We have been so blessed by you all in the way that you have showered us with notes, stopped us at church to say that you're praying, sent us financial support and encouraged us in this process. Please know that you are playing an important role in this process and we will not meet our son without your prayers and support. Thank you."Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots." Frank A. Clark
This week, however, we also received our first negative feedback to our announced plans to adopt. A family member sent us a letter pointing out her disappointment in our decision and made it clear that she did not agree with our goals. While I thought that I had originally prepared my heart for some negative reactions or well-meaning concerns, I must say I was still crushed. My heart has been heavy and I have said several prayers to help keep anger at bay. I cried at the fact that I had not been as able to portray what we feel is a God-guided dream in the right light through the letter that went out to her. I had hoped and prayed that I had been able to show that we agree with the needs in the US and in being considerate of diversity. We are still foster parents. In fact, as I write this post there is a precious, tiny 3 week old curled up next to me that was dropped off to us just yesterday. Our hearts are still strong for the hurt and needy in our community. However, our hearts also have a longing for the bigger calling of Christ. To go forth into all the nations. To help widows and orphans. To allow God to "set the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:6.
We know that what we have set out to do will not be met with 100% positive feedback. I had a rude reminder of that this week. Do I think it was out of line and inappropriate? Yes. Will it change our prayers and plans. Of course not. If anything, it reinforced how grateful we are for the hundreds of positive reactions we have had to our news. I wish there was a better way to say thank you. I want a way to show you how you hold me up when I am buried in paperwork or I start to let the fear of the financial burden overwhelm me. Your notes, e-mails, offerings, etc are being kept and recorded so that someday, when our son is ready to hear how he was loved before we even knew him, we can show him your kindness and faithfulness.
As for the critic -- she is the same woman who patted my tummy a day after giving birth to Taryn and asked if there was another one in there. (I just felt all my mommy friends' jaws drop.) So clearly her filter for appropriate behavior is set unbelievably low and will be quickly dismissed. : ) The critics were there in the Bible, trying to slow the work of Jesus, and they are here in 2011 with the same plans in mind. Thankfully Jesus overcame the opposition and we are certain that we will as well.
Oh, and moments after reading the discouraging letter I opened a sweet card with a very generous donation from a friend. God is good. : )