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November 14, 2014

Lessons God Taught Me On The Bathroom Floor

Welcome to week two of our celebration of National Adoption Month. I hope you read along last week as we heard about the reality of post-adoption depression.

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This week, we are honored to have guest blogger & Lifesong Adoptive mom, Nicole Schmidt, talk about the struggles they faced after bringing older children into their home and the lessons God taught her…

Our entire adoption process, we held the verse in Ephesians close to our hearts. 

In LOVE, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of HIS glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.

After about a year and half long process and we boarded a plane to go pick up our boys in Ethiopia. We were ecstatic! Our entire process we had prayed this simple prayer.

God, show us your radical love—help us to love like you love

We went straight to the orphanage as soon as we got there, and picked up Abe and Manye. They were all smiles, and Tom and I had visions of what this new family could look like.  But, like any parents to new children—those sweet visions soon met reality.

We spent our first few hours together treating our younger son for scabies and breaking up fights. For anyone who has ever dealt with lice—scabies is like lice over the entire body.

The fighting was constant—and we started to realize our oldest son wasn’t as happy to be with us as we had hoped. In fact, he was full of rejection that would only build in the months to come. Most of his anger and rejection was directed at me.  It hurt. And we started to wonder what we had done.

We kept praying. God show us your radical love—help us to love like you love.

Once we were home things became increasingly difficult to navigate—and I started to let resentment and fear creep in.

Couldn’t they see all that had been done for them?

We offered them a new life, and a new inheritance—but it was met with hurt and rejection.  There were days when I was so rejected, and so hurt that the idea of getting out of bed in the morning filled me with panic. Never in my life had I ever felt such hurt. Their pain was spilling over into every aspect of our lives. There were days when our biological kids just couldn’t cope—and we felt guilty for all they were going through.

So one day, at rock bottom I am praying this prayer again, this time face down on my bathroom floor. God help me to love like you love. Help me to see these children the way you see them. I am not sure I can love them. Please God just help me—and He brought me to a place in scripture that I had glossed over many times before in Romans.

God shows his GREAT love for us, that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us.  Repeat.

The Lord challenged my heart in that moment in such a tangible way. Nicole, you have been praying this prayer over and over—and I’ve answered it. Did you mean it or what? Or were those just words? Because if you want to love like ME, you have to be OK with rejection. Because I died for you, while you were still full of rejection, trying to do things on your own. When you were rejecting your inheritance—-I had already claimed you as my child. 

Everyday, when I look at my sons, and this new family I am so grateful for this picture of the Gospel. I want to be a doer of God’s word. I still want to love like He loves.

People that don’t know us, sometimes  make comments about how we saved them—but that’s not true. We may have removed them from their physical poverty….but only God can remove the spiritual poverty caused by such loss. We are all a broken people in need of a healing Savior.  We are different, but we are the same.

There are doctors, that have lots of labels for my children. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, High  Anxiety—but that’s not who they are in Christ. 

Our God is a God of restoration. He is healing what has been broken. We see our sons being released from emotional and spiritual bondage right before our eyes. He is doing miracles in our family.

Walls are crumbling.  God is bringing healing, and He is teaching us more about His great love everyday. I give thanks to God for those dark moments because there is restoration on the other side.

 

Have you had a “bathroom floor” moment like Nicole? We invite you to share your thoughts, encouragement and heart in a comment below.

 

NAM giveaway 3GIVEAWAY: In honor of National Adoption Month, we invite you to comment on this post to be entered in our month-long giveaway!

Gift basket includes: Thriving as an Adoptive Family book, 1lb of Gobena coffee, Lifesong mug, & Lifesong t-shirt 

Each Friday in November, hear REAL adoption testimonies from four different adoptive moms. Comment on each post for an entry for the giveaway! (maximum entries: 5)

{Winner will be announced December 1st}

 

Nicole Schmidt is the Ohio State Director for ServiceNation, a non-profit organization that builds awareness about national service programs like AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps. She lives in Ohio with her 4 kids and awesomely bearded husband Tom. You can find out more about their adoption journey here: www.schmidtfamilyadventures.blogspot.com.

Comments

18 Responses to “Lessons God Taught Me On The Bathroom Floor”

  1. Tracey Culkin says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing God’s word and His promise to us. Your hope and faith through the storm will bring the rainbow! Loving children who have suffered more than we can ever know or imagine is a challenge and we must rely on God for His strength to do this to the best of our abilities.

