It’s OK to Strive and Fall Short
I pictured myself as a mix of Mary Poppins and Carol Brady. We were welcoming in two new kids (ages five and two years old), and I was going to show them what having a loving mom and being part of a family was all about. I’d been a good mom to my other four kids (ages 2–23 years old) … better than average, I’d say.
At our adoption classes the trainers gave numerous warnings about the multiple issues these types of children come with, but I was certain I could spread love and, like butter on warm bread, the problems would melt away.
Alright, I wasn’t that naïve, but close. And within 24 hours, I questioned why I thought I could be a good mom to children who’d faced multiple neglects and abuses and then were sent from home to home in search of a forever family. Tantrums erupted over minor, minor issues and lasted longer than my patience. The littlest child spilled milk (gallons), laundry detergent (big warehouse size), and paint (mustard yellow on white carpet).
I didn’t make dinner for more than a month because all my energy had to be focused on two new small people. The house crumbled around me if I even dared to scramble eggs. And then there was the sweet toddler who seemed as confused by the actions of the other two as I was. It took everything within me not to make her my favorite. After all, she listened and obeyed, and we already had a bond.
This is just a glimpse into our first month of adopting from the foster care system, and my vision of offering a spoonful of sugar and willing everyone to get along with my 1970s smile fell flat. I was overwhelmed, often angry, and tired. I did my best in my new role and fell painfully short.
Doesn’t that happen often in life? We feel called by God and step out with visions of success. If God asks us to do something (not audibly, but deep in our hearts), then everything should work out great, right?
No. Not always.