My parenting expectations were WAY out of whack. I realized this after a harmless Facebook post almost sent me into a tizzy.
A mom friend posted on Facebook. “My 6 yo daughter is so smart! Harvard should get ready.”
She was being quippy.
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But my mommy radar sounded an alarm, seeking some measuring stick by which to gauge if my daughter might also be in this very elite kindergarten predestined for Harvard group.
I began to type a long comment, but paused. She was being funny. Her daughter is super intelligent. Deciding I didn’t need to compare my daughter or have my parenting validated, I ‘Liked‘ and moved on with my day.
I needed to get a grip. AGAIN. Why was I so concerned with external success for my daughter? What am I raising her for?
Seriously Harvard?! I needed to reset my parenting expectations!
Man, that sneaky pride and mother’s love (fear/worry) is a daily battle. I think some of my fear comes from the tremendous challenges I faced to even become a mother.
While I struggled to deal with my own emotions, I was reminded of a Beginner’s Bible video I had stopped to watch with my precious girl, the story of Samuel.
My favorite part of the story starts with Hannah who desperately wanted to be a mother. She prayed and wept, promising if God gave her a child, she would dedicate his life to God. Her story so closely mirrors mine: lots of prayer, tears, and . . .
I had needed to surrender each step to God.
My story started in 2004, when for medical reasons, I had to undergo a hysterectomy. It was a heartbreaking decision, but the right one for my health.
A few years later, and I’m newly married, settled in Texas and ready to be a mom, but the finances to pursue adoption weren’t available. Prayers started then for God to make a clear way possible if adoption was His plan for us, so we weren’t going into debt or jumping through hoops for our own desires over His.
Two more years passed, and we had saved the money, thanks to frugal living and God’s provisions. But we couldn’t find an agency. It just seemed like it wasn’t going to happen.
I remember laying on our bed, sobbing, asking God if I wasn’t fit to be a mother or if it just wasn’t His plan for me, but to let me know so I could quit waiting, quit aching for a baby.
That was the moment I really surrendered my desire for a child to God and prayed for Him to make a way or give me strength to walk away.
Then a talk with a social worker led us to the right agency that we just clicked with. It took months of paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, home study visits, then more paperwork, but we were finally approved by as a waiting family March 1, 2010.
Then it really was about waiting. A birth mother selects a couple to raise her child. You could wait a day or forever. After a few days of nervous excitement that we were finally approved, the newness wore off. The real waiting began.
Everyday could be the day, or we could be waiting years. With a traditional pregnancy, you have some sense of when it will be over (even if it starts to feel like the never-ending hallway nightmare around month 7).
Emotionally, I just had no way to prepare my heart for this.
A friendly colleague asked me fairly regularly if we had heard anything in the first two weeks. I finally told her, when we got the call, no one would have to wonder. I’d be shouting from the rafters. But while I tried to be patient, I was watching one of my closest friends get closer and closer to her due date, being surrounded by all things baby.
Again, I finally brought it to God’s feet.
Lord, let me be patient and wait for your timing. Let me enjoy the time we have left as a couple.
Let me accept if the answer is no.
The last one, really giving it up to God felt like pouring my heart out onto the floor, but I remember the morning I prayed it and truly meant it. I let go. God, I’ll wait until your time is right, if ever. Until then, I will enjoy spending time with my husband and being a couple.
That was 7:30 a.m. My cell phone rang at 9.
“We have a match for you. We have a baby for you.”I could scarcely breathe.
The next two days was a blur of squeals and phone calls. We officially accepted the placement for a baby girl due in June. That moment is one of the deepest moments in my life of feeling God’s presence and love, less than two hours after I surrendered my heart’s desires.
Hannah’s story in Samuel resonates with me because when I chose to put God’s will over what I wanted, deciding to be the mother God wanted for a baby, then God gave me this most precious gift, when I was ready to raise her for Him and not myself.
This week I remembered again that I can worry if she attends Harvard, or just make sure I’m teaching her to love God. The rest really will go according to plan, His plan for her life, of which I am a handpicked part. He didn’t just pick her for me, he picked us for her, and why parenting for Heaven, not Harvard, is so much more important.