Monday, June 14, 2010

Jealousy in Adoption

I have had this post rolling around in my thoughts for awhile and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on jealousy in adoption. Kind of a Debbie Downer of a topic, but I feel that it is something that is quite real and can be a struggle for many adoptive families.

First off I will share from my own struggles of jealousy in adoption and hopefully that might open the doors of communication as we spur each other on to live a life that is fully pleasing to God. I believe that jealousy can creep into our lives in many different ways and if we are unaware, our thoughts can easily become captive of not being content in our certain circumstances. For isn't that what jealousy is...not being content where we are in the situation that God has us in?

There was a time in my life that I wished and longed for our family to look like this photo. In one way that is a good thing, but when it got to a point of me not being content with the children God had given me...and I was jealous of other adoptive families...not such a great place to be.

Last year when we began our journey of filling out paperwork and working on our fundraising for our adoption I found myself becoming jealous of others. When I would hear of another family getting a loving donation from a stranger, I would wonder why wasn't that us? Or if I heard of a yard sale that raised a lot of money, I wondered how come our yard sale didn't raise that much. Or even families that had a lot of support from others, I wondered if we would be left out or would others rally around us and support us too?

I am almost embarrassed to write those words, but I had that ugly sin in my life of coveting what someone else had and wishing I had it too. I knew it was wrong and God worked in my heart to surrender to His plan and I was able to come to the point where I was truly happy for those families that got the needed money or support or had a successful fundraising event. I was able to see that God's timing was perfect, that His plan was the best and I had to submit to His will and not seek my own.

There is something unique about the adoption journey. You see it is one of the most emotional journeys you could ever be on. You are often cut to the core of your raw emotions that must be brought before the Lord and checked with Him. And through the process of the adoption journey, I believe that God is constantly getting rid of all that you are that isn't of HIM.

Jealously can surface in so many areas. Jealous of someone else for...having their agency work faster...for having a better SW...for getting their paperwork in before you...getting on the waiting list first...for having a husband who is willing to adopt...for passing court the first time when you didn't...for getting earlier travel dates...choosing a different agency...for having a better adoption support group...for getting a referral before you...for being placed with an easier child...for having family that is supportive instead of judgmental...for having someone throw them a shower...of having a slow moving country program or worse yet, having a program shut down all together...for loosing your money on an adoption...for having a birth mom pick another family or decide to parent the child instead...for watching another family's adjustment be easier than yours...for..........

Clearly the list can go on and on. These are all areas that can easily cause us to wish we had different circumstances. I am sure you can list more than what what I came up with. It might even be that you are (or have) struggled with this and yet you are ashamed to admit it (even to yourself). I want to encourage you (and myself too) to check those thoughts with

Philippians 4:8

whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

We know that from 1 Corinthians 13 that LOVE is NOT jealous.

And James 3:16 reminds us that where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.


  1. Good post friend! I too have been there.

  2. Thank you for such an honest post. It really is a refining process, huh?

    Have a great night!
    ~Gini :)

  3. Wow Cris! What a good post. I like how you keep it real. It was great meeting you @ Kristi's house Saturday night. Thank you for sharing your life and adoption story with me....

    You know really I was thinking....I began reading the "So Long Insecurity" book by Beth Moore and the funny thing was before I read that book, I actually thought to myself, "I'm not insecure". As I read the book, I realized, "oh yea I am". I think a lot of jealous issues that pop up for me arise from insecurity. I get nervous that ______won't happen for me. I'm glad God loves me even when I don't trust Him fully. I'm a work in progress and this adoption walk definately challenges a person to the core in who they really are. Thanks for getting us thinking.

  4. I have never thought about it that way, but - SOO TRUE- I have definitely had jealous moments!

  5. Wow. You wrote what I have been mulling over in my head the last few weeks. Thanks for being transparent. We are in the waiting stage and fundraising stage and God is chipping away at my sinful self every step of the way...

  6. thanks for this post. I've been having some very ugly thoughts lately about vacations of my closest friend. So sad to admit that, sadder to even be thinking it.

    THANK YOU...

  7. Love this post. Had to rush to read it after you mentioned it this evening. Such TRUTH... at least for me. I totally struggle with this issue. It's so tough. Needed this encouragement!

  8. So good of you to be "real" and share your struggles that we all struggle with. I have been challenged time and time again to be content with what God has given me so far.

    I have found our missionary life is much like the adoption process, where I have been chipped away at time and time again, convicted of my sin, selfishness and pride.

    Thanks for sharing your heart!!
    love ya, Susan

  9. Oh, I LOVE the new picture of the kids. Hey, finally smile from you know who!!! SOOO cute.

  10. This is a GREAT post. I have so been there and this is a great reminder/challenge to keep kicking those jealous thoughts out. (Also good to know I'm not the only one) :) Thank you!!!

  11. Whew! This has applications to SO-ooo many areas of life; not just adoption, my friend.

  12. I love this post Cris.... and I am sure for many it rings true.

    I think for me it is not jealousy though... it is sadness. Some people are VERY blessed to have support and love when they adopt. We have had family members right us off. No one was at the airport when we adopted. There were no showers or gifts. No cards or celebrations. And while I have had to get over it and heal... it isn's really jealousy that hangs in my heart. It is sadness that the people we love most didn't share in our joy. My issue has been learning to forgive and let go. I am actually THRILLED when others step out to adopt and it goes smoothly or when they have the support of those around them. I would never wish on anyone what we have experienced. Adoption should be celebrated! When an adoption goes off without a hitch, I praise God for that.....

    Anyway - I do agree 100% that for many jealousy is an issue - and in many ways I read this and thought about how HARD adoption has been for us. We have lost so much. It has been a continual struggle... but it doesn't make me jealous. It just makes me sad.

  13. Goodness....I have definately felt those jealousy emotions. Especially in relation to the timing of others' adoptions. It seems like everything for us is taking SO long...but then I look back and see how much I've grown - what God has done in our hearts...and it all makes sense. I know in the end, when our princess is finally home...I'll have the whole picture and be THANKFUL that it worked out the way it did. Thank you for your honesty on the tough stuff. ;)