Monday, March 21, 2011

Was my identity really in Christ...we are looking to adopt...

This may be one of the most difficult posts I will write. I have not shared in a while where Andrew and I are at in the journey of our infertility. Maybe its because so many things have changed in my life that set me into a bit of a tail spin. Being laid off, trying to figure out my next steps, discovering who I am as a professional, and as a woman. I have been learning that although I state that my identity has been in Christ the reality is that my identity really was wrapped up in so many other areas. Now that so much of my identity has been stripped away I know my security was in the things which defined who I was; my career, my family, my ability to have a baby, my education, and my dreams/aspirations.

It is so easy to state that your trust and identity is fully in Christ when everything seems to line up perfectly within the expectations of your cultural norms. In my case that means having a great education, being on the fast track for my career, and of course one day being the super mommy which produces the perfect 2.1 kids (is that the statistic for the States?...still not sure about the .1%). I so arrogantly stated that of course I trust in God and his call on my life. Of course I listen to the Voice of God and the calling placed upon me. How proud I was when I spoke into others lives about challenging them to have the same faith which I possessed. The same "God connection" which I had.

I am sorry...Not only for being so arrogant in my faith and declaration of having a Christ centered life, but that it took being so stripped from everything which I felt was my security in defining who I was and my success as a person (which was quite far from a Christ-centered measurement). It is a humbling place to have to look in the mirror and realize that you no longer are the person you thought you were or were going to be. That you no longer have all of the accolades which gave you a buffer from the realities of this world. People ask me all the time, what do you do, how many children do you have, when are you going to have children? I used to have very confident "Christ-woman-centered-perfect" answers for these questions. Now I stumble and struggle to give an answer to any of the above questions...

But, thankfully we serve a God who allows us to learn in all circumstances. Whose Grace is greater then anything which I gave to myself and in many cases those around me. I am a work in progress. I am learning to be a Christ centered person...I am trying.

I have no answers other then that I am a broken woman, a perfect and tarnished child of God. I can't have children (at least not right now-I do believe in a God of great miracles too). We are considering adopting. I will write more about our process to adoption in posts to come...

I will end with this quickly... We are looking to adopt. This has been a long road and a very painful process. I had to become fully whole again as a person and especially as a woman before I could come to a place where adoption was a wonderful and natural choice for me to make. Andrew was already and always on board, but I was not. My heart is full, not healed, but full and whole. We can't wait to love a child and become the most awesome parents.

I want to encourage young women who find themselves in a situation where keeping their baby may not be the best option, I say this with the deepest and most compassionate heart, please consider adoption. There are many people in this world like Andrew and I who would love to adopt a baby. Who will care for your child as if it was their own. Who have come a long way to understand the gift a baby is and the miracle for which that baby comes. Most importantly we understand the sacrifice and the many paths this life journey takes each of us.

A recovering broken soul :)


Sarah@EmergingMummy said...

I have read this three or four times now and I keep feeling weepy about it. I so relate to your personal journey regarding identity - apart from our roles, apart from our "stuff," apart from our work, apart from our expectations. It is a hard road and you are already walking it with such grace. Mine was not so pretty. ;-) And congratulations on your decision to adopt! I am already praying about the process and your future son/daughter. You will be an amazing mother and I'm eager to see how God shows up in all of this. xo

Jon Trouten said...

I know that this might not be the journey you originally envisioned, but I'm extremely excited for you and Andrew as you continue your walk toward adoption and parenthood. I can't wait to hear how things progress for you. :)

April said...

While this may have been the most painful post to date, it is beautiful. Your heart is stunning and your journey transformational. Though this is not the "end" you dreamed of, I am exceedingly excited for you. I can say [just through my experience], that because of J&A infertility was one of my greatest gifts in life.

Betty Stew said...

Dear Daughter,
As you know our family has been thru times where it seemed that the "why God" questions were just a natural. Your struggle with becoming pregnant is one of those. The hurts can never get less painful or less real. Then we see God and the faith is there to see He is above all things and we marvel at His ways. Those unexpected divine interventions. This will be one of those too. My heart aches for you - I wish I could make this better - but Dad and I are always here and we love you and Andy cause you are so loveable.

Super Spy For Jesus said...

I almost feel guilty entering this very personal conversation. Thank you Brenda, for putting your heart out there. I think when most of us are honest we say our identity is in Christ- but it is in our peripherals. When all else is stripped away and we are only left with Jesus then we start to "get it." I think it is a life long journey.

God makes us parents in a variety of ways. I can only imagine the grieving process that you have gone through knowing that it won't "Happen" the way you thought. We do that with all our dreams. When the Lord challenges if it is his dream or our own.

This is a new twist in the journey. I will be praying that just the right baby comes home with you. On a practical note I know several people that have adopted both in the states and beyond. If you need anyone to talk to let me know.

Love you guys!!!!

Rachel said...

Hi Brenda and good to hear from you and about some of the rawness, thank you for posting.

Even if it doesn't seem possible now, over time, God will use the stripping-away for something better. I know that many people are blessed with a far more authentic, intimate and sometimes unconventional faith than they had before. It may not seem it yet, but it's exciting that God can use our brokenness so much more than our other bits!

And onto adoption, how very exciting! It also gives me a chance to reflect on something that has really struck me through watching Juno / Glee / The L-Word (OK maybe not a complete representation of the US!).

From those, it seems that adoption is completely different over there to over here. Here, there are virtually no babies up for adoption at all. It's usually older kids, and kids with disabilities, whose parents have been deemed by social services as unable to care for them. So, social workers decide (often against the wishes of the birth parents) that a child should be taken into care and put up for adoption.

Meanwhile, potential adopters approach social services and go through a long process of approval, before being put on a list of potential adopters along with who they are authorised to adopt (eg two siblings aged 5-15). Then when a match comes up, all goes ahead with the adoption.

Am I right that this is really different to over there, or am I being over-reliant on films for knowledge?!

Jon Trouten said...

Rachel: There are different processes here in the States for adopting. There are private adoptions and there are public adoptions. It kind of depends on which choices you make and where you live on how quickly the whole adoption process takes. And of course, there are random flukes that make things go much quicker for some compared to others.

My husband and I started out as foster parents and eventually adopted through that system. Our kids were older, but that was just our story. There are babies available for adoption, but there are also lots of pre-adoptive parents looking to adopt babies. So depending on one's flexibility, things can go quicker or not.

I really anxious to follow Brenda and Andrew's process, as much as they feel comfortable sharing of course. :)

sharonie said...

love you friend and love this blog post!