Today's post is one of a two-part series in which Angela Lewis shares about how she handles her son's thoughts and questions about adoption. Not only are these thoughts helpful for other parents, but they encourage us all to think about what it means to be adopted by God. One of my sons came to me after a day of being disciplined several times. The words that came out of his mouth caused me pause and made me realize how much I, as a mom, need to be in tune to my children's emotional health.
"Mom, can I tell you something I have been thinking about?" asked my six year old. I encouraged him to go on.
"I think you stole me?" It was half statement and half question. He was adopted by us 3 years ago. He was 3 years old when we received him into our home, but he was 18 months when he was taken out of the care of his biological mother. He doesn't remember much about her, just pictures and her name. What he recalls, though, is his foster mom, whom he refers to as Mrs. Nessa. So my son went on: "Yes, I think you saw me in Mrs. Rebecca's house (birth mom), decided you wanted me instead and came and took me."
I approached this with basic logic. "Well, how did you get to Mrs. Nessa's house?"
He was already realizing that didn't make sense. I assured my son that we didn't steal him. I told him that the state came in and saw that he was not being taken care of in a way that he deserved so they had him live with Mrs. Nessa until they could find him a mom and dad to love him, and voila... we came into the picture.
His response: "What is the state?"
"So, the police saw that you were not being taken care of and they came and got you and took you to Mrs. Nessa." I was realizing this explanation was way more complicated than I was ready for.
I went on to explain that his birth mom loved him dearly and wanted to take care of him, but couldn't. Rather than fabricate something in avoidance of the truth as to why she couldn't care for him, I just told him that I would explain more to him later when he is more ready to understand. He seemed happy with my answer.
See, there are times (daily) in parenting that wisdom and discernment have to be exercised. More than anything, I realized on this day that if my son believes that me stealing him is a possibility, then me being a bad person is also a possibility. And, if I am a bad guy, then I don't have his best interest at heart and in fact have robbed him of a life that he could have had. Now, I know with full awareness that my son's life trajectory was changed for the better, but I have to sensitively walk him through this time. As he battles with his identity, his worth, comparisons, questions of our love, fears, etc., I need to remain keenly aware of what is going on in his little heart.
To do that is remaining diligent on my knees praying to the Father that loves this wonderful six year old even more than Dhati and I do. My prayer is that one day he will own with 100% surety that he is loved and accepted. I pray that because of our adoption of him he will be able to understand more keenly how the Father too has adopted him into His family because of Jesus.
Until that day... I keep loving, keep affirming, keep steadfast in patience and plead with the Father to create in my son an emotional stability and identity that is rooted in the truths of who God is and what He has done.