  2. Misty says:

    We are stuck in country in Uganda, knowing our sons world will get turned upside down when we finally get to come home, but knowing we can’t do anything to make it happen faster. I love for the days to be in my home holding this little boy we love, in his new bed. Crying on my bathroom floor. As sad as that sounds, it makes me joyful knowing there will be a someday, it’s just not in my timing.

    • Nicole Schmidt says:

      Misty–Oh believe me when I say I get it! Praying for a quick resolution for you all in Uganda. That must be so difficult! You might not see it now, but God’s timing is perfect and he will make a way for you. Hugs!

  3. Jennifer Humiston says:

    God has taught me much on our adoption journey on the bathroom floor!

  4. JaNae says:

    Thanks for sharing! I am always in awe of how God knows what is always best for us! We too have adopted two older boys from Ethiopia and taking one day at a time and learning and growing daily in trusting Him.

  5. Jessica says:

    Nicole,
    Our families have both been blessed by transformations within. Thank you for your honesty, it has been an honor knowing (and meeting!) your family.

  6. I’ve had many bathroom floor moments! Thankful for the reminder that real love is loving in the face of rejection…..and the knowledge that there is no relationship too broken for God to heal!

  7. Pamela Allen says:

    I’ve been on that bathroom floor. And each time, The All Mighty lifts me up, dusts me off, and fortifies my soul with new life.

  8. Heather says:

    I too have had many bathroom floor moments. It has been a very long road with hurts and lots of rejection. There are times it seems too hard…GOD has shown HIMSELF faithful…

  9. Nadine says:

    INSPIRATIONAL !

  10. Amy says:

    Nicole,
    Thank you for sharing this! I really needed to read it, because this is where my husband and I and our family are at! We adopted 3 older kids from Ethiopia last year, and their expectations of what life in America would be are not what the reality is like. There is no doubt that God led us here, but in all the hard moments, my flesh is so weak! I am going to post the verse so I can see it daily to remind myself of God’s unconditional love!
    Blessings to you and your family!
    Amy

    • Nicole Schmidt says:

      Amy–

      I know all about the expectations and how damaging those orphanage myths can be for older kids! I can only imagine their confusion when they realize that the reality of America is so much different than they were told. That’s hard! Trust me when I say, it DOES get better! Hang in there momma! Find me on FB if you want! I would love to pray with you!

  11. Robin Nail says:

    Nicole,
    Thank you for sharing your story. It touched my heart and I had to grab the tissues! We have an adoption story with twin girls from Kenya. God has been so faithful to give us the strength we need and understanding in the dark moments. The joy of being their mother far exceeds any of the difficult times.
    Blessings to you and your family for opening your home and making a difference for eternity,
    Robin

  12. Heather L. Erb says:

    <3 this!

    Thank you for sharing…. so true, every word!

  13. michelle schaffner says:

    Thanks for sharing this. We are in the process of adopting four brothers from Haiti, the oldest one is 12..and are anticipating a difficult first year. This affirms that expectation, but also gives us hope in it. Thanks for sharing your heart. Thanks for being obedient. Blessings, Michelle

  14. We got a 10 month old in March and all he would ever do is scream. I prayed to God to understand and to help me through this because 4 months earlier our first set of Foster babies went home. I knew with twins on the way this little guy needed us but in my heart and my ears were not ready. 8 months later we are making huge improvements but it is only with God’s Grace have I made it this far. Thank you for reminding us God has it all under control!

  15. Sarah says:

    Nicole,

    Oh you speak so much truth. My heart echoes your words.

    We adopted our daughter 4 years ago from Ukraine. She is doing well now, but I have never felt such pain in my heart as I have the past 4 years. She was 2 when we brought her home. Our biggest battles have been the ones unseen. God has placed people in our lives at the right time to guide us through some very dark time. God is in the process of restoring our sweet daughter, breaking bonds, and healing thoses deep spots in her heart.

    I never thought adoption was going to be what it has. It has been a journey of my heart as much as a journey for my daughter. The emotions I have felt are too deep for word, and a weight that only a mother can feel.

    Thank you for your post. God is in the process or restoring not only our children but also us in this journey. He is loving.

    Blessings to you,
    Sarah Summers

  16. Marla says:

    A beautiful story of God’s faithfulness amidst heartache. God bless you for sharing in a real way.