I have to do a follow up blog post to my last because God has been moving in big ways, and I have to confess my lack of trust. And to address a huge things a lot of adoptees struggle with: control.
The day after I posted my last blog https://mercyandhealing.wordpress.com/2021/08/02/feeling-lost/ my husband and I logged into his online portal and bam! There were the words we had waited MONTHS for: “Request Approved.” His GI Bill, that I need in order to attend school in one short month, was finally transferred over, just like that. We are waiting for the last few details to come together (VA has to look over everything and give the final approval) but we are over the biggest hurdle.
But it doesn’t stop there: my husband has been applying for jobs in a specific field for over a year, and has had countless interviews, just to be told “thanks but no thanks” time and time again. His military experience doesn’t count for nearly as much as we thought it would. But he’s now in the background process with TWO agencies! And the stress now is which one to choose, but that’s a much better dilemma than not having any to choose from, as before.
It’s so easy for me to not trust. And I think that’s a deep-rooted issue from my adoption, as crazy as that may sound to some of you. The voice I trusted most, my birth mom’s, was ripped from me, and started in me a fight or flight response I still struggle with today. Even more than that, control is my biggest struggle; for some reason, not having control of a situation causes me so much anxiety, and the Lord is constantly having to remind me to loosen my grip on my own life, and let Him take control.
I had a great conversation a few weeks back with a fellow adoptee, and I shared my perspective with her, which resonated so deeply with her. I think my necessity for control comes from the fact I had absolutely no control from the beginning: I didn’t have control over where I went after I was born, if I would be able to grow up with my birth siblings, when I would see my birth mom, who would adopt me, and growing up, I was given little control over anything in my life. So, now it is a trigger for me: not knowing what the future holds, and not having control over things as little as what the day will look like, to big things like not knowing where my husband will be working in a few months.
One of the biggest areas I struggle in is as a mom. When they are hurt, or when the government decides it needs to take control over my kids away, it instantly causes a pit in my stomach. The thing, the only thing, that calms me down? Knowing there is a powerful God out there who has complete control, who loves these children more than I ever could, who already has every single detail of my life planned out, and all I need to do is be still and let Him be God. Being in constant communication with Him helps so much, through bible study and prayer. It refocuses my mind on how powerful and good God is, and it makes life’s stressors not feel so big.
I had to realize that in some areas of my life, it’s okay to take control. For example, I’m in charge of meeting my needs, and in charge of my mental health. Can I control every aspect of these? Absolutely not! But if I sense my internal light go from green to yellow, it’s up to me to get it back to green. And it’s up to me to communicate to those around me what I need from them, not expect them to read my mind.
How can you help your child, especially an adopted child, with their need for control? It almost sounds too simple, but give them control over some things! Let them choose what extracurricular activities they want to do, allow them to have say over what they wear from an early age, allow them to have age appropriate control over contact with healthy birth family members, but most of all, point them to the only One who has all the control, that they can lean into, unclench their fist to, and trust fully He’s got them.