I confess that I have a really hard time when people tell us how wonderful we are for adopting, how great it is that we've given David and Daniel such a loving family, how amazing we are...
I can't internalize that kind of praise, because I don't feel like it's true. In reality, I know that Charly and I have made all kinds of mistakes. We are selfish, and we get impatient and irritable with our kids way more than we wish we did.
In 2014, at our one year post adoption home study, Charly told our social worker that we went into adoption thinking that we had a loving home we could offer to orphans. But God has shown us that He brought David and Daniel into our family because He wanted to teach us how to love.
If anyone has a picture-perfect idea about our family, come live with us for a day. You'll see that we are definitely still a work in progress in learning how to love.
Last week David had an issue at school and he wasn't honest with us about it. As I thought about what would have motivated him to lie, I knew that it must have been fear that we would be upset with him if we knew the truth. So as we were getting on our shoes to walk to school the next morning, I asked him, “Do you know that we still love you when you make mistakes?”
He looked at me for a long time. And then he said, “No.”
It was a defining moment.
And I knew that truth needed to be spoken into his wounded, fearful heart...
“We do still love you when you make mistakes. And it's very important that you know that.”
I shared this story with a friend yesterday about how it revealed a weakness in our parenting, an area we need to grow in, a truth we need to be more intentional about communicating.
And she said, “Yes. But it's also part of David's story, and the effect of his years of growing up in the orphanage, of his learning to believe that he's always loved.”
No longer an orphan but a son.
Treasured and beloved.
And we really long to communicate God's unconditional love better than we do. To teach David and Daniel that while we want them to make good choices and do what they know to be right, when they make mistakes (as we all do) that we still love them.
It's an ongoing journey for Charly and me to learn. To see ourselves as God's beloved. And then to show our children that they are treasured by us and by God. For who they are. Not for what they do.
We're thankful that after all the ways we've fallen short and after all the mistakes we've made in our parenting, God's love for us hasn't changed.