Adoption covers a multitude of sin. Forgiveness of the redeeming nature rarely lends itself to comfort or ease. Not all the points following surround every adoption in existence, but I can guarantee that every adoptive parent wrestles with forgiveness to some degree. My personal observations:
- I forgive the birth parents who allowed this child of mine to live in the conditions she did for the length of time she did.
- I forgive the officials who probably traumatized her during her ‘rescue’.
- I forgive society for the fact that such realities as my daughter has lived through exist.
- I forgive the social services agency, the courts, the judges and all other government entities who I am sure are doing their darnedest but whose darnedest is painfully not nearly enough.
- I forgive the orphanage workers who made my daughter comfortable in an institution. Oddly enough these same people receive my utmost gratitude and admiration for their work of mercy.
- I forgive the strangers who stare and say unthinking things.
- I forgive the acquaintances who stare and say unthinking things.
- I forgive dear ones who intend no harm but might every so often do or say things that I perceive as hurtful either because I didn’t take the time to hear their heart or I am just a bit worn out from processing things that I am short tempered, which is no excuse it just is what it is and it makes it hard.
- I forgive my biological children for remarks and actions taken as they process having a new sibling.
- I forgive my husband for apparently being better at connecting with this tiny person who did not gestate in his body. Of course he had practice with it four times over and this is my first time around. Still I thought it would be easier for me and I see it as ‘easy’ for him and I have to just get over it.
- I forgive my adopted daughter time and again… as is the case with all of my children.
- I forgive myself for so many things like: lack of patience, lack of love, lack of preparation, prayerlessness, selfishness, jumping to conclusions, just plain laziness, unrealistic expectations, etc.
These paths of forgiveness have ruts worn down as I revisit them almost daily, and I am sure that my journey of forgiveness has only just begun.
In continuing with the theme of disclosure I will say that at times I stand and stare at these hard paths contemplating if I want to walk the road of forgiveness. There are times I choose to turn my back on what could be the sorrowful path to a freer heart. Yes, there are time I make the conscious choice to not forgive. These are dark moments. When the forks of avoidance turn me back round again in a depressing loop to the same point I stand staring once again at the choice to forgive.
Then, labored steps move me beyond the tough spot in the route of forgiveness. With each painful, conscious decision to forgive I am sweetly reminded of the passage as though Jesus were speaking directly to me:
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:46-48)
To love much I remember what great forgiveness has been shown to me.
Today, may we choose great forgiveness.