And while this is true for all parenting, there are aspects of adoptive parenting that are more difficult than parenting birth children. Dealing with all the grief that comes with the losses in adoption can be really, really tough. For everyone. It's one of those things that you can think you are prepared for intellectually, but until you have actually lived through it, you don't really have a clue.
I can say that I know my child will have to deal with losses in his life. That it will be rough for him to have to come to terms with the fact he was left in an orphanage and moved through two different foster families until landing half-way around the world with people he might not have chosen to be his parents if he had been consulted. But saying that and actually knowing what it looks like to walk with a child through that process are two very, very different things. And I'll just tell you, it stinks. No child should have to deal with this. No child should have to deal with such ugliness that affects his very core.
I am also surprised by my feelings. I am angry. I love my son and am angry at anyone who hurt him, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I am angry that I couldn't be there to protect him.
Don't get me wrong. I am still an adoption advocate, but in a perfect world adoption wouldn't exist. Every child would be able to stay with his family of origin. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world infected by evil. Adoption is a way to redeem an ugly situation. (I am not naive though. There are more than a few instances of people using adoption for evil purposes, monetary gain included. Please do your research!)
Adoption is not a man-made idea, it is a creation of God to be used for redemption. Christ redeemed us from an ugly situation and God adopted us into his family. But while we know this, we often don't believe it. How often do we listen to the lies being whispered inside our heads? The lies that say no one could love us... that we have no worth... that we will never be good enough... that God doesn't really want what is best for us... that God is just out to get us, otherwise He would give us anything we want. The lies that say if we were just in a different situation... or if we had a little more money... or if we were more popular... or better looking.... or if we had been raised in a different place, home, way... then, our life would be better. How often do we believe these lies instead of the truth?
This is what I have to remember as I listen to my son spew out his pain and hurt at me. That this is often what I do with God. Does God give up on me or punish me for what I am feeling? No. And so I am comforted and take His cue in dealing with my hurting child. This is not the end, it is the beginning. Because if these things are no longer hidden, they lose their power. We can speak the truth to our son and tell him he is valuable and loved and cherished. That we love him. Always. And that God loves him even more.
We have no need to fear.