Life in General

When Good Things Happen to Bad People

Most people’s reaction, when they head I adopted three kids, is to say something like, “Oh, you’re such a good person.” Honestly, I’m so inept at accepting flattery, I feel dumbstruck- especially because I know full well that I’m not such a good person.

Honestly, I’m pretty screwed up. I warned Kent before we got married that I’m borderline crazy, I just hide it well. I can feel the crazy-maker inside me whirling around trying to peek out but it’s been fairly easy to hide it from the outside world. On days my internal crazy-maker is exceptionally near the surface, I avoid people- I call in sick to work, or I cancel meetings with people I would otherwise love to hang out with, etc. Those are my avoidance techniques for keeping my crazy-maker a secret from everyone else.

But what I didn’t realize before I became a mom is that I can’t call in sick to motherhood. Nope, sorry, I can’t just phone in around 8am and tell my boss I’m not coming because I’m not feeling well that day. Nope, my three bosses are pounding on my door, hungry for food by at least 7:01am and there’s no substitute for my particular job role. Crazy-maker or not, I’ve got to get out of bed and do my job.

Of course, there are many casualties sometimes. My clumsy middle kid spills his milk across the table and all over his sister and her breakfast, and, while she’s crying about it, I yell at him about how he needs to be more careful. And when my oldest gets up for the second time during nap time to use the restroom, I yell at him for not pooping the first time he got up- and I even threaten to spank him if he gets up again. And the baby isn’t immune to my rages- I yell at her when she scurries into the trunk of my SUV instead of getting out of the car and going into the house when we get home like she’s supposed to.

Poor kids. There are many days when I’m certain I suck at motherhood and God made an awful mistake answering my many prayers for kids. Seriously, how could He think these kids deserve to be treated this way by me, their second mother, when they were already treated poorly by their first? Why did He give me these kids who so clearly need a mother with a heart full of unconditional love? My heart is full of selfishness. Nap time isn’t about letting them catch up on their rest- it’s about me having an hour break in the day- and, by golly, when it’s interrupted by unruly children, they’re gonna receive the grapes of my wrath, no matter how soured and spoiled they may be.

Honestly, I don’t have any answers for why God gives good things to bad people (like me). But I know He’s a good God and He has a plan for me and my kids. It probably has something to do with learning patience, love, forgiveness, and how to grow up- and I’m sure there’s a lesson in there for the kids, too.

Anyway, I wanted to share this partially to confess that I’m not perfect or even good- but that I’m willing to try to be. And that’s all I can do, at least today. Also, I hope people will see that parents of foster kids or adopted children don’t have everything fixed in their lives- we are crazy people (literally) who leap into a call from God with faith and hopeful expectations. Anyone who trusts in God can do that. And, He’s good enough to make their mediocre efforts beautiful.

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