Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I had a boyfriend in college that I met in the college bookstore. He was working there..stocking the shelves and randomly turned to me and asked me if I thought two people could have a meaningful relationship if one of them felt guilty about something. Probably, I should have remembered that a little more clearly months later when we started dating! haha..that was many, many, many years ago. He was right to ask that question though because guilt manipulates you into doing all sort of crazy things. When I was younger, I would get myself into more trouble somehow trying to justify actions or behaviours that made me feel guilty. I think guilty people try to shift the blame for things onto others and just don't take responsibility. It is easier than admitting you have been a jerk! It can be big things or it can be very little things. Guilt is a giant wedge in a relationship and it just gets bigger. It can start out so small too and then become so big. I am kind of an introvert with probably a little too much insight and internal dialogue about my emotional motivations..yes. Guilt becomes even trickier when you disguise it, or rename it as a sense of duty. At what point are you obligated by duty and at what point are you being manipulated by guilt? I don't know that anyone has enough insight to clearly separate those two! Obviously, I am feeling a bit guilty about something. In 2008, we accepted a referral for a 4 year old boy from Kyrgyzstan...moratoriums happen we lost some money. Kyrgyzstan reopened we tried again and lost some more money. Kyrgyzstan reopened again and we adopted our boys from China. Now, this cute little 4 year old is an 11 year old on a hosting list for a summer hosting program. Our life is very full right now...we have 9 children - 2 home less than a year. For many of you who don't know this...we are also pregnant and expecting baby number 10 in September. We are desperately trying to pay off bills especially adoption costs from the latest additions. We have a lot going on this summer and I feel guilty or is it a sense of duty to host this little guy. We have followed along with him peripherally since our initial referral - people we know have visited him, they know him, they say such sweet and wonderful things about him. I can justify not hosting him - if I were talking to a friend in my situation with this particular problem I would have no problem whole heartedly saying "you have a lot going on and you have to take care of you. There is no reason to feel like you have any responsibility towards him - you have walked the path God meant you to walk. You have prayed about it and you need to listen and follow your heart." Seriously, I would never think less of any friend who would choose not to host a child when they had so much on their plate...it would be the responsible thing, in fact. At some point, even large family homeschooling crazy mama's have to minimize the chaos. Yet, I think about the picture of a 4 year old boy getting a Dumbo stuffed elephant with a picture of his new family in the little attached picture frame. I wonder if one month of being hosted in a family would make the difference between hopelessness and hope when he eventually ages out....or if there might be a family willing to take a chance on an 11 year old if the meet him while he is over here being hosted. I have known he was on the hosting list for several weeks, but it was easier to think that maybe it is better to not worry about it because maybe a family who is planning on adopting might choose him to host for the summer. We wouldn't want to hurt his chances. Today, I got the "only a few weeks left" email from the hosting program and he is still unmatched. I feel guilty. What is important? Am I a hypocrite - do I really walk the walk for the talk that most of my t shirts talk! I haven't written anything on this blog in forever and there are probably only like 2 peeps who peek in - this is really more of a rhetorical post. This issue is one I have to resolve within myself and it is nice to be able to type it out.