Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Two Emotions

If you remember WAY back to January, you know that our process to adopt again officially began somewhere around there. We dutifully started our homestudy and we got ALMOST done when things started falling apart.

So we stopped.

And we waited.

And we prayed.

And we thought about things.

And we kept right on thinking and praying until we felt ready to make the decision.

Then we decided.

And we had to pick up that homestudy right where it was and finish it up.

So last week, we started working on that 10 hours of adoption training that was necessary to complete our homestudy. The training that we chose to do was a DVD series by Bryan Post. The series is great...and we got a lot out of it (things that we can definitely use in our understanding of the boys). But one of the things that stood out to me a few days after completing the series, was that Bryan Post reminded me that there are only 2 emotions.

Got that?

Two Emotions.

Love and Fear.

That's it. Those two emotions rule our lives. All of our behavior, in one way or another, stems from these two emotions.

One of the things that has brought this home to me lately is the reaction that friends and family members have to another adoption. Now I'm not talking specifically about ONLY my family. I've noticed during my time hanging out in the adoption community that my family is not the only family that struggles with our news. My family isn't the only family that lets fear dominate their reactions. My family isn't the only family that has a lukewarm reception (or a downright cold reception, in some instances).

Families are tough nuts to crack sometimes. As the person announcing your adoption-in-process, you want nothing more than your family to jump up and down with excitement. You want them to ask you what you need and for the crafty ones in the family to start knitting or sewing for your new little one. You want them to ask questions about how the process is going and to show some genuine excitment when things are moving forward (or genuine disappointment when things don't go as quickly or smoothly as you'd hoped). You want your family to play an active part in the process...just as they would if you had announced a pregnancy.

But all too often, this isn't the case.

Instead you hear stories of families who ask ridiculous questions like "will the child be sick and diseased?" or "Do you realize they have HIV in that country?" or "Why don't you adopt from country X (where there are white children) instead of from country Y (in Africa)?" or "Why don't you want kids of YOUR OWN?"

Family members will often site lots of reasons why adoption is bad...or they'll tell adoption horror stories (that may or may not have any truth to them at all) that they've heard from a friend of a friend of a friend. They'll give a cool reception to the adoptive parent's faces, and then talk about how bad the decision is behind their backs. They'll wonder how on earth you could afford to spend thousands of dollars on an adoption process when you drive a beat-up old mini-van and have stained carpets in your living room. They'll wonder how you could possibly handle one more person in your home, when you're already busy handling the ones you have.

They'll think of a million reasons NOT to support you. They react in fear.

When all they really need is ONE reason TO support you.

They LOVE you.

One reason is all they need. But instead, they let fear override them...and you, the adoptive parent, have to suffer the consequences of their fear.

Its sad, right?


Amy said...


Renee said...

This is such a great post Chanda! I have heard it said that "Faith and fear can not occupy the same heart." This is so true. The Bible is clear that faith is a gift from God and and fear is from the enemy.

May God bless you as you continually step out in faith. We are so happy for you! :o)

Ericka said...

You took the thoughts right out of my head.
Prayers for peace Chanda :)

ManyBlessings said...

LOVE Bryan Post! Beautifully written. We often talk in our house about the fact that racism is actually fear based. Same principal.

Blessings to you as you move forward!

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back to read this, Chanda. Wonderful post!

Amy said...

I'm going to link to this post unless you tell me not to Chanda, ok? :) It is so perfectly stated!!!

Bingaling said...

Link away, my friend...link away!

Salzwedel Family said...

Beautifully put! It's so hard to understand why the adoption of a child brings up so many negative emotions in people. Congratulations on moving forward with your next blessing!

Heather A. said...

Amen to all of it!! I still don't get why it's ok to spend $20,000 on a new car that wears out in a few years but it's not ok spend that much on the life of a child by adding to your family. Priorities. Hugs my friend, and I'm thrilled that your adding to your family again!

Kristen said...

WOW WOW WOW! I am dealing with this exact thing at the moment and your post gave me chills. Thanks for the insight as it helps to realize we are not alone in this situation.

Sarah Riedel said...

We are very excited about your new addition to our family, but it seems like such a frustrating thing for you, so that is why I haven't asked about it. I was thinking it was like re-opening an old wound. I read your blog faithfully, so I know what is happening through that, and I figured if you wanted to talk about the frustrations that you'd bring it up. I guess I know better now, and will ask away. Every time I look at your blog, I say a prayer for you and yours, hope it helps. Sarah

Robin Dodd Photography said...

I quote this all the time Chanda. Love and Fear.... it's one of my favorite things to say...and I can't remember where I heard it first... maybe Tony Robbins LOL. anyway. I am So happy for you! People's reaction to adoption was the thing that shocked me most about the whole process. On the other hand, when I see the people who are truly affected, friends who say they'd like to adopt, people who find an interest in Africa to maybe sponsor a child,the trickle down affect of just the girls being in people's lives.. from school to our community it makes up for the weird reactions I remember.. I don't know why people want to push their fear onto people who ask questions and challenge life to make it a better place.

Our favorite song write now is the Stephen Curtis Chapman song "It's all yours God." I don't know why people can't see that we are all connected...


sue said...

Bryan Post has great materials. May I suggest you read " Beyond Consequences Logic and Control vol. 1 & 2"

And "Dare To Love." Bryan has teamed up with Heather Forbes who is the author or co-author with Bryan on these books.

They are excellent.

Deborah said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving encouragement. Thank you for this post! We took the Brian Post classes, too, and loved it, but have forgotten so much. This post makes me want to get it out again! Your children are beautiful. I love the father's day pics, and the purple and lime green bedroom is going to be ADORABLE :) Just yesterday, my daughter and I said that we needed a project, too. We're going to start painting old chairs, and go from there!