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ECHO Family Care Partners

When Adoption Feels Too Heavy

“We’re not gonna make it.”

Maybe you’ve felt that. Maybe you’ve even been so desperate to say it out loud. There are times when you’ve looked around at the carnage and the chaos of your family and social worlds and have thought, “We’re not gonna make it.”

Maybe you’re feeling that right now.

I hope you do make it. I can’t say for certain that everybody always does. But so far, we haven’t died. One day we might, but not today.

That feeling is real, though, right? It might not be true but it feels real.

I think most of us reading this can recall times where the process felt so overwhelming that we couldn’t see any other outcome than failure.

When you’re in the depths of paperwork, or attachment, or social integration, or fighting for services for your kid, or navigating new family dynamics, it’s all a cloud. There’s not much that’s clearcut or without at least a certain degree of doubt, fear, and paralysis. You pray for wisdom and just a bit of rest and a sharp mind and for the people in your life to try and understand, but most of these things often are evasive. Too many days you stand in your kitchen ready to throw in the towel and go back to when things were easier.

This is all by design.

It’s supposed to be hard.

If it drives you outside your skillset, temperament, and mental capacity, trust me when I say, you’re not alone in this experience.

It all feels this way because you’ve thrown yourself into someone else’s workflow – you’ve found yourself doing God’s work. It’s huge and heavy and God alone is strong enough.

My kids (especially the littler ones) like to help; carrying the groceries, moving furniture, loading the car, etc. But I don’t hand them the milk and eggs, right? I give them the paper towels or the cereal. Sometimes they grab the bag I’m carrying, not because they see I need the help but because they want to be connected, included. They’re attempting to learn their own strength.

God is good at this sort of thing, inviting us to help him, not because if we don’t the world will fling into oblivion, but because he wants us to connect, he wants us to discover the limits of our strength and he wants us ultimately to acknowledge that it’s too heavy and we can’t carry it.

We need to stop believing the false notion that says, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” He absolutely will. Because he wants to remind you that he alone is big enough, smart enough, strong enough, and that you are loved enough to invite you in.

Maybe this is a reality check but listen, there’s no way the God who spun this whole earth into existence and sent his Son to save us needs our involvement, our strength, or our input to accomplish this mission. But I can guarantee you that the God who loves us enough to make a home for us absolutely chooses over and over again to include us in his work.

The bottom line is this… If you’re worn out and exhausted through the process, congratulations! You’re doing it right. You’re learning the limits of your strength and you’re realizing that God has invited you to connect with him on this beautiful journey.

What you’re walking through is living proof to the watching world what God’s love, his character, his attributes – what God himself – looks like.

Your first priority is not completing your checklist. It’s willing obedience. Just do that. Put yourself out there. Offer yourself to God. Not because you’re able. But because you’re loved. And watch the work get done.

You’re doing God’s work.


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