John - What Will They Think?

I learned something today. The hard way of course. When adopting a child that has been loved by and is attached to a foster parent or relative you need to be prepared for some things. You’d be about as prepared as you would if a dear loved one died. No warning and even if there was a warning there is still deep mourning. If you were staying in a hotel room with people in rooms on all sides above and below you and your adopted child was screaming at the top of his lungs for hours would you feel bad for your hotel neighbors around you? Would you feel like someone is going to call the police because the child is yelling I want my mommy and daddy? Would you feel nervous if people stared at you with disapproving looks when your child cries for his foster parents through a 15 hour flight that people paid $2000 for tickets to? The child is not crying for the heck of it. To him its like losing a parent to death.

Last night when I was trying to comfort Jace and help him go to sleep I was thinking about Isaiah 61: He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To comfort all that mourn; To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; To comfort all who mourn.

That is quite a tall order. It is very difficult to comfort someone if you don’t empathize with them and basically hurt for them, feel the depth of their anguish. Last night I did feel Jace’s anguish. I’m not saying I’m changed forever. Not yet at least but it occurred to me that God works in our lives through brokenness and I was truly broken as I lamented for him in prayer to the Lord. Just because we pray for their healing does not mean it comes right away. It’s a process for Jace, his memory of his foster parents are fresh in his mind. He definitely cannot turn off the memories and love for them.

All this to say, Jeri helped me realize that needs of my children (here in Taiwan and at home) should be infinitely more important than the stares of strangers and their approval or lack of it. I’m sure I will get to the the point where those become rhema words to my heart and mind. I’m a work in progress. The learning is exhausting but Jesus never said it would be easy. He’ll be there through it all.


Scott, Kelly and Sydney said...

Wow. John you are a great man. You are all going through a journey and not an easy one. I have of course been following your blog and I as I read I feel a smile come as I read some of your funny stuff and my heart tighten with your sadness.
Maybe it's good that he is grieving, know that it will end and he will feel joy again.

The Starkeys

Jennifer said...

That's a wonderful post, John...

Wei Long's Mom said...

Dear Jeri and John,

Weilong still cries sometimes for his beloved Baba. Not very often anymore, but it is still heart wrenching. Time will help in the long run, but your loving arms and understanding hearts will help now.

BTW, yeye (pronounced yaya) means grandfather in Mandarin. Probably the same to your boys.