I'm going to write this post, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to share it. We'll see...
In November, we met Joseph for the first time. Many of you watched the video and commented about how calm I looked. I was not. I strive to be real here. I don't want anyone to walk into the doors of an orphanage and feel the way that I felt and think they are alone, because I was too afraid to be honest.
We knew what we were walking into. We had videos, first hand reports from families who had met our boy. We had read the medical reports. I knew, he was going to be tiny. I knew, he was severely delayed. I knew, the report included the diagnosis of autism. I've cared for enough children to know what that means, in regards to giving and receiving affection, but nothing, NOTHING prepares you for that moment. The moment when they hand you a child, your child, who has been broken by all that life has handed him.
Here's the TRUTH. I wanted to hand Joseph back and run out the door. My first thought, when I saw our precious boy was, "What have we done? I can't parent this child." You know what? I can't parent Joseph. The Jesus that lives, moves and breathes on the inside of me will empower and equip me to be Joseph's Mommy. It's not my job to heal all those broken pieces, but to love Joseph well, to show him Jesus. Please, don't misunderstand me. I love Joseph. He IS my son. April 10th will be a beautiful day when our family gains two new sons, but I needed to tell you the truth.
It was a totally different emotion I felt five days later when I had to walk Joseph back down that long hall and hand him over to his caregiver (I had to, because I'm not sure Marty could have). My heart broke and it hasn't been the same since that day. It's amazing to me now. God proved Himself strong in my weakness. I didn't hand Joseph back and run out the door. I finished that first visit. I cried out to God. While I tried to process what I was seeing, our sweet six year old, trapped inside a toddler's body. I smiled and held my boy and loved on him, even though I was terrified.
I got back to the hotel room and looked at Marty prepared for the worst. Only to have him say, "He's our boy!" He was so excited. I spent the couple of hours we had in between visits praying and reading my Word, allowing my faith to rise up. By the end of our afternoon visit I knew Satan had tried to use my fear against me. He would have loved for me to look at Marty and say, "This is too much. We can't do this." and walk away from Joseph.
What a tragedy that would have been. How sad my heart would be, if I had to look back, now, days away from court and realize that I had let go of one of my sons. Why am I sharing this? I simply want to tell you, that you are human. I am human and only the Jesus on the inside of us gives us strength and wisdom to do the really hard things in life. I'm hear to tell you that JOY comes from obedience. God told us, Joseph was our son, I'm so glad we walked where He called. Thankful that both our boys are coming home and that ultimately, "Love Wins!" (So take that Satan!)
I didn't share this for fear of judgement. I don't know why I allowed Satan to put me under a yoke of condemnation. I won't walk that way. I won't live that way. God has set me free. He is my judge and my advocate. Please, know I don't share this lightly, but in the hopes of encouraging someone else on this difficult journey.
Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...
Hidden in Christ,