Sitting among a group of peers, in true “round-table” fashion, each had a story of hollow wombs and vacant arms coupled with the slightly unconventional way of filling the desire, deep-seated need, for children. Some early in their journey, others veterans of the system, we each divulged details of the miraculous way God had built our families. Conversation was deep, enjoyable and even beneficial until one comment stopped my heart, to which I mentally had to force myself to breathe. Three words were uttered that crushed my spirit, heart and soul and provoked me to evaluate my faith.
Our adoption adventure was long,
joyful anticipation at times but tedious and painful most of the way. Two years, start to finish and multiple threats to a happy ending. A roller coaster not to be ridden again, short of God’s 2×4 to the head. We knew the risks. Alcohol is interchangeable with water from the region we found our 2 children. It should have been no surprise that our oldest, who landed on American soil with us at 3 1/2 years of age, had fetal damage from alcohol exposure in the womb.
Believing that getting the children home and landing on US soil would end the heartaches and the intense battles was naïve at best, utter denial at worst. Happiness, not to be confused with joy, can be a declining occurrence in our home. Laughter, a precious gift that feeds my soul, comes with a “priceless” tag and is savored every moment of its existence.
Diagnosed with RAD, Fetal Alcohol Effect, Learning Disorder, Depression and a Mood Disorder, it’s practically guaranteed that we are joining forces and addressing a least one of these issues at all times (often at 2am) with our oldest adopted son. After six years, last 2 being the most intense, of self-cutting, multiple ER visits for suicidal tendencies, one extended stay in a pediatric psych ward, verbal attacks, physical attacks, struggling academics, concerned teachers, shallow friendships and desperate prayers, I can sit and eat bon bons and watch Dr. Phil (which I never do) without guilt. Coupled with the energy and emotional stamina it takes to keep up with and invest in our other two teens, life is a mirage of unpredictability and “kneel before God” events. Add work, spouse duties, house chores and anything else that should arise, a perfect recipe for insanity is created. Chaotic, absolutely, but my life none the less.
Not alone in the least at this gathering, I listened to others share similar stories. Then, the dreaded 3 words. Innocently given, recklessly received by my heart, such that they lingered and imposed themselves to the forefront of my thoughts.
“I feel blessed.” Words continued to be spoken, but all I comprehended was this woman’s expression of God’s blessing on her that she has not faced any issues as such that were portrayed.
For days I pondered the curse that must have been placed on my life. Was it my expressing hate and anger toward God for a broken womb that I must suffer this affliction of raising a troubled and challenging child? Maybe it was my disobedience to God’s call when I was 20-something. Doubt, unforgiveness, selfishness, pride?
“What did I do to you God, that I have to live through this hell?”
It came in a whisper, the still small voice. One that I have come accustomed to hearing in the chaos of my life. True to His nature, it was soft spoken and delivered with grace.
He said, “Blessed are!”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Because I have great spiritual need, I rely heavily on the Father.
“Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.” I mourn deeply, the dreams of family wholeness and the life my son will never know. But, I am consoled by the “God of ALL comfort.”
“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.” I humbly submit to God’s will and recognize I am not capable on my own.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.” My failures are frequent and lack beauty and grace. I desperately seek His righteousness as I am keenly aware of my humanity.
“Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.” Because he shows me mercy for my failures, I can show mercy to my son who gives me infinite opportunity.
“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.” Only when my unclean heart is exposed, do I see the remorse and desire to be pure.
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.” Three self-absorbed and “entitled” teen-agers in the same home., enough said.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Everyone has an opinion of how I should be handling my son and most of what I do is not approved.
Matthew 5: 1-10
Feeling extremely blessed.
James 1: 2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.