No man’s land.
We’ve been there.
It took me by surprise the first time it happened.
I got the call that the birth mother had relinquished her parental rights.
Then, I got the paperwork and cried some more.
Our child was a “ward of the state.”
With no one.
As hard as foster parenting is, somehow knowing that birth parents were still in the picture was better than no man’s land.
That day, I was overwhelmed with sadness for what this mother had done.
What she had given up.
For her child. For my child. For our child. Hers and Mine.
Everyone told me I would be “happy” because the child was now free for adoption.
On the outside, I was, of course.
Moving forward is good. Being a foster child is not good.
But there is no gain without some loss.
I remember introducing her (still quite young) and people telling her how lucky she was to be adopted into our family.
You wouldn’t have seen it, but I did.
The shadow of confusion that went across her face, a split second.
Yes, of course, she was happy. But, she was filled with sorrow, too.
Because gaining a new life means loosing the old one, even if it isn’t so good.
That’s how I am feeling about Joshua today.
I am sad that he has to give up EVERYTHING to be part of our family.
The onus is on him to change.
He has to learn our language. (We have Chinese word charts on the wall.)
He has to eat our food. (We like Chinese food but it’s not the same.)
He has to adapt. (We only have to make another place at the table.)
He will have a family. (Not an institution.)
He will have the best medical care available. (Not limited by status.)
He will know the Savior. (And have eternal life if he chooses to embrace the Hope.)
There is no gain without some loss.
Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life so that we might have ours.
Jennifer Peterson is wife to one faithful man and mom of 9. After the first three came along, they became foster parents and adopted 5 kids including 2 sets of siblings. Jennifer and her husband Bob are currently in China to adopt an 8-year-old boy with a heart condition who has been waiting a long time for his forever family. Join the journey here as they ponder how and where God will stretch them next.