Saturday, March 29, 2008

Obligation or Desire?

Sometimes we do what we are obligated to do and sometimes what we desire to do. Of course, the line is a little fuzzy, especially if you are prone to wanting to do the right thing. I remember having some episodes early on in the process of adopting Anna where I wondered if this was what I really wanted to do or not. A seventh child? So soon after we just adopted? Starting over with a child who was only four? But these episodes were brief because Anna was K.D.’s sister after all and it was clearly the right thing to do. There was an obligation that was unshakable.

One time when I was wondering about adopting Anna, CrazyMom told me a story about how one of her blog friends had a husband who was dragging his feet. Then, after the little girl came into their home, the girl was able to wrap dad around her little finger. It was a cute story, I supposed, but I am a much different type of guy.

Last night I was putting Anna to bed. As I was sitting in her darkened room and rocking her, she rested her sleepy head against my breast. I felt the love for a child sweep over me. At first my mind wandered back over the day that was filled with many smiles as Anna trucked all over the house. Then my mind wandered back to Ethiopia and the orphanage at which Anna was staying. It was a good orphanage, I thought, but how different that nighttime routine must have been than the nighttime routine for our family. It was sobering to think about and made me enjoy the moment with Anna even more. But it also made me grieve a little for the children I saw at Kidane Meheret who would go to bed in a room packed so tight with cribs that they would have to crawl over several in order to get to theirs. Children deserve family nighttime routines, I thought.

Why don’t more people adopt these kids, I wondered. But then I remembered my own reservations about adopting Anna and how it was the obligation I felt that carried me through. Now, with Anna in my arms, those reservations seemed foolish and I could only feel the desire I had for Anna.

And isn’t that how it often is. As we go about doing the things that we ought to be doing, those things become the desires of our hearts. For scripture tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4)


Lisa W. said...

Well said, CrazyD. What a beautiful heart you have. It is hard for us to "know" what we know when we see the devastation. It is hard to return home knowing this. We can't help all of them...just heart-breaking. But writing a post like this one is what we CAN do. It promotes the idea of possibility. I'm so glad you write as a Father so that wives can share posts like this with their husbands who may be on the fence. I know of many blogs where the wife keeps a blog of adoption just because she's "thinking" about it. Thanks for giving them ammunition!!

We can't wait for our 2 referrals of our 2 girls any day now. Actually a secret just between you and I...we're waiting on medical, but we have a referral of a beautiful 2 1/2 year old and her picture has been with me since the referral yesterday morning...I just haven't posted anything yet on my blog.

Oh boy, I'm raving on...


darci said...

Hi just found your blog through a friend of mine. I am sure enjoying reading it. We are a homeschooling family too, of just three (so far! :) and just at the very beginning baby steps of adopting from Ethiopia. Thanks for sharing your story. I've already told my hubby he has to sit and read. :)

Norah said...

Night time is tough with Linhsey, but I always remind myself of what she missed out on while at the orphanage in Vietnam and I hold her a little closer. P.S. We found our daughter in China and she is 7!!! Thanks for the emails : )

Anna said...

Thanks for taking the time to do your blog. I enjoy it a lot!

We have 5 kids (ages 17, 14 & 14 - twin girls, 5 1/2 and 4) and are applying to adopt at least one young girl from Ethiopia - if not two! ALL we hear is how crazy we are!

It's nice to see a family(that isn't crazy despite what you call yourselves!) who will look just like us! : )


Sherry said...

You said that very well D.

Les Riley said...

Great Post ! This is one of our family's most often quoted verses.

God tells us that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart. The great blessing in this could never be our selfish desires, but that the more we delight in Him, the more that knowing Him better becomes the ultimate desire of our heart. And He then gives us more of Himself; which causes us to delight more and a glorious spiral upwards grows.
On another note . . . we are another big, crazy, Christian family. We have 9 birth children & are in the process of adopting (God-willing, the first of many). We have been very encouraged/ blessed by your blog . . . may we link to it ? ( If you will send me an e-mail I will send you our blog URL's so you can decide)

Les Riley
head of another Big Crazy Family

CrazyD said...

Hi Les,

Thanks for the comment. You can feel free to link to my blog.

Hope all goes well with your adoption.