It’s bittersweet to see my last post on the main page of my blog. What a joyful time that was! Unfortunately, it was very short-lived. This last month has been a rough one as I've struggled to get a handle on the raging emotions of a dream shattered.
We sent in our pre-application paperwork on Sept. 20th, and received word a week and a half later that we were pre-approved. Minutes later, we received “phase 2” of homestudy paperwork via e-mail. Included in that was a “corporal punishment policy statement” that we were required to sign. It stated, “We find any type of physical punishment completely unacceptable and will refrain from using it at all times.” Now, I understand that a lot of people would have been fine with that, but we’re not. We are Bible-following Christians. God’s Word presents physical punishment as something parents should use in disciplining their children. We realize that the psyche of a child who has suffered loss is different than one who has not, and would certainly be aware of and sensitive to that in trying to work out how the best method of discipline. However, we cannot in good conscience completely write off something that God has commanded us to do. Of course, we also couldn't lie and sign it anyways - that would also be wrong.
(And just to clarify, we were both spanked as children. We completely disagree with hitting a child to vent your own anger at them, physical punishment that leaves marks, or using spanking as the first and only form of discipline. We believe in physical discipline applied calmly as a loving correction. )
I looked at the research this agency cited and was appalled. She stated that (I’m paraphrasing here as it was a video) she finds ALL types of punitive discipline unacceptable because that is not how God disciplines. What? God sends those who reject Him to hell. He punished His own Son, in our place, on the cross. He punished the Israelites with years wandering in the desert. We are so saddened that this false doctrine was being proclaimed in such high regard, and that this personal opinion was being touted as research. Unbelievable.
With my heart breaking in two, I e-mailed and asked for our file to be closed. We’ve lost our non-refundable pre-application fee of $300. We checked into our two other agency options for an international adoption from South Korea – they have the same policy. And all three of these agencies label themselves as “Christian”. Oh, Lord…….the lies break my heart, I can’t imagine how much they hurt You.
We took a week to breathe (more for my hubby) and grieve (for me). Honestly, I can truly say that week was the worst of my life. There was this adoption door slamming shut, then we had a horrific crisis rise out of the blue in my extended family, then we had a sweet friend of ours pass away (not suddenly) from stomach cancer. It was awful.
We’re re-visiting domestic right now. I’ll be honest, it was not my first choice and still isn’t. I’m terrified of open adoption, I’m terrified of not being chosen by a birthmother, and I’m terrified of attaching to an infant placed with it, and then fear having to give him/her back if the birthmother changes her mind within the 96-hour waiting period. It wears me out, emotionally, just thinking about how draining this process is going to be. In the end, though, we know that the potential end result would be worth all the anguish. It’s our last shot at parenthood…we may as well throw everything we have into it. We narrowed it down to two domestic placement agencies, and both of them have waiting lists right now (waiting list to start your homestudy, not just to be chosen as adoptive parents). We are on both of them and will go with whoever opens up first. In a way, that takes the pressure off of us…I feel like, this way, it’s truly in God’s hands to make that decision.
My husband thinks that God used this to keep us from a disruption further along in an international adoption. I think it may have been a test similar to the one God gave Abraham, when God told Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son on an altar. I think God may have been testing us in a similar way, “How important are children to you? More important than following My commands?” Important, but not that important. Not enough to go against His Word – either by not disciplining His way, or by lying and signing that form anyways. So there’s Your answer God….Speak, Your servants are listening.