We are about two months into our adoptive placement with our two boys. We are learning so much. I was able to officiate two weddings this past weekend and one thing that I said to both of the couples is that you can study up on marriage all you want (and I’d encourage it if you are getting married) but some things will come up that you just can’t understand till you are in the thick of it. This world of adoption is absolutely no different.
I think the things that we did study beforehand, the wonderful counsel from friends who have walked this road ahead of us, and also just the year we spent with our foster daughter have prepared us very well for so many things, but one thing that blindsided me a little was with our oldest Monroe. He is 3 and a half years old and has spent all of the life that he can remember in a wonderful foster home. That has made our life so much easier than what accompanies many placements, but the move has taken a toll on him.
It doesn’t matter how many times we tell him that this is his “forever home” he will still ask if we are coming back if we leave for the simplest thing. I was taking the trash out the other day and he asked if I was ever gonna come back. Glenna went to a baby shower the other day and he asked if she was gone forever. Each time I get eye to eye with him and say “buddy, this is your home forever. I will always be your daddy and mommy will always be your mommy.” But in the mind of a 3 and a half year old who has experienced that loss I discovered a mistake in the English language. That mistake is that “forever” is not just a noun, it’s also a verb.
We will always remind him anytime he wonders with our words that he’s not going anywhere and neither are we, but the real thing he’s going to have to have is day after day of “forever” being shown. Truly everyday he’s becoming more and more a Harding, and it’s supernatural to watch.
I think about how many times I’m like Monroe with God. God has claimed me as his own, he has counted me righteous, he has made me a new creation, nothing can separate me from the love of God. I have been adopted as a child of God, but there’s times I think, “Have I messed up too bad? I don’t feel God right now. Where is God in some big decision that I am facing,” and that’s when I remember…”forever” is a verb. He’s never going to leave me or forsake me. My “forever” is sealed and decided, and God, in His patience and love, has committed forever to reminding me that I am His.