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If you haven’t read the three-part story of my journey to motherhood, I suggest you start here.
I dreamed for years of being a mother, and, after we submitted our adoption application, I felt that my dreams were finally becoming a reality. The adoption process felt like a game of hurry up and wait – rushing to fill out and notarize the next stack of paperwork only to wait for a few months until the next step. We did everything we could to expedite our side, flying through home study requirements. Thankfully, the wait from home study completion until a match was short. Once we were matched with our son, I felt a joy that this was really happening, sorrow for the loss that adoption comes from, and anxiety about actually stepping into the role of motherhood.
My husband and I had many projects with which to occupy ourselves, but, eventually, our projects ran out. I had to trust God for our son’s future. Everything was out of our hands.
The Korea program requires two trips – one to meet your child and appear in court. The second is to take custody. I will save the process and the story of meeting our son for another post. Today, I want to talk about how becoming a mom to a toddler rocked my world.
Becoming a Mother
My husband and I fought every day in Korea after taking custody of our son. We felt jet-lagged and clueless. Our son grieved his foster family. I knew that the first few weeks would be survival mode, so I felt that there would be an end.
We survived the trip home and recovered from jet lag. After about two weeks my husband returned to work, leaving me and my son. Alone. All-day.
Before our son joined our family, I crafted grand plans and a schedule of my life as a stay at home mom, but my son was still overwhelmed and grieving. The schedule was replaced by multiple meltdowns each day, understandable for a traumatized toddler. I think I also cried every day for at least two months though. Exhaustion and loneliness set in. I wondered if I was cut out for this supposed dream of mine. I lacked all purpose.
Look to the Cross
During this time, a friend connected me with another adoptive mother. This mother graciously pointed me back to the Gospel during each and every difficult circumstance. If you are a mother, then you know a difficult circumstance can be something like staying up all night with a sick child to potty training to ER visits. It is hard and exhausting, and it is hard to see the Gospel in those moments. Yet, the Gospel changes everything. It changes our thoughts, our attitudes, our words. The Gospel must influence how I parent my grieving son, how I talk to my husband, how I welcome guests into my home.
Through my miscarriage and subsequent infertility, God revealed an idol in my life. Through becoming a mother, God revealed that I have to put Him first in everything or those idols will creep back in. He also showed me that I will lack joy as a mother, struggling to find purpose in my new role, if I do not keep my eyes fixed on Him.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Yes, I am a wife and mother, but my ultimate identity must be placed in Christ. May He always hold my rapt attention.