I’m a person who’s not terribly fond of being put in a ‘box’ and defined by a label. I don’t know many others who do like it, to be honest. It feels limiting and presumptuous. I always feel like I want to add a caveat and explain myself more clearly.
And then welcome to the BC MCFD “Application to Adopt” form. All it is is boxes! I understand that this is a government process, and what would that be if it didn’t including labelling you? <sigh>
So I know what labels they’re hoping I’ll use:
- University educated
- Middle class
- Vegetarian (lacto-ovo)
While all of these things are true, the one that makes me feel a little uncomfortable is the last one; “Christian.” It’s not that I’m ashamed of my faith – not at all! It’s more that I feel like there’s a lot of baggage associated with the word that doesn’t accurately describe me, Rob, or frankly most of the other people I know who would fall in that generic box.
How would I more accurately describe the ways in which my faith and spirituality seems to vary from the stereotype? I’m not sure that any words I could use would cut it, but I do know a few things:
- If I were an American, I’d be a Democrat. This is very Canadian of me, but it weirds me out that Americans only have 2 choices (well at least practically), and that your faith/non-faith seems to automatically determine your political affiliations. Not my groove. In Canada, I tend to usually vote Green, NDP, and/or occassionally Conservative. Occassionally.
- I have gay friends, whom I love dearly. Some of whom were in our wedding party, and one of whom Rob was the best man in his wedding party. And they’re actually really good, close friends – not “love the sinner, hate the sin, I’m really looking at you as a project to ‘fix’ verus as a real person” kind of friends. And I don’t think that their “gay-ness” automatically excludes them from having a personal relationship with Jesus. Or that it should be the most interesting part of their personality/life, but rather that your character should be of greater importance. Just sayin’…
- I’m a big fan of human rights. I have a right to my opinion, beliefs, etc., and so do you. I’m equally a bigger fan of treating others with respect, compassion, and dignity. It’s always my hope that we can disagree on a topic, but still be friends (or at least friendly) while we do it.
- I do believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. However, I feel like anyone who seems 100% certain that they know the exactly correct way to interpret the Bible is giving themselves more credit than they should.
- We’re all trying to figure life out. I have