Adoption - Faith and Fear often carpool together.
At the outset, it’s always an adventure. A mixture of romantic ideas and best-case scenarios brim over in your mind making the choice seemingly choose itself. But the line between an adventure and a misadventure--between fortune and misfortune--is misleadingly narrow.
The kneejerk joy of hearing that adoption is just around the corner has simmered down to a more realistic and sustainable emotion of honor and responsibility. The honor of being chosen by God to take on such a responsibility is sobering. And the sober-mindedness is causing me to “consider the cost before building the tower” which is something Jesus would say when he saw people saying “yes to the dress” before they were “clued into the cost”.
Consider the cost before building the tower. Think ahead.
“Do you have the money for the materials?”
“Do you have the manpower to lift the load?”
“Do you have the wherewithal to withstand the risk?”
“Do you have the blueprints for the building?”
“Are you planning for rainy days and allowing for unforeseen variables?”
“Do you know where you’re getting the supplies for success?”
“Have you gotten several quotes to ensure you get the most realistic estimate?”
“Are you starting with the end in mind?”
“How prepared is the crew you’ll be working with?”
“Are you thinking superstructure and infrastructure?”
“Are you considering the finishing touches into your bottom line?”
Thankfully, a great many of these questions are answered by God’s Spirit along the way since He is the ever-present Foreman on the job site. He will give us guidance along the way, but I’ve learned in the last 38 years that He also is expecting us to be in touch with our own brains and spirits.
Bottom line: These boys will require some project management. And this is where the fear can set in. Am I ready to be a father to insta-sons? Am I prepared for the additional stress? Am I equipped to lead a multi-ethnic family? Am I willing to give over some of my wife’s attention and energy to these boys? Will my daughters become peripheral? Do I have a flexible plan that allows me to manage my time and energy between my marriage, my daughters, my sons, my ministry, my friends, and my God? Will I be able to provide adequately for my families’ needs?
What if they don’t learn English quickly? How will I be able to communicate my love for them--especially the eldest--if they don’t understand what I’m saying? How will they mesh into the chemistry of our home? Will they bond with us? How long will it take for them to feel at home in our home? Will they be scared? Will we know what to do when they aren’t connecting?
I wouldn’t have felt this a couple weeks ago like I do today, but this is truly a leap of faith. It is “going” before “knowing”. It is impossible to nail down every detail before “building these boys”, but it is possible to “consider the cost” before beginning the construction of their lives. Right now, I’m wondering about how deep to dig for the footers, determining the foundation that will largely be unnoticed underground, backfilled with the dirt of world traveling, baby showers, and the initial excitement of their entry into our lives. But when the dust settles and everyone goes back to the normalcy of their own lives, we will be left with a new normal built on a foundation of forethought…a consideration of the cost that has been setting/curing like cement cinderblocks below ground. The fear is that this critical site work won’t be ready for the above ground “building of our boys”. That is the fear. That is my fear anyway.
But faith and fear often car pool together.