I remember reading a few years back about how darkness can only remain darkness if we choose not to bring it into the Light. I'm learning more and more how true this can be and the freedom found in allowing others into our lives to surround us and support us. By doing so, the darkness seems to fade and the Light shines forth.
It's no secret that adoption is hard. There are very few foster/adoptive parents that I've ever met that would tell you differently. It's beautiful. But it's also brutally hard.
Recently we've been dealing with habitual lying. It started as small things that didn't have an impact on much but it has now morphed into him making statements that endanger himself and our family, as well as him telling classmates elaborate lies about someone killing Mark.
To say we have been heartbroken, terrified, hurt, in disbelief, etc. would be an understatement. This morning I walked him into school and had him apologize to his teachers and classmates for lying to them. I walked out with tears streaming down my face... a combination of sadness for him and a whole lot of feeling sorry for myself - for the embarrassment and humiliation we endure in our efforts to teach him ...for his own good and well-being.
And as I worried about our name and reputations potentially being ruined - the ones we've spent our lives building so we honor Christ and point people back to him - God reminded me of yesterday's sermon.
You see, when Gabriel came to Mary and Joseph, He told them that they'd be the earthly parents to the coming Messiah. He did not share this news with anyone else. Everyone else in town got to believe whatever they chose to believe. This literally rocked their world, ruined their reputation, ruined their families' names, and ushered in shame and humiliation. By Joseph taking in Mary as his wife, he in essence was choosing to take responsibility for her being pregnant, although he had nothing to do with it. He willingly took on shame to follow in obedience to what God had called him to.
....willingly took on shame.
You see, the gifts God gives us aren't always going to be meticulously wrapped and donned with a beautiful bow. Sometimes they're hard and heartbreaking, disappointing and anxiety-provoking, full of embarrassment and shame.
If the parents of the Messiah didn't get to escape the scorn, the looks of disgust, the gossip, the humiliation...... why should I think we get to?
Adoption is a gift. But it's rarely ever beautifully wrapped. Yet the gift itself is our son. He is infinitely loved and treasured, even despite all the lies and accusations and challenges he has created. He.is.loved. And the greater gift? The presence of Christ as we walk out what He has called us to. As we drug this darkness into the Light yesterday, sharing with our Life Group the battles we're facing, they surrounded us and prayed over and for us. This morning I've already seen posts reminding people to pray for us. I've received texts checking on us, encouraging words, emails, etc.
Because the darkness can only remain dark if we choose to allow it to remain there.
And I'll tell you, there's likely a whole host of foster/adoptive families struggling in ways you are completely unaware of. Dragging the darkness into the Light is hard, so much so that many choose to remain in the dark. This isn't easy for me to share. And I certainly am not sharing it because we want pity. We (foster/adoptive parents) desperately need your prayers and words of encouragement. If I could tell you anything today, it's that we need warriors to come alongside us on this journey. We need people to educate themselves on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), the impacts of trauma on these kids, the ways it manifests, the ways it impacts their parents and siblings.... and then we need you to faithfully get on your knees and lift us up. It is the single greatest thing you can do for us.
Might I encourage you sweet friends? Go find an adoptive or foster family this Christmas season and just love on them...ask them how you can pray for them specifically. I assure you, it will mean more than you know.