sometimes, this is not true.  Like everything, there are flaws.  We must accept those flaws and pray not to judge, not to condemn, and to be merciful. 

Regardless of the people involved, adoption can be a miraculous, life-changing thing that connects you to many, many wonderful, kind,and selfless people.  I sometimes fail to focus on the provision a family feels when they are in a foreign country and hundreds of people rally to their aid to assist with unexpected expenses.  Or when a child falls dramatically ill, how many commit to pray and send assistance.  There is beauty, and I want to remember that long after our adoption is finalized, rather than focus on the negative things I've heard or seen or read or even personally experienced. 

Work hard - as we are doing- not to let the actions of some flawed individuals decay the beauty that is present in adoption. 

Those are my thoughts this evening.  Praise God for His forgiveness, which I desperately need and do not deserve; yet it is freely offered by Him.


  1. Jennifer, I've seen some (not all) of those things just as an advocate (aka bystander?) and they make me sad too. I'm sorry you're feeling this way tonight. I try to remember that the good really does outnumber the bad, the bad is just a vocal minority. It stinks though because it is so vocal and it does hurt people. I think you're always really fair though and I respect that about you. Praying for you always. I hope your son, and so many others, are home soon.

  2. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that during your adoption journey. We are just starting ours and we are a little nervous about all the drama.

  3. I appreciate you honesty. There are also those of us who don't fit in because our kids are not from the right part of the world.


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