From time to time, people we meet who learn of our family composition will share sweet words about their feelings for what we're doing. It's hard to know how to take compliments and I often just deflect them by saying how thankful we are that God has called us to adoption. It's true. We are.
The comment that makes me smile most is "you sure are a giving person".
"No, not really", I think.
It's a sweet sentiment but our pursuit of adoption was 90% selfish and 10% altruistic for me. But it was also 100% obedience to what we know Jesus has asked.
I am a greedy, jealous Mama. I love to be adored by my kids. I am greedy for their affection. I have to be #1 in their hearts (besides Jesus) and I am the LAST person who is looking for a mentor, "big brother/sister" or stand in Grandma for my kids. Sure, it's great if they forge a friendship with their youth leaders or think their friends' parents are "cool" but the buck stops there.
These kids are ALL MINE (well, and their Dad's but still . . .).
I think I am the mother version of a possessive girlfriend - a little stalkerish but for reasons I feel are justified. These kids are funny, smart and beautiful. Certainly someone out there must be out to steal their hearts from me . . . right?
I don't know why I am like this or where this ferocity comes from but it has NOT diminished as my children grow older. It might be a little worse. I see members of the opposite gender being flirty with my older kids or eyeballing them in public and while I'm sure this behavior is perfectly normal, it makes me want to yank the "starer" up by the shirt collar and say "may I help you?" about two inches from his/her face (and I won't have an altoid, either)!
I know these kids will marry someday and I may not be invited on the honeymoon. I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.
But for now, I'm just going to revel in having all of these terrific people under my roof where we can have lots of dinners together, play cards, watch movies, travel and enjoy each other for a little longer.
I love the time spent with my prodigy. There has been hard work invested in their characters and training and as they get older, we see the hard work coming to fruition. They are amazing! Despite our missteps and the things we could have done better, they are superb individuals! That's Jesus . . .Faithful God going before us.
I am not giving. I'm greedy.
But isn't HE jealous for us? Doesn't HE look at our hearts and say "back away, you idols, that's MY daughter and her heart belongs to ME"?
In Exodus 20:5, God tells the Israelites:
"You shall not bow down to idols or serve them for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God . . ."
In Ezekiel 5 (a harsh chapter, I must say) God again tells His people that He is jealous for their affections.
I know my "jealousy" for the hearts of my children is not the perfect, sinless jealousy that God feels for us. The parallel falls short where my sinful nature starts - immediately.
But when I think of the shoddy, imperfect love I have for these kids HE has entrusted to me, I am humbled that His perfect, never-giving-up, always-forgiving, heart-pursuing love is so much more.
And He has the rights. He paid a high price for me. He owns me. I am His.
Let me never follow after lesser things, Father.
Thank You for being so jealous. You confound me, Father . . .