Monday, November 19, 2007

Starting Discussions

Surprisingly enough, my last blog post was the topic of some really great discussion over on my friend Anita's blog. Check out the discussion going on in her comments section here.

The blurb from my post that Anita responded to was the following:

"I will never think that our boys were "meant to be with us"; to do so would mean that I would have to believe that they were "meant" to lose their birth family, that they were "meant" to leave Ghana and everything they know."

While I totally back up that statement (hey, I wrote it), I feel like maybe I should explain what I mean just a little bit. I have heard many adoptive parents say that their child was "meant to be in their family", that they "were meant to be their child all along", or some variation of those things. I don't think that there is inherently anything wrong with any of those statements. I just don't feel like they are the right statements that I want to use to describe my relationship with our boys.

I may someday feel like our boys were "meant to be with us", but I never want to SAY that. Ever. So writing it in my blog is my way of reminding myself that I never want to use that language to describe my feelings. To me, saying that the boys are "meant to be" in our family means that they were "meant" to lose all they ever knew in Ghana (including their birth family). I always want my boys to know that I recognize the grief that they experienced - the grief that is inevitable in an international adoption. I would never want to minimize their grief by saying that they were "meant to be" in my family.

I never really thought that my little post would generate a discussion on "God's Plan" for these kids and for adoption. In fact, I never even thought about that at all when I posted my ramblings. But, the discussion is valid, and certainly worth thinking about. Do I think it is God's plan that our boys lose their birth family and birth culture? No, I don't. Do I think that it is God's plan that we found our way to adoption and eventually to these two boys? Absolutely.

Conflicting, no?

I think that God has lots of contigency plans. If His original plan isn't carried out, He doesn't abandon us. We are given an infinite number of "do-overs" in our lives where we are given the opportunity to make things right (or as close to right as we can get). I think that Z and I are a part of God's contingency plans for the boys.

I have heard in several places that there are no "accidental adoptions". I absolutely believe that is true. This process is a tough one, but I believe that God has His hand in every little detail (even if it wasn't His original plan for Jellybean and Peanut).

I know, clear as mud, right?


the Isaacs said...

Big stuff, huh? I love the quote I read recently about this (can't remember where! maybe on Anita's blog?) that said "We know that we are the best [parents for these children] in the circumstances; but the circumstances weren't the best." I know that out of all the options available to Jaso and Avi, we were the best in the circumstances - that in the broken circumstances of their birth countries and birth families and the individual broken circumstances of their little lives, we are the best option to parent them - however, their circumstances weren't fair, weren't the best in the first place. We are just here in the gap because of broken-ness - I believe God redeems brokenness in people's lives, but we can never forget that we are only here because of the broken-ness that came first...

Kate said...

I realize I am very late in commenting on this, but I only recently found your blog and have just spent, what, maybe 2.5 hours reading from the start to this point (I plan to get to the point where you bring the boys home, though it is already 11:15pm. Agh.) I can't believe how much your blog explains almost every thought and feeling that I have, though I'm probably not as passionate about much of it, I still feel as if you are writing for me (not to mention the fact that my husband is from Sumner, Iowa, which made for another connection to your story, even though he is a Hawkeye :). I am strongly considering having friends and family read your blog to find explanations for much of what my husband and I are doing. Anyway, this one really hit home for me. We have previously been foster-to-adopt parents to the most amazing little boy who went back to his bio-mom under far less than ideal circumstances. I am so torn about it all. On one hand, I am near certain that she won't do right by him and he will be back in foster care in the future (and hopefully back to us if that happens). On the other hand, he is with his bio-mom. My mother can't understand why the scenario tears me in two directions. In her mind, he was meant to be in our family, full stop. In my mind, though maybe not my heart, I know that if he loses contact with his birth mom, he is in for a life of being an adoptee, and all the loss and confusion that comes with that Anyway, I guess it is best said that what was meant to happen was that he was born to a mother that had the skills to be the parent he deserves. I like the idea that we may be his "contingency plan." We will remain his contingency plan as long as we did not tick off too many people with the state foster care system in our attempt to make them do their job and look out for his wellbeing. In the meantime, after much grief and a lot of healing, we are in process of adopting a child or children from Ethiopia. We just feel that we were meant to parent kids who were already here, to be their contingency plan if the ideal that they deserve doesn't happen. Thanks for your blogging, maybe we'll cross paths sometime in Iowa :)