It’s a verse I overlook if everything is going great. But on a day that I feel like a failure I take notice. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says,
But he (Jesus) said to me,’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Who wants to boast about their weaknesses? I started this blog hesitantly over 5 years ago because I was entering a very helpless and unknown and downright scary journey. Adoption was never on my radar. I hate putting this in print but I didn’t want any more kids. That’s just the point. I. Me. My plan. That’s my weakness. Selfishness. Can you relate? As a mom, you give so much. When I gave birth to two kids when I basically wanted to, it was fine. My timing, my agenda. When you give your life to God you gain so much more and I grew up knowing it, saying it and memorizing it. Now was the time to live it.
April 12, 2013 was the day Scott, Blaire and I sat in a small, stuffy court room that looked more like a classroom. There were maybe 20 people in the room with agents and lawyers and the female judge sat at a desk at the front of the room. We weren’t called first but when our name was announced we moved to the first row in front of the judge. She wasn’t especially warm. I tried to listen and concentrate on every word she said but I have to admit my mind wandered to all the time it took to get to this very moment. I couldn’t let emotion take over. I had to focus on her words and concentrate. She was concerned about how we would continue to teach our child about her heritage. Again, feelings of weakness, or in this case, inadequacy rushed over me. We told her other families in our church and community have adopted. We jumped through so many hoops to get to this point. We didn’t know how this whole life change would play out. She said some more things and Scott spoke mostly. She congratulated us and we were officially parents of a three year old. The following two weeks played out with me staying in Ethiopia with my new daughter and staying in a very dear friend’s house with her family. I had a cold and was homesick and all the while trying to basically get my new daughter to like me. ‘My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Zoe remembers a lot. She remembers eating certain things in Ethiopia. She remembers games and we show her pictures to remember. I sure hope she doesn’t remember how scared I was. How weak and helpless I felt. I hope she didn’t sense the uncertainty I felt bringing her home to our family and friends.
I recently read a great quote by Jess Connolly in her book called Dance Stand Run. ‘Abundance is on the opposite side of obedience’. Read that again. Now who doesn’t want abundance? In following the call to adopt my amazing daughter Zoe we received abundantly. My biological kids will say the same thing. My family will attest to knowing Zoe is seeing God in action. Is she perfect? No, not at all. Today marks her 5th gotcha day and every year I remember a different aspect of God’s perfect story He had for us.
I’m always amazed at how God protected Zoe. You know when your mom instincts kick in? Well, I would wake up in the middle of the night scared for her. The sweating, shaking, waking up your husband, kind of scared. The whole process was put on hold. Our first court date, that came unusually quick, got postponed and we were back in the waiting game. So, seeing updates and pictures of how our daughter was progressing on the computer every month from our agent wasn’t satisfying this mama bear. I knew she was in God’s hands but I didn’t know how she was treated day to day. I would pray when she cried that the nannies would take favor over the others and really care for her. Is that wrong? That was my heart.
The weakness reared it’s ugly head again when Zoe joined our every waking hour back in Michigan. I figured I had been a mom before so I had skills. I found myself in a bit of a depression the first summer with a little girl who was so sweet but defied my every command. I coveted my free time. I coveted my morning coffee and reading time. I didn’t want to watch Mickey Mouse playhouse again and sing kid songs. Ok, I lie. I do like the kid cd’s but it was all a big adjustment for me. My daughter is inquisitive, and cheery in the morning. She likes to be in every conversation and always wants to join in family hugs. She makes us laugh and has quite honestly, given me purpose in my life again. Yes, I have weaknesses but I rejoice that I’m not struggling through my days but relying on the power of Jesus Christ. That’s the strength we have to love others. Even a child that was birthed by another wonderful human being. I have to mention that in my daughter’s birth mom’s weakness, she found strength to allow her baby to have life to the full. Thank God for adoption. Thank God for Gotcha Day and Thank God for Zoe Ayame Clode.