Sunday, November 11, 2012

Transition in Thinking

For the past three weeks, we have been working to complete some of the education credits required as part of our home study. These online trainings have been very helpful and beneficial, but I must admit, they have also been a bit overwhelming. One training was through the National Council for Adoption over Inter-Country Adoption and the other was through the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

This fall I have also been taking a class on Sunday nights at church taught by our pastor, Josh Black, called Biblical Theology and Interpretation. Josh uses a phrase often, "ratcheting up", in reference to how a theme is threaded and developed throughout the redemptive history of the Bible and ultimately culminates in Christ.

I feel as though these trainings have been ratcheting up the reality of adoption REALLY building our family. Listening to the realities children in orphanages experience now hits closer to home knowing our child will face some, if not all, of these realities. Building attachment and trust will be more important than following other traditional parenting tips such as letting the child "cry it out". Our child, regardless of age when we bring them home, will need to be held and rocked. Who knew that this motherly instinct to hold and rock a baby actually helps children develop and grow?

The Johnson & Johnson company ran the commercials saying "having a baby changes everything." Even though we have not biologically had a child yet nor have we brought home our adopted child yet, but the expectation and anticipation for the time we will be parents has already begun to change everything.

If you walked in our house, you would not see any physical changes (we have not bought a crib or painted a baby room yet). If you observed our daily routines, we have not made any significant changes in how we spend our time.

So what has changed?  I no longer think of myself as just a wife. I am beginning to find myself thinking more like a mom. I can't quite pinpoint exactly what that even means yet, but I know there has been a shift, subtle as it may be. I see Philip as a dad and envision the things he will do with our child and say to our child. My decisions, small or large, now take into account that there will be a child joining our family.

I am realizing that we don't just become parents when we arrive home with our child. We have become parents in our decision to go down this adoption road. God didn't become our heavenly Father the day our hearts turn to him in salvation through Christ. He has ALWAYS been our Father as he initiated our adoption as sons into his family and gave us our eternal inheritance. We did not choose him, but he chose us before the foundation of the earth.