Today I came across this fascinating discussion over at Jen’s “Conversion Diary,” about a mother of three who was about to adopt a child with special needs . . . and is wondering if she was making a mistake. And if so, what to do now?
When we step out prayerfully, wanting nothing more than to do the right thing, what happens if we make a mis-step? Do we retrace our steps . . . or take the next one, trusting God to bring something good out of our own mistakes?
A dear friend of mine is struggling with this dilemma right now. Adopted child with severe emotional problems, hurting her and his younger siblings. She loves him. But the child outweighs her by 40 pounds, and is intent on hurting everyone and everything in his path . . . how long can this go on?
When I was a kid, I knew a family that had a troubled teen with a drug problem. Ultimately, theygave the child a choice: stop, or leave. He wound up in Teen Challenge, and was positively transformed by the experience.
Every day parents are brought up short with the poor choices of their teenage (and younger) children. The volitional component varies — some choices are “freer” than others, but the consequences remain. And when this happens, to “love” that child is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. To “love” in these cases is to want what is in the child’s best interest. In this case, to get him the help he needs to keep him from destroying himself and others.
This is God’s will: to love the child, for as long as we have him (or her). And to help that child become the best and truest version of himself — the masterpiece of God’s (and not our own) design.