Friday, May 10, 2013

The Foster Care/Adoptive Mom’s Survival Guide: Expectations

or as my cousin used to say: Don’t should on yourself!

Expectations.  Everyone has them and they are not necessarily a bad thing BUT they get in the way sometimes.   So much of life is about perspective. Realistic expectations are key.

When we first started on this journey I expected to instantly feel overwhelming love for these littles.   I didn’t.  You know what I felt?  Frustration because of the constant pushing.  Fear that they would always be this out of control.  And tired, I was really, really tired.   What I thought I should feel and what I really felt were not lining up.

The tyranny of expectations didn’t stop there.  I expected my bio children to be kinder, more compassionate.  I expected my husband to anticipate when I needed a break.  I expected the 3 year old to stop peeing all over my house (guys we are not talking accidents here) and certainly the 4 year old should be able to control himself for just 5 minutes while I use the bathroom right?

Wrong.   Expectations were running the show and I was frustrated, overwhelmed and disappointed. 

Enter grace.   It doesn’t mean that you expect less, it is just that you hope more.  You accept where you are, where they are and you enter the moment.   You will mess up, they will mess up but the great big God who does all things well does wonderful work in broken hearts.  Expectations demands results now, grace waits for the best, understanding that the healing takes time.   Expectations are bound up in self.  Grace is bound up in God.

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