Being a parent is a hard job. We all have those days where we stay in bed as long as we can…which usually doesn’t last long because someone needs breakfast or someone “Is looking at me!” It’s a daily choice to move ourselves out of the way and serve our children.
As a foster/adoptive parent, somedays this doesn’t come so easy. Some mornings I hear our adopted 8 year old daughter already screaming at one of her sisters, and it’s not even 8am. Some days she doesn’t want chicken, she wants Cheetos. Some days she packs a few things, puts her coat on and tells me she hates me and is moving back to her foster mom’s house.
Sadly, this isn’t something that only happens in our home…this is what happens daily to foster and adoptive parents all over the world. The struggle of having a child in your home who has been through multiple traumas…who doesn’t trust…who has a hard time attaching…who may have special needs that you haven’t even figured out yet. It’s the storm that we in the trenches of fostering and adopting have chosen to be in.
There are days that I look at my daughter and I do not like her. I don’t like her behavior, I don’t like her tone, I don’t like that she made this mistake or that. There are days where I want to yell back at her that I am her mom, even if I didn’t give birth to her. There are days where I want to make her understand how foster care works and how sometimes birth parents cannot beat their addiction. I want her to understand!
And on those days I realize that I must choose to love her. I must choose to look at this screaming, hurting child as the precious child of God that she is. I must choose to, every minute of every day, lay down my will and my desires and ask my Heavenly Father, who has so richly chosen to love me, to show me how to love the child He has placed in our home, in our family.
As God has called our family and many others to take in the orphan, He has also called each and every one of us to choose to love. Parenting is not easy…it’s not for the faint of heart. But we love because He first loved us. God’s love is deep, wide, and unchanging. It doesn’t change with our attitude, it doesn’t change when we tell Him we don’t like Him or when we want to run away. It doesn’t change.
So today I choose to love my beautiful, long-legged, chocolate-covered daughter. I choose to love her in spite of what she does and says. Because love is not how we feel in the moment. Love is choosing to see the beauty in our children, even when they cannot see it in themselves.
October is Double Impact Month at Antioch Adoptions so all donations will be doubled up to $70,000 – please help us reach our goal and help children find forever families right here in our own backyard!