I was so excited for my daughter to move out East for her first year of university. I wasn’t scared because I knew I had prepared her well for the world and she was turning out great. Today I know that many mothers are not okay. First day back to school for many children who have been at home for over a year due to the pandemic. Many kids started the pandemic in grade 11 are now moving out to college or university almost skipping that last year of high school altogether. Parents are panicked but Christians shouldn’t be!
We do not own our children. God gives us children and we are caretakers of them. We are their teachers and protectors for a short period of time until they are more out of our sight than in. I remember someone told me when my first son was born to enjoy the younger years because they grow up so fast. Now that my son is fully grown and has 3 kids of his own I realize those people were right. Just a few short years they are under our roof. The majority of their lives are spent living their own life and parents only get to make some suggestions. So why do some parents hold on so tight? In the Bible the story of Abraham and his son Isaac, has always stood out to me as a parent. That story happened so God could try and show parents for generations to come that we are not the ones in charge of the fates of our children. We need to lay them down and trust that God will care for them because He loves them sooooo much more than we do!
Some of my friends are struggling big time, as their children leave the nest. They don’t want them to leave. They fear for them. They still try to control them even after they move out. At some point, which I think is around 14, you have to realize that the children are making their own choices. They are guided by parents but essentially they are in control of their own bodies and movements and words and deeds. When my children turn 18, I expect them to move out at some point after that and I know that they will be okay. I know this because we work hard to make sure they know how to budget, how to cope with emergencies, how to cook, how to clean up, how to ask for help and how to take care of themselves and others. I also know this because I did it myself! I was 15 when I became a mother. I was 19 when I got married and had my second child at 20. I was a foster parent at 21.
I see this difficulty of trusting God with our children big time in the world of adoption. I am not sure why but adoptive parents seem to hold tighter and feel the need to block out people who love the child already. I’ve seen the fear in allowing a birth parent to know their contact information. I’ve seen the controlling of a child’s information about their heritage. I wonder why it is so much more difficult for adoptive parents to allow former foster families who love their child dearly to continue loving the child after adoption. Many adoptive parents feel threatened by birth families. Yet they allow their own parents to love on the child and other extended family members and friends.
Today our daughter who moved out East is married. She has another mother in her life. I am happy that there is another woman who can love on my daughter. I don’t feel threatened by her I am thankful for her. I am thankful for all the people who have adopted my daughter as part of their family. Her best friend has also adopted my daughter as a sister. Isn’t that love? Isn’t that what family and community should be? We should not feel threatened that our children are being blessed or loved by others. We should be helping seek out those who want to! Goodness knows as adults we all feel alone at times. If we as parents, set up a huge community of people who will always love our children, how amazing those children will grow up to be.
It’s time for us parents to start realizing that we cannot control the world. We can’t protect them from everything. They will die someday and hopefully that day isn’t too soon but if it is, then we must be able to say that we gave our children as much love as we could for as long as they were on this earth. When I get to heaven I don’t want to hear God say, “I tried to bless your child by putting a birth mother, a Grandma and an aunt and a former foster parent who wants to love on that child but you prevented it.” I want to hear that we did a good job taking care of the children God put in our lives for however long they were with us.
We have 3 adopted children ages 21, 15, and 3. We have closed adoptions from the courts for all 3 and have kept all 3 open on our own.