We’ve not even applied yet, officially. That first application requires a fee that we’re still saving toward.
The male role in waiting for a new child (in my experience so far) has been largely uninvolved. Sure we helped get the process going, and then we care for the mother and details of the home, but most of the physical burden is carried (literally) by the mother. Because of this, I think my wife and I have both found ourselves trying on our new roles, and looking in the mirror to see if these are fitting right. We’re used to being given an exact, unstoppable time-frame (40 weeks), and moving toward that due date with purpose and expectation.
Instead, we’re being asked to release ourselves to what the journey may bring. We can make large and seemingly tiny decisions along the way: how to raise money, what agency to use, what grants to apply for, what country has a program that fits our family, etc. But for the most part, adoption seems to continue being an invitation to release and submit control. Which is hard, because “preparation” in my mind always means collecting/gathering/building up/gaining control.
The connection is almost too obvious.
In our journey with Christ, we’re tempted to treat it like any other endeavor. As shown well by ministries like “The Power Team”, and “Extreme”-flavored teen devotionals and music – the Christian journey can be illustrated by being strong and brave enough to follow Christ. There are certainly many verses that talk about being strong in the Lord, and comparing what we’re doing to the experience of a well-trained athlete.
But these can be easily taken in an unhealthy direction. Like the young woman who testifies before an audience, “The Bible says the last shall be first, and I want to humble myself as a servant so that I can be FIRST!!” An important point is being missed there.
What we see in the life and message of Christ and His disciples – is a calling to be strong enough to be vulnerable. Brave enough to let go of the need to conquer. Loving enough to be able to give oneself over completely to something Other. It’s not about building a Christian empire, or gaining control so that enough Christians are in political/social/economic power.
Just as it’s not about me grabbing hold of my family – my wife, my children, our home, etc. – and while flexing our financial/relational/financial muscle, saying to God “Okay God, this is what we’re gonna do in your name!!!!!” It’s about holding all we have and are with upward turned hands, offering ourselves before His throne, praying “We love you God, how can we be used to carry your presence and announce your Kingdom?”
Waiting on His response…:)