I sat alone in the front seat of a dilapidated Lada. I say alone because I was the only adult left to attend three energetic and curious former orphans who didn’t speak a word of English. No matter how firmly I said, “Nyet!” they continued to explore and poke and bounce around the back seat. My husband and the taxi driver had disappeared into the apartment building that must have housed a thousand Russians, looking for the friends we were to stay with for the few days it would take to obtain our children’s visas.
I had just endured a five-hour train ride with these same inexhaustible school-aged kids, as I ignored the glares of countrymen resenting that we couldn’t seem to contain our new charges. All I wanted was for someone to sit on my kids while I disappeared into the world of sleep. After another half-hour of turning off lights, relocking car doors, and shooing hands away from radio buttons, my husband and driver emerged triumphantly from the massive building.
We herded our spankin-new family into the warm home of my college friend. I must have been pale-white as I physically shook from the toll my first day of parenting had taken. I seriously feared I was facing a nervous breakdown.
A few days later, and ten pounds lighter, I sat in my bedroom back in Minnesota while my parents entertained my kids for a while. I finally had a few moments to have a heart-to-heart with the Lord. “What have I gotten myself into? How in the world am I going to do this?”
I was totally unprepared for the task the Lord had called me to. Years earlier I had been fired from a job where I nannied a seven-year-old with severe ADHD issues. I prayed, “Lord, you know I’m horrible with these kind of kids. We asked for kids without physical or emotional issues because I don’t have a clue about parenting them. Why did you give us these kids when you knew I’d fail?”
Somehow I left that time with the Lord slightly better than I had entered it. Not because God had shared any “how-to” secrets with me. But because He had shared Himself with me. He reminded me that …
He had performed several miracles enabling us to adopt our kids; He was capable of performing an infinite number more as we parented them. He had all the resources ready and waiting in order for me to fulfill this calling.
Many times throughout the years our children were home, my ineptness glared obvious. But God’s adequacy always shone brighter. I write to testify to the truths:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37, NKJV).
Where we are inept, God is able. He is able …
to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV).
Trusting Him is the only power we need to fulfill the tasks He’s placed before us. One day at a time. One breath at a time. One gulp at a time.