It would be easy to sit back and blame someone else. It would be.
I don't think anyone would think twice. After all, I didn't have the benefit of the first nine years. Didn't I just do the best I could with the little time I had? If they fall off the deep end, won't people just assume it was those first nine years or maybe the influence of a family that wasn't meeting their needs. What about those school districts who couldn't control them. Couldn't part of the blame lay with them?
Am I really looking for a scapegoat for the what ifs? Wouldn't my time be better spent putting my nose to the grindstone and working to not need a scapegoat?
Isn't that my job anyway?
Yes, it is.
When Hannah first came and our adoption journey began, I had no idea what I was doing, but I was doing it fast.
After all, I only had half the girl's childhood left. I was making up for lost time.
Or so I thought.
Hannah bore the brunt of my mistakes those first couple of years. I was in a hurry. I needed her to change. I needed to fix the past. I needed to pave the future. And I needed that all to happen right then.
But it didn't. No matter how hard I pushed, I could not make the process faster. I started to feel like a failure. I started to think this kid was never going to change. I started to wonder if people would cut me some slack and pass the blame to those who came before me in this journey.
I was worried about how she was making me look.
I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to be high on the list of parenting concerns. I'm also pretty sure I wasn't in the running for mother-of-the-year that year.
Or the year after that.
In the midst of those hard days I learned something. I learned that I couldn't change her, only God could soften that hard heart. Only He could take this bristly little girl and shape her into the young lady He designed her to be. That was His job.
But I wasn't off the hook, I had a job too. It just wasn't the one I thought it was.
I thought I had to change her, but I was wrong. I was supposed to teach her.
That was my job.
I couldn't make her honest, but I could model honesty in front of her everyday. I could hold her accountable for her dishonesty. I could praise her when she told the truth, especially when it was hard.
I could do that.
Jesus would do the rest.
Because that was His job.
These days I try to stick to teaching and guiding my girls. I can't be the Holy Spirit to them. That's another role that's not mine to take.
I no longer worry about those days to come, the days that my girls will leave my home to follow a road God has prepared for them. I've seen Him soften hearts. I've seen Him change lives. I've seen Him work miracles, not only in my girls, but in me too.
It's okay that I didn't have the first nine years, because He did.
I'll just work with the years He gave me. I'll just do my best everyday to put on Jesus, use my time well and keep to the task that is actually mine.
Because God doesn't need me doing His job.
He needs me to do mine.