Adoption Thoughts (From a Recovering Perfectionist)

Yet another late night had us sulking home far past bedtime. From the front seat I barraged myself in silent mantras that tend to scream loudest when darkness shrouds my view and stress and chaos abound. Mantras that call into question the measure of my motherhood. Interrupting my harsh thoughts, a sweet voice called for me from the back seat. “What baby girl?” I asked. She rambled on in her precious way before speaking the words that rooted their way into my heart with divine purpose:

“Tonight, I’m just going to believe God and go to sleep.”

“I’m just going to believe God…” Why can’t I do that? For weeks I have fretted over how I could add to the conversation surrounding National Adoption Month. My brain has started and deleted a hundred different articles to share here without even typing a word. Those I did type faced the same outcome:
Delete.
Delete.
Delete.

See somehow this notion that my words will change someone’s heart was a message I received and accepted as reality. For so long I’ve unconsciously believed there is a perfect way to spill these words onto paper and a way that isn’t. Under the false pretense that if I can write compelling messages with just the right balance of humor and grit the world will benefit, I have written, deleted, grown frustrated and been unproductive. The light of truth buried somewhere deep beneath the mess of these lies is that I will never change someone’s heart, only God will. Oh I’m assured He can and will use these measly word offerings, but it will never be my words that change a person’s heart.

“… And go to sleep.” Isn’t that the antiphony¬†of peace? Just resting. Not fretting over a to-do list or what someone said about me or what they might say about me. Sleep. Rest.

If I’m honest, I waste far too much time wrestling with perfection. Often I don’t even realize the anxiety creeping into my spirit to make it all come together just so. I manipulate words and sentences and craft whole new drafts in endless strife to reach a target that mists away when the arrow is released. There’s space for striving for excellence, but it should never be more important than the message. It should never impede on my belief in God’s power. This plague of perfectionism stretches far beyond just my storytelling in written form and into the stories I want to see written on the pages of life. Adoption in particular has pulled taut those strings until they’ve reached strand-snapping capacity. And beyond.

Today, the season is a reminder to my ever-striving-for-perfection heart that faith and peace are gifts available now. Thanksgiving is when we pause with intent to give voice to our thanks. And today, I’m thankful for the loss.

Every heartbreak and letdown, every rejection, every tear along this journey has pointed me deeper into connection with my Savior. And someday, it will point into deeper relationship with my child. Though please hear me: I will not compare these temporary losses with the daily reality my child will endure. Adoption starts with loss. Always. And I’m just so thankful the Lord has been gracious enough to provide us opportunity to experience a taste of what it is to live with a broken and confused heart.

As we move forward into the Christmas season, we wait in hopeful expectation the celebration of the Savior’s coming.

Down to the millisecond, God’s timing was, in fact, perfect. Every minute detail was planned and executed in perfect order. Regardless of the imperfections of the human heart, God remains sovereign.

So today, as the harsh realities of this continual wait stare me in the face, I’m going to foster a heart of gratitude. Today, I’m just going to believe God and let sleep the voices that long to steal my joy; the mantra of my own ruthless critic that threatens to erode away the beauty of this perfectly imperfect story with my own twisted ideals of perfection. Instead, I’ll listen for that still small voice to whisper sweet tendrils of His sovereign plan into the depths of my heart. With my face to the sky, the wind on my tear-streaked cheek and a spirit stirred up by thankfulness, hope and peace, I say, “What next Lord Jesus? What next?”

Quick Update: One mama still has our profile book. All others have chosen other families. We appreciate your prayers and love!