Monday, March 26, 2012

A Confession

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,
Mandy

19 comments:

  1. oh Mandy, those feelings are so very common and normal!!! I'm sad that you feared sharing it. Don't you feel better now??

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    1. Yes, Andrea :) I hope that by sharing others will be encouraged.

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  2. Mandy, I have learned so much from you on your journey - Since I've met you I have learned that I'm not crazy when I think I'm under attack - Your bravery at sharing these deep secrets has opened my eyes to A LOT - I can't wait for your boys to get home to such a loving mommy and daddy-

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    1. Thanks, Gail for taking this journey with us and being such a HUGE part of our support system :)

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  3. Mandy! God bless you for sharing this beautiful post! We all need to be prepared for what your reaction was to our orphaned sons and daughters. They're not perfect and neither are we! I applaud you for being so couragous to tell us about your struggle. I will pray for strength for you in the coming days as you begin to parent him! God bless you!!

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  4. I really needed to read this today. Thank you for being honest, and for demonstrating obedience to the rest of us who are terrified of just how much that will cost us.

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  5. <3 Thank you for sharing! Whenever I tell your story to people I always hear what amazing people you guys must be, and, I of course agree. But, I think I tended to put you guys on some pedestal and think that yall can do this while I never could because I have doubts and fears. Its good to see yall are human like the rest of us :)And, I think this is one of the posts I need to share with Steve! Love you!

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  6. Thank you for being so transparent. Satan would love for us to look at you and your situation and say, "We can't do what she's doing. We don't have the strength she has." But in Christ we DO!!! Thank you for your obedience and reliance on Christ :) I LOVE your heart & cherish your friendship.

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    1. See that's what I was trying to say! I'm just not very good at expressing myself!

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  7. I find myself overwhelmed by your love and compassion, today. Of course, we are human, just like everyone else. It's amazing everyday to find myself more and more dependent on Jesus. Praying that His light will shine continually in and through our lives. Blessings.

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  8. Oh, my.... thank you for loving..... for risking.... for being obedient to God... and for being transparent!! Your boys are so very blessed, may those blessings overflow upon you!

    ...... you know..... for the first time.... I made the connection..... you, the Mandy who follows our blog and loves my Nevin..... adopting Dawson, the little boy I tried so very hard to talk my husband into adopting, now I know ..... he was YOUR son..... my heart is full.

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  9. Laurie! I do love your Nevin and I'll be glad to share "Dawson" with you :) Nevin inspires me and gives me hope for what our boys will be one day! I love how much he loves life! Thanks for sharing him with us :)

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  10. hmmmm are you trying to tell me that you arent really an angel?? Nothing you can tell me will have me believeing any less!! But seriously, Thank you for sharing even the tough parts, I know so much about adoption because of you. I have watched and EXPERIENCED so many doors opening because of your STRENGTH. I am excited to get those boys home!! Thank you for allowing me so close to your Journey, I am here to listen to the tough parts, you have been there for me ya know! You are going to do great, and so many of us are here to help....ESP. if you need a little break, because I can't wait to snuggle them!

    Love,
    Nydia

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  11. Oh Mandy, if I could hug you right now I would!! I know exactly how you felt that day. I had so many days like that in our journey. What are we thinking? We can't do this. We have enough kids, enough on our plates. This child can NOT be mine. He's too rowdy, too energetic, too... I know that was Satan talking. My heart heard him, but didn't listen. I knew that God had led us, He had shown His provision every.step.of.the.way. There was never a moment in our paper chase, in our travel, in our visiting that God wasn't there, guiding, providing, and making sure we were where HE would have us. Is it easy? NO WAY!! Is our son the one that God planned for us, for our family? Yes! I admit, I have days even now that I question what we were thinking, but all I have to do is look at our little guy and know that he is where God wants him to be, and so am I. Hang in there!! You have a lot of people praying for you!! If you ever need to chat, you know how to find me. :)

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    1. Thanks, Mel. The journey is easier because of families like yours, who've allowed us to follow along through the ups and downs. You are right! God has been and will continue to be with us every step of the way, providing the strength, love, and patience to do what He's called us to do.

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  12. your post has blessed and encouraged my tonight. Thank yo for sharing <3

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