I recently watched a video of a young elephant that was recorded during its playful acts in the ocean. After being completely mesmerized by the calf’s enjoyment in the water, I began researching elephant’s abilities to swim. Much to my surprise, elephants are natural swimmers, even in deep seas. In watching these large, somewhat awkward creatures enter the deep waters and begin swimming, I began to see such grace in their movements. They became extremely natural for such an unexpected ability.

I did not think anything about the fact that the video was brought to my attention a day before Jeff and I had our first adoption home study appointment. As I reflect on our meeting with our home study worker, and my worrying of their concerns about having a physically disabled father as a parent, I can’t help but recognize God’s hand in providing me with a little object lesson of the elephants to bring me peace during an overwhelming time.

In journaling through this experience of a “not so normal life” I could not help but begin to feel somewhat like the elephants swimming. On paper and at first glance, Jeff and I are seen as a possible “red flag” in that we do not fit the “normal” mold of typical parents. We understand the dynamics of parenting in our situation can lend to concerns of whether expectations can be met to be successful parents.

I understand fully the job of the social worker is to look out for the wellness and safety of a potential child placed in our home, and if there are any factors that would inhibit successful parenting. However, there are still moments that are not as easy as others. Especially, when at a first glance you may come across as the elephant on the shore, awkward and not a typical sight to be in the water. Our prayer is that those who are assigned to evaluate our life will see what we look like in the water, and not just on the shore, that they will recognize how graceful we can swim, and how natural we can be. God has equipped us fully to be parents. We realize we are not the typical parents that one expects to see, but that is not to say God didn’t plan for us to succeed. Just like he created those elephants to swim!

Please pray for us in the midst of this process, as we are excited and eager to see what God has in store for us. We are specifically praying for patience and most importantly that our faith in the Lord grow daily as we rely on God’s plan to play out in our lives!
Check out the young elephant playing on the beach

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