“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1st Peter 4:8
By: Jennifer Clark
Since I went back to teaching, it feels like our family has been on a roller coaster ride. As with any roller coaster, there have been highs and lows. I reach a peak, thinking I have it all together, and then take a frightening plunge when I feel like my life is careening out of control. Ultimately I think school has been great for my son; he is learning so much every day and loves playing with his new friends. But the adjustment has not been entirely smooth. There were times I questioned my decision to return to work Apparently, in the beginning of his time at his new preschool, he was the instigator of some sort of toddler rebellion. Think Braveheart, except with pull ups and sippy cups. Eventually he began to work his way into a routine, but it was stressful. On the plus side, my son is a leader. Cup half full, I suppose.
There is an additional pressure to being an adoptive mother. I know that all parents want to do right by their child. But my son’s birth-mother is always in the back of my mind. I remember the last time we saw her so vividly. I promised her that I would take good care of him. And I meant it with all of my heart. But being a brand new mom, I had no idea what was ahead of me.
And what was ahead of me? Mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. When I would make a mistake, I felt not only like I was letting my son down, but that I was letting down his birth mom, too. After all, this was a woman who trusted me to be her son’s mother. I had promised that I would take good care of him. I felt like I had an extra responsibility to do the right thing, to not make mistakes. I had to be a good parent not just for my son, but for her as well.
Finally, I began to realize that no matter how hard I tried, there would be times that I would mess up. It was inevitable. We are all only human, with flawed and sinful natures. God sent his son for a purpose. If we were capable of perfection, we would not need salvation. Our greatest sin, perhaps, is thinking we can live this life on our own.
Yes, I made mistakes in these first few years of my son’s life. What I have learned to accept is that I will make many, many more before he is grown and on his own. No, I will never be the perfect mom. But the one thing I can do, and always have done, is love my son with all my heart. What my son needs from me is love, not perfection. And my heart overflows with my love for him. I tell him all the time, every day, how much I adore him. He will grow up knowing his mom will sometimes mess up, but he will also know, always, that he is loved. That is a promise I can keep.
The scriptures tell us we will all make mistakes. But the bible has this to say as well: