How to Adopt Without Ruining Your Family
Day 4: Tip #3 – Be prepared when the Honeymoon is over
Most children through adoption, arrive after the earliest stages of life. Consequently, there is a phenomenon known as The Honeymoon Period, which can last a week to even a year, depending on the child. But it will end.
There will likely come a day when you wonder why you ever thought adoption was a good idea in the first place. You’ll think you’re a horrible person for feeling this way. You can’t tell a soul. And you’ll find yourself fearing that you have, indeed, ruined your family.
You can understand. A child emerging from a precarious or even devastating situation is going to arrive with an extensive invisible suitcase, filled with emotional, mental and physical junk. They move in; and it takes a while to feel safe enough to unpack the suitcase and spread it across the floor. When the contents are bestrewn, it makes quite a mess.
Expect some mayhem. My friends have experienced fits of anger, defiance, and the signs of sexual abuse around the six month mark. Our honeymoon with Jolee lasted about two months. Chloe, just twelve months old, didn’t make a peep for a week. Her mouth formed a cry, but no sound came out. Then she screamed for two solid years (hours in duration, so loudly, our neighbors could hear her across the street)! Please don’t assume this effect is reserved for older children. Every kid brings their own invisible gear.
In relationships, we enter with a certain set of expectations. The honeymoon sets the tone. But when the honeymoon is over, in this case, without announcement, the relationship changes. Suddenly expectations are no longer being met, and life can become very scary.
Paul understood the menacing power a stronghold of fear could wreak. He calls fear “an opposing force to the Spirit of God.” Paul makes this clear distinction so that Timothy can choose not to be afraid. Instead he can allow the Holy Spirit to provide the power to overcome what he cannot, to love those he doesn’t, and the ability to overcome his own self-defeating tendencies (2 Timothy 1:7).
God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control… 2 Timothy 1:7
When the honeymoon ends and crazy stuff begins to fling from the imaginary suitcase, you, too, can choose not to be afraid. Instead:
- Give your fears to God
- Ask Him to help you love beyond your ability
- Trust Him to give you the discipline required for the tasks