it's been a while since i posted last. i've thought several times about writing during the timespan, but each time it was prompted from negative emotions, and i don't want this to be a place for ranting. the past month has been really difficult for me - we have started working on the adoption application, and i did not anticipate what an emotional toll that would take on me. it's VERY detailed and pries into every area of our lives - financial, spiritual, emotional, sexual - and makes us answer questions about what kind of child we are willing to accept (which makes me feel like a terrible person if i say no to anything). it also requires an inspection of our home by the fire marshall and the county health department. because of the invasiveness of the application (or my perception of it being invasive), i reacted with being angry at the whole process. angry that i had to "prove" my worthiness of being a parent when any random, uneducated, unmarried, not financially stable person seems to get pregnant at the drop of a hat. so it's taken me a lot longer to finish the application than i originally intended.
over the last week my feelings have slowly begun to change...thanks in part to encouragement from friends. i started thinking of it from the point of view of the birthmother. she is placing her child in the arms of strangers; i would imagine that she would want that couple to be scrutinized from every possible angle to ensure that they aren't psychos, but rather that they are a committed couple who would provide the warm, loving, stable, two parent home that she is unable to provide herself.
the real change in my outlook though came from the adoption parenting seminar we attended this weekend. i had no idea the impact it would have on me. we learned so much about the current culture of adoption and the trend towards openness, but more so about the spiritual side of everything. i've said before that i know God already has our baby chosen for us, but to hear stories of actual couples giving testimony of how perfectly God orchestrated their entire adoption story was just so encouraging. yesterday there was a birthmother and birthfather who spoke about how they came to the decision of choosing adoption, and the adoptive couple whom they chose to raise their child came in next and gave their side of the story. it was so incredibly beautiful to see the relationship that had formed between adoptive couple and birthparents. they meet once every couple of months to allow the birthmother to see the baby, and the adoptive couple has actually taken on a mentoring role to the younger birthparents. i had tears streaming down my face, but there wasn't a dry eye in the room as they gave their testimony.
we still aren't sure what level of openness we are comfortable with, and each birthmother is different in her desires on that as well, but we realized that a lot of our concerns were being driven by fear and not fully trusting in God's control. one theme of the weekend seemed to be that maybe adoption isn't solely about the child. maybe we are to be ministers to the birthmother as well, during whatever amount of interaction we may have with her, to make her feel encouraged and proud of the immensely difficult decision she is making.
there's so much more i could say - this is just one facet of how God is changing our hearts. but i know this is long already, so i'll save the rest for another day....