Tuesday, October 23, 2012



As I've been thinking about all the different ways that comparison stalks my life, one way has come to mind during this phase of my life.  Family building is an experience often fraught with comparison.  I realize at this moment that I may tread on toes with this post, and that is not my heart in any way.

But, that is sort of my point.

Treading on toes, or having my toes walked on, seems to be sort of the norm when it comes to getting children into your family.  I had no idea when I was younger and dreaming up a perfect family in my head that included 2.5 children who looked like me that this stage of life often involves heartache and loss along with the good.  I didn't know how common miscarriages are, until I started hearing the stories.  I didn't know how many people would struggle with infertility for various reasons, until they were my friends.  I didn't know how hard adoption really is, until I went down the road myself.

Nothing prepared me for it.  Nobody told me how to ask appropriate questions or which questions I should never ask.  I have learned these things the hard ways through the awkward moments that I never wanted.  I am still learning.  Nobody explained that the family-building process can be scarring, and that many women in my stage of life would be walking wounded, just under the surface.

So I am still learning how to walk the line of beautiful celebration of new life and learning how to mourn the heartache of babies born into Jesus' arms or babies never conceived.  And learning how we can never understand, this side of heaven, why God chooses things to be the ways that they are.  Doing this gracefully sometimes seems impossible.

And now, John and I are adopting from Ethiopia.  We are choosing to build our family in a way that we hope also serves a need in the world.  We believe this is what the Lord wants for us.  Most people have rejoiced so graciously with us and have accepted our decisions.  However, there is the inevitable kick-back minority - people who when adoption comes up are dismayed and disappointed that we would choose to adopt from another part of the world when there are so many needy kids in our own country.  Or people who think it's crazy for us to adopt at all when we can have "children of our own." Or people who think we shouldn't pay all the money when we could get a child through the state for free.

And, here's the reality, my friends.  God has called each of us to walk our own stories.  Really, how boring would it be if we all saw things and acted in the same way?  I wholeheartedly believe this applies to how we go about building our families.  God calls each of us to different paths, and I hope that I can graciously and lovingly respond to the paths that I see around me.  I want to see things the way he does and to offer grace and truth together as I walk forward.  I want to hear people's stories and find God's glory in each of them, instead of looking for things I would do differently.

I don't want to spend my energy comparing paths.  I want to spend my energy loving people well, and I am praying that God can work that in me.

(The first post I wrote about comparison can be seen here.)


Stefanie said...

Sweet words, Carol. And FYI, I LOVE the way God is leading you to build your family. Can't wait to meet those precious boys :)

Katie said...

Great post, Carol! Thanks so much for sharing your heart.