“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Adoption has seasons of its own.
The first season can last for years. It starts as a seed, usually, planted in our hearts, by friends, or media, or God. During this time, we pray for wisdom, seek the counsel of those who have gone before us, and ask the question, “Should we do this?”
If the conclusion is “Yes,” we move on to the next stage. Now we are busy, busy, busy, raking paperwork into piles. The winds of change are blowing. All that we once knew is fading, and the light of a new dawn is about to break.
The next season is shock and awe. Our child is home, and our hearts hardly ever stop racing – whether from panic, joy, demands, or all of the above. This is a time when we should be very easy on ourselves; letting things go that aren’t entirely important, enjoying the little things (like black coffee and phone calls from Mom), celebrating small victories, and taking deep breaths.
Next comes the funk. It’s the day the meals stop being delivered by helpful ladies from church. The newness is gone, and left in its wake is our “new normal,” which doesn’t feel very normal, but is here to stay nonetheless. This is the season in which we have small, private pity-parties for ourselves (laced with guilt, of course, because who are we to complain, when our child has just been through so much more?) It is okay, I dare say, to have a bit of self-pity at this stage. It can be helpful now to meet with other adoptive parents, in whose presence we can feel understood.
But staying in this self-pity stage is the danger. Getting stuck here will deaden your heart and your home.
There comes a time when we must get over ourselves, pick ourselves up, and be the best darn parents we can be. They deserve nothing less.