If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Replacing Fear with HOPE

Today is the first Sunday of Advent and the message this week is one of HOPE. Trent's message this morning was not about adoption, but it was all I could think about as his points were: there is hope for the waiting, hope for the imperfect, hope for the outsider, hope for the oppressed, hope for the mediator, and hope for the unknown.

Knowing this truth, I could also reflect back on all the lies and fears the enemy tried to convince me of while were waiting for Ruthie. I know many of you are either in the process of waiting or you are considering adoption. I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of the things I feared and how they turned out to be far from the truth. I hope this is an encouragement to you:

1. I was afraid that when I got Ruthie and needed to take care of some of her basic needs like bathing her and changing her, that I would feel like I was taking care of someone else's child.
This was not my experience at all. God took care of the initial stages of bonding that were necessary for me to "mother" this child.

2. I was afraid that because Ruthie was a little older than we had "signed up for" that a part of me would grieve selfishly that she wasn't a baby. God really took care of this too. I actually really thankful now that Ruthie is a little older because she fits into our family so well and is able to interact with my older 2 better. I love watching the 3 of them play together. We are also able to do things as a family that would have been very difficult with a baby. Finally, I think Ruthie being a little older allows me to see more of her personality which has also helped me to bond with her.

3. I was afraid that the financial burden might be more than was fair to our family. God really did provide for all of our needs here. When we needed $1000 for a homestudy, Trent would get an invitation to preach somewhere or I would be offered a few extra hours at work. We were amazed at how the finances really came together once we decided to trust God and step out with a yes.

4. I was afraid that Ruthie's diagnosis would be more involved than what was represented to us. I have to say that this did happen to us. They did not tell us that Ruthie's elbows and shoulders were involved. I can also say that if I had known that in the beginning, I might have considered that to be more than I could handle. I am so thankful that God did not give that information to me because I, in my selfishness and limited understanding, might have passed up this wonderful gift that He has given me. I have not regretted, even for a second, bringing Ruthie into our family.

So as you are walking out this process in your own life, my encouragement to you is to tune out the lies of the enemy and cling to the HOPE that is found in Jesus Christ. Because there is:
hope for the waiting,
hope for the imperfect
hope for the outsider
hope for the oppressed
hope for the mediator
and hope for the unknown.

If you have already been through the adoption process and you want to share some of the fears you had and how God handled that situation, I would love for you to leave those in the comment section. Who knows, someone else may have that same fear right now and just need a little encouragement and hope that God has even that under His control.


The Raudenbush Family said...

What an amazing post...truly...I read it and then read it aloud to my husband. We have stepped out and said yes to the process but have yet to say yes to our child. I have to say that in anticipation of that coming soon, this post really spoke to me. Thank you for posting it. I look forward to experiencing how God reveals Himself to me and frees me from my own fears in this process.

JbarJ Mom said...

HOPE: Your post is so good, Ginny. Hope and trust is why we begin this journey in the first place, isn't it? Ephesians 8:24-25 - For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? Bit if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. FEAR: I once was a very fearful person, until I started learning to trust God completely. I distinctly remember our family once driving through very treacherous conditions during an ice storm. I prayed, "Lord, this is so scary, our lives are in Your hands." I felt like His reply was, "Child, your lives have ALWAYS been in my hands." It was truly a turning point for me and was a couple of years before our first adoption. Through both adoptions, there were times of great frustration with the process and wait, but God always calmed my fears by reminding me how clearly He had led us on the journey. Scriptures, songs, people, unexpected news of our children and other reminders of His grace, sustained me during the long waits. We can live fearlessly when we know Him and know He has called us for a purpose that is ultimately for His glory, not our comfort. I went searching for a quote I heard recently. I found this poem, not sure if that is the same quote -- but each line speaks volumes of truth.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the Spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.
The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Jenn said...

I think I had all of the same fears that you had! At times the fear would just overtake me. My husband would always bring me back to who brought us on this adoption road--God. And we were right where God had intended us to be, with the child He had chosen for us.

My biggest fear in the beginning was our daughter's age. I knew that by the time we were going to get her, she would have already turned 3. All my months of waiting and preparing for her, I had imagined a 1- 1 1/2 year old. I had also read all of the books on attachment and bonding and FEAR had gripped me. She had spent more than twice the amount of time in her orphanage than I imagined she would have. How would we bond? Would she attach to us? You don't even know how many sleepless nights and the tears I cried with worry over this.

I also feared what other needs she might have. I made myself believe I was seeing more in her pictures.

But the Lord would just whisper to me, that He was with me. That this was our child. And so we waited to travel to her.

Once we actually got her the original fears that I had were instantly wiped clean....but new ones replaced them!

My biggest fear once we got her, was if we were doing the right thing for our family. Would I make it? Would I survive? Was it REALLY the Lord I was hearing all along---or was it one big mistake. The first couple of days were FILLED with stress and lots of tears on my part.

Once again, my steady husband loved me and our Karleigh Mei through it. And once I was able to see past the fear, I could once again hear the Lord whispering to me that He was with us. What REALLY helped me were fellow adoptive moms emailing me to tell me my feelings were normal. This gave me such peace because I knew I wasn't alone and there was a light at the end of the tunnel!

You must expect some stress and emotional turmoil when you go to pick up your child. This is NORMAL. And as prepared as I was for these feelings, you really can't be completely prepared. Just knowing this should help if you keep it in the back of your mind.

Hope this helps!


Anonymous said...

Our road has not been easy. We are waiting for our tenth child (we have two miracle bio, one adoption gift of mercy, and have lost six pregnancies along the way). I am AFRAID that God will chose to take away again. We have just switched to the Waiting Child program and my emotions are running the roller coaster again (with the new list out last night, I am letting myself get expectant, and I shouldn't). I am so wanting to trust that God has a plan and that this wait will eventually come to an end. My head says there is hope but my heart is having a hard time believing it.

Trent said...

Confessions of an adoptive dad...

FEAR: I won't have a place in my heart for this little one.
Truth: God didn't divide my love but expanded my capacity to love, just as he did when our second-born came into our family. I even remember the moment He did it: when I saw a picture of her holding a pillow Ginny had sent over.

FEAR: it's going to be more than we can handle.
Truth: it was, is and is going to be. I think God consistently gives us more than we can handle so as to drive us to Him. Anyone who buys the statement God doesn't give us more than we can handle is probably mishandling 1 Cor. 10.13.

FEAR: if she's not my DNA, it will be different.
Truth: it is different, but much more positive. I understand God and how He relates to me more clearly because of this process of adoption. What's more, I have not for one moment felt like I was parenting another person's child, changing the diaper of a strange little kid, or being frustrated with anyone other than MY daughter.

For any men out there considering adoption, please email me.

Naomi said...

Great post Ginny. I am sure that there will be many who will be encouraged by these words and the comments from others.

When we first pursued the adoption of the first little girl whom we chose to leave in China, I had just a few fears. Her medical record stated healthy but she was clearly not walking which was a red flag. Yet because I had read of so many children who had been adopted and were severely delayed like this, I believed with all my heart that she would be okay eventually. However, as most of you know, her delays were far worse and far beyond what we knew we could handle. The mental disability was what really shook us, not her physical. I believe that we could have handled her needs had they just been physical. There were not and we made the choice and now have to live with that.

HOWEVER our story is unique and this does not happen very often and God has chosen to use it in our lives to really change and break us. When we received the second referral, I had many more fears for obvious reasons. I was so afraid that it would happen again. I was fearful of the many unknowns and how I would love her as much as my other children. I LOVE HER JUST AS MUCH AS THEM!!!! The moment we met her, all fears were removed and we just knew that this little girl was our daughter. The experience was so different than before.

I would encourage anyone who has been through a trial and are fearful of the same thing happening again. God has been in every part of our adoption process.... the pain, the joy, the fears and feeling a failure, the unknown, the peace and the grace. He knew just what we needed each time and the most beautiful story to tell of all, is that God has been with us every step of the way. How can we be fearful when He leads us on the path He has chosen for us. Yes there may be surprises, both good and bad, but God knows already beforehand and He will use it all to bring Him glory. He truly does work all things together for the good of those who love Him!!!

Thompson family said...

Thanks Ginny! We have chosen a girl from China and now anxiously await the paperwork to fall into place. Because of her medical conditions "told", I was encouraged to know how glad you were to get Ruthie only knowing what you did beforehand.

groovy mama said...

i love your posts and this one was great, THANKYOU!

you are truely blessed with your words and your experenieces and you give me HOPE!

WE have been home one week with our baby from china....thanks for sharing!


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