Sunday, September 30, 2012

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Over the past week we have truly experienced love amidst chaos. We've gone through scheduled tooth pulling for Keira on Monday, a torn calf muscle from a bounce house for Christopher-Ryan which required a doctor visit on Monday and then Thursday. Kathie had multiple interruptions in her busy schedule between phone calls and running the kids to their appointments. Sophie got stuffy and fussy fighting off a cold. Alex, who never gets sick, was feeling pretty punk for the last half of the week. David has worked on minor DIY projects. On top of all of that, throw in the normal ins-and-outs of kids and discipline. Always lots of love - sometimes lots of chaos!

In regard to the adoption, this week we sent off our Home Study autobiographies* and questionnaires* to FTIA and heard back from them that our caseworker should be contacting us to schedule the first visit. We then started work on our parent training** that is required for all China adoptions. CCAI has a wonderful program for education and it has both educated us and challenged our thinking.

Obviously we've had lots to keep us busy and lots to think about. We are antsy to get everything done and find our daughter, and at those times we feel like nothing can stop us. However, there are many times that we are flat out scared. Here's just a small list:

  1. The home study-will everything go ok?
  2. Where will the money for adoption service/legal fees come from?
  3. Will we get our dossier done with everything needed?
  4. Will China accept our dossier?
  5. Leaving the kids behind when we travel to China.
  6. Will this whole thing take forever?
  7. Will our new daughter like us?
  8. How will we ever get through this whole thing?!

These fears and others hit us at random moments. Fear isn't anything new; we all experience it in our lives. So what is the solution, how can we not be crushed by all of this? The answer simply is love. It is amazing how love can change a human heart. I John 4:18a: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear...”

When we see the pictures of the waiting children in China, the love we have makes all of the fears melt away. There is no hoop we won't jump through, no question we won't answer, nothing that we won't give to get our daughter. This perfect love comes from within us and we know it has been placed there by God. It is so much bigger than ourselves. It has moved us out of our comfort zones, shifted our priorities, and opened our hearts.

Through the chaos of big family life, we've been blessed this week by others who have shown us love and support. Their kind words and deeds have meant so much to us. We've continued to be stretched in our lives in a way that helps us grow. We are amazed at God's capacity to love us and show us how we should love others.

*The autobiographies are completed by mom and dad and help the social worker as the home study documentation is prepared. It is a short paper on your life history, major family and life events, where you've lived, worked, schooled, etc. It also addresses your decision to adopt. Ours were between 5-6 pages. The questionnaires again are completed individually by mom and dad. Questions such as: Describe yourself, spouse, and children physically and their personalities, describe decision to adopt and anticipated challenges, and several others. There were 26 questions to be answered, most of them in great detail!

**China complies with the Hague adoption mandates. We are required to receive education to prepare us for adoption. Topics include: Overview of the process, Grief and Loss, Talking to your child about adoption, Chinese culture and history, Attachment, Assisting in your child's development, and being a multicultural family.

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