This is one of those comments that adoptive mothers (especially of more than one child) hear fairly regularly. I know it is meant as a compliment and I take it as one, but it's really not true. In fact, I would venture to say that most adoptive mothers who are raising children from hard places feel less amazing than at any other time in their lives. We live with ourselves and we know the truth.
You see, I'm not amazing. Really I'm not. I am just as human as any one else and just because I have many children at home, some of them a little tricky to manage, does not make me less sinful. If it does anything, it heightens my awareness of just how often I fail in a day. I lose my patience and yell at my children. I react when I shouldn't. I behave selfishly. I can be lazy... very lazy. I can be jealous and resentful, such as walking by a restaurant and wishing it were simply a matter of hiring a sitter so that J. and I could go out once in a while. I sometimes feel quite sorry for myself. I harbor fantasies of living in a small, tidy house with just me and J. where nothing gets broken or lost. I'm just like anybody else.
I try to explain this to people. I try to explain that I am just like them, but people tend to not believe me because I'm still doing what, to them, seems like an unimaginable task. And here is where I want to be very clear. So clear that if you take nothing else away from this post, you remember this.
I am not amazing, but God is.
When people tell me I am amazing, I feel uncomfortable for two reasons. The first is I know it is not true. (I do live with myself, after all. Really, not amazing.) The second is this person has completely missed the real amazingness... that God reaches down to help me do what seems to be impossible. Frankly, sometimes I am amazed at what we've gone through and survived. Some days I wonder how I am going to get through to the end and am amazed when I do. That's not because I did anything remarkable; often I had a hand in the making of the rotten day. We all survived because God was there with us in the midst of the yuckiness.
Pretty much my sole contribution to how life is playing out is that I said yes to God. It's when we say yes that we open a door to letting God come in and stir things up. Stirring things up is how God gets our attention; how He gets us to stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on Him; how He slowly changes us into His likeness. It is a sometimes painful and unpleasant process and we shouldn't be surprised at that. After all, Jesus does use terms such as pruning and refining to describe what needs to take place.
I am convinced that God calls many more people to adopt than actually say yes. I can't say I blame them. It can be hard and painful. It can turn your life upside down. It can make you long for easier days and wonder if you did the right thing. It is very, very costly on many levels. Yet when your life is comfortable and easy, you don't need God to do amazing things for you. When you feel under control, you don't need God to take control. When you think you are fine just the way you are, you don't ask for Jesus to transform you into something better.
And you want to know what the most amazing thing is? I personally know the cost of adoption. The difficulty of loving a child who is wounded and angry and sometimes terribly unlovable. I know how imperfectly I show this love. Yet this is what God has done for me. He has taken me, wounded, imperfect, unlovable, and not amazing and loved me anyway with a love that knows no bounds. He sees what I can become through all of the ugliness and selfishness and helps me to become that person. And He does it perfectly. That is amazing.