Monday, August 23, 2004

I'm scared. Ok, there - I said it.

I recently posted something I wrote to my sister explaining how we're handling this waiting period in our adoption case while our paperwork is out of our hands and is being processed however quickly or slowly the people in control of it can go. I mentioned sustainable energy and enjoying our quiet time. While those ideas are true, I've come to realize (read: admit to myself) that there is another reason why the waiting can be "easy" sometimes. I'm scared.

I'm not scared that I won't feed Kevin enough or bathe him enough or kiss his little face enough (or too much) or get him to bed early enough... I know that I can handle that stuff. What I don't know if I can handle is the nurturing of his emotional health and sense of self. He is attached to his foster mom - that is clear from the photos we've received. He is going to miss her terribly and I am so sad for his loss. How can I teach him to understand with his head and his heart that Andy and I aren't leaving, too?

What if he asks questions other than the easy ones ("why is the sky blue?" and "why is that man in a wheelchair?")? Those are easy compared to, "Why didn't my birthmother want me?" "Why didn't you grow me in your tummy?" "Do I have brothers and sisters in Guatemala?" "What about the children who don't get adopted?" What if I don't have the answers? Or, even worse, what if I think I have the answers but I get them all wrong?

I'm scared of being too tired to handle a toddler's activities. I'm scared that we won't know how to handle his personality. Perhaps he'll be an extrovert? Perhaps he'll be a manipulator? Perhaps he'll be aggressive?

I know that my fears are no different than that of any parent. And I know that people will think "it'll all work out in the end" and "you'll just know what to do" - but that alone is not comforting.

Perhaps this is one of the myriad ways that having children makes us appreciate and understand God's love for us even more. I have to consistently place Kevin and our care for him into God's hands and have an open heart to hear from Him so that I can be the best parent I can be. That's no different than how we should all live our lives, but it seems much more important when a child's soul and well-being are involved.

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