Today the kids and I were checking out books from the library (after digging our van out from under large amounts of snow and ice). As we turned to leave, a woman behind us also checking out books literally scoffed at me and said, "Boy you've got your hands full." Now I've heard this (millions of times) before, but the scoff and hostility were new. I think the unspoken words were, "How could you be such an idiot--you're really in for it."
So I just kept walking, pasted a smile on my face and called over my shoulder, "Actually, they're blessings and a lot of fun." Really, what do you say? I wanted to ask her why it mattered and why she was so worked up about it, but of course I didn't. (I bought the paint, people. This is who I am.)
Apart from the invasion of privacy/distaste for strangers scoffing at me, I think what really bothers me about this is the fact that my little boys had no family to take care of them...no home...no real future. It's sad but true. If all of us adoptive parents had said, you know what, our lives will be too
so let's NOT adopt, my goodness, where would these children be?! Where would we be? Who would be caring for the orphans? Most adoptive parents are not independently wealthy or otherwise childless. Most are busy, many have larger-than-average families, many (if not most) are single-income households. They're just regular people who love children and on some level care about "the least of these" that Jesus talks about.
And so when someone is visibly upset by me having my hands full, I want to sit them down...tell them about Ethiopia...what I saw...what my sons lost...why I and so many others don't count the cost that way. I want to say that Yosef and Biniam are worth it. You might not know it, but God knows it. And I know it, because I'm their mom. I wonder if the woman today knows that she is of inestimable value to Jesus.
Maybe, maybe someday I'll actually have the guts to initiate a conversation about Jesus' plan for my life, and His love for the world, right on the spot with a stranger. But for now, I say a few words and thank the Lord that by His grace I am living a life more exciting/challenging/fulfilling than I could ever have imagined. And I thank Him that He has given me four precious children to love. A huge responsibility, yes. But it is extraordinary. And I want people to know.