July 11th had been marked in our calendar. What a victory to reach this point! It had been thought of often, planned for, and prayed over. It was the date of our home study.
Our adoption agency emphasized that their primary focus of the home study was the safety of the house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers in the proper places, and pool locks present). My mind kept mentally planning when and how I was going to organize every closet so that they knew we weren't hoarders. I wanted every inch of our house to be immaculate and smell like lemons. I worked on cleaning and organizing a few hours each day. After a week, I stared at the trail of legos on the floor and food stuck to the wall underneath the bar area where the kids eat breakfast and I felt defeated. My mom could see I was going to the crazy place and as a good mother does, she talked me down from the edge and brought flowers. “It doesn’t have to be perfect” she said. And she was right, as usual.
The home study provided another concrete way we could invite the children into the adoption process. We explained that Sharla was coming to make sure our house was safe for a baby and to talk with us as a family. The children would get to show her their rooms and tell her a little about themselves. Their job was to do a stellar job tidying up their areas. But before I could finish giving my instructions Will exclaimed, “We need a manger!” We all laughed, but he was serious.
Gosh I love him. His simple words were true and profound.
Yes, we do in fact need a place for the baby to rest his or her head eventually (please add that to the list of items to find). The greater truth was being reminded of humble beginnings of Christ. He wasn’t welcomed into a perfect home by any earthly standard. The message I heard that day was to stop striving for external perfection, in this instance, a perfect home. Rather, receive the grace that God offers and with joy strive for obedience. Strive for a mind and heart that is fully set “on things above”. (Colossians 3:3)
Our home study was 2 weeks ago today. It went well! We still don’t have a manger, but I imagine that we will work on that soon. If all goes as planned we should be officially waiting sometime in August.