Ones Chosen for Us

18 11 2013

When Cathy and I married 40 years ago, she knew right from the start she wanted some day to have children.  Myself, I wasn’t as Imagesure as her, but we both figured I’d come around.  (I’m certainly glad I did!)  Of course, we wanted some time first just for her and me to draw closer before having kids, we just didn’t expect it to be as long as it was; six years.  Around our 3rd year together we started trying for children but to no avail.  Then began visits to doctors for both of us to see if there was a problem, but never got really a conclusion to what might be the problem.  We began to think that maybe we weren’t meant to have children, at least not natural, so the discussion turned to adoption.  After all, Cathy was adopted and had a great relationship with her parents so we figured that’s the direction the Lord wanted us to go.  That decision nearly shattered all our dreams and desires to have children, not to mention our spiritual lives.

There were many places to choose from that adopted out homeless children which included both state to private organizations. We opted for one that came recommended to us; a “Christian” children’s home over in the next state.  We were excited to work with an outfit like this and couldn’t wait to get started.  I sensed a little bit of a problem the moment we stepped in by the way people were looking at me.  I had my typical dress garb on, for me at least; boots, jeans, black shirt under a dress jacket, and perhaps my hair was a little on the long side. (Strike one!)  Entering a large office with a rather conservative looking gentleman sitting behind a desk, we began a rather cold interview where we were asked many pointed questions about our lives, all to which we answered truthfully.  After the initial interview (which felt more like an interrogation), we were assigned a case worker who would come to our home and do more investigating over the course of several months.  Our home was a modest trailer at that time, but it was clean and more than room for a family of three, besides, it wasn’t going to be our permanent residence.  The home studies and interviews went on with our case worker making several visits and always with a slight coldness the same way we felt when we first went to their office.  There were many questions about our past, present, family, parents, relationship to each other, and of course our relationship to the Lord.  One question that came often was our financial situation which only made sense to me thinking they wanted to be sure we could afford to have a child.  There was always that hidden fear that we would be rejected but they told us from the start, “If we choose not to place a child with you know well in advance of the last home study.”  Every time we would get notification in the mail of when the next visit would be our hearts jumped with excitement believing we would soon be adding to our family.  Also during this time we started getting a lot of mailers from the children’s home and the church they were affiliated with seeking donations for this program and the work they were involved with.  Since we supported our own church and money was tight, we chose not to contribute thinking if the subject ever came up we could give them our reasons and they would understand. (Strike Two!)

The day finally came; we were notified that our case worker would be coming for the “last” home visit!  We made it!  Excitement filled our lives and we even told a few people that we would probably have our baby soon.  Our frequent visitor showed on the appointed day to be greeted by a very happy young couple, at least for the moment. Another hour of questions filled the room, and then a long pause of silence, before he uttered the words, “Well, I suppose you’re waiting for an answer from me, right?”  Our faces went somber and I could hear the words be shouted; (Strike Three, you’re out of here!)  “We have decided after long consideration and prayer that you are not the type of couple we feel we can place a child with.”  “Why not,” was my question.  “We have ascertained that your spiritual life is not what we feel it should be.”  Well, howdy!  What do you say after a comment like that?  I know what I wanted to say, but all that came out was, “What about the promise that if we didn’t make it we’d be told well in advance of this last meeting?”  A moment of silence and then, “I’m sorry, goodbye,” and he was out of the chair and headed out to his car.  There was a long time that neither Cathy or I spoke, just a lot of hugging and tears.  Hurt, sad, confused and yes, angry, we had all that. We didn’t even know what we were supposed to do next.  The man said our spiritual lives were not what they should be.  What the heck does that mean?!!  If they thought my spiritual life was lacking now they should have seen me years back!  But for that matter I think I did everything possible to live up to their assessment for the next 6 months.  I quit going to church, and when I did Cathy did.  I also didn’t want anything to do with folks that called themselves Christians, I was mad at them as well as the people from the children’s home, and I was really mad at God!!  “God, how could you let this happen?!!! We trusted you and believed we were doing what you wanted us to do, and you let us down!!!

Okay, I’m going to shift gears on you, and if you find anything to take from this story make it these next few sentences.

It would be very easy to live with animosity for the way we were treated, whether the assessment was true or other wise.  But if I held to that anger, then I would be putting a stamp of approval on what they said.  If I am to call myself a Believer, then I need to show that I am in my actions over my words.  The Bible is clear on how important it is to rid yourself of malice toward anyone. (Ephesians 4:31,32 and Matthew 6:14,15.)  It’s also not healthy; holding on to rage in one’s life has the same effect as a person who’s just been told he has a spot of cancer on a lung, and he instantly goes out and starts smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day. Healing cannot take place if you feed the disease!

Do I feel we were wronged?  Quite frankly, yes; but what is to be gained by allowing that to permeate my life?  Nothing!  I’ve seen too often people who have been handicapped in life because of some wrong done them, and they just can’t shake it, or forgive. Trust me dear ones, holding on to wrongs is like venom in your system that slowly robs life from you.  That is not what we are put here for, especially the ones of us who call ourselves Christians.  “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

I know, I know, I’ve said a lot (again!) to get to my main point which is do not let anything rob you of the joy God wants for you in Christ Jesus.  Things will always happen to all of us and some can be earth shattering for a time.  But that doesn’t mean God has abandoned you, He’s still there and His love is just as strong (Romans 8:38,39).

Going back to our friends at the children’s home and the remark of something lacking in our spiritual lives; well there probably was seeing how young we were at the time.  It would have been nice to know what they were talking about though, then maybe we could have corrected it and held that baby in our arms that we so desperately wanted.  But then again, maybe God had better ideas, like what I touched today, forgiving and not letting bitterness rule your life.  Trust me, it’s made all the difference in the world for this man who now prays for a certain organization the God might bless them.

One last thought is the one that says sometimes God has a better idea in store, so let this sadness pass, for there’s something better in store.  We couldn’t see it then, but three kids, two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, five grandchildren later, plus a slew of others that call my Lady and I Grandma and Grandpa; well I think we can see His plan pretty clearly now.  Maybe there was something lacking in us “spiritually,” but I believe God saw something more than in us than anyone else could, I’m glad for that because at one time I didn’t see anything worth going on for; and now all we see are blessings from the One who knows our hearts best!  Nuff said, thanks for reading!!


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