“What If”

Through this foreign experience of adoption, are the “what if” questions that are commonly posed by individuals inquiring about the process: “What if the child’s mom used alcohol while she was pregnant and your child has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?” “What if the mom used drugs while pregnant?” “Can you say no to a child if they have disabilities or ‘baggage’?” “Can they tell you if the child will have any delays before you have to say ‘yes’?” …

I just returned from spending a week in the mountains with nearly 40 elementary campers. Through my personal camp experience God really showed me something. I was with children who were born healthy, intelligent kids and who were blessed with caring parents. Somehow between their birth and now, a handful of them have unfortunately undergone serious upset to their living environment/family dynamics. A large handful of these kids have struggled to overcome their parent’s divorce, many being placed as victims in the middle of their parent’s strife. Some of these kids living in a scary, unexplainable, situation of having an ill parent, and sadly children, ill as a result of trauma.

This need to control our lives and try to identify the “what ifs” before we are even handed them, can get a bit ridiculous and out of hand, as we quickly loose sight of the “now.” These same parents that once had healthy relationships and birthed healthy children, never thought they were going to face such difficulties. We never know what tomorrow holds. There is a plan for each of us on this earth and our trying to step in and control that plan only complicates things. Currently, Jeff and I are trying to remain positive as we prepare for our future little one that will hopefully be joining our family in the near future. Of course it would be extremely helpful to know what exactly we are going to face, rarely are we ever given such helpful information in advance. I think this is God’s intention.

We cannot control what “type” of child God places in our home whether that is a biologically child or adoptive child. The “what if” questions are only scary and anxiety provoking, if one chooses to dwell on them, because they feel so out of our control. However, what God really showed me during my mountain top experience is that I cannot control what God wants for me, and my family, but what I can control is my relationship with Him. I do know when God hands you something, he will tell you what to do with it, all you have to do is listen and stay out of his way! The rest is up to him.

Sarah Dykema kayaking at Forest Home Camp in Southern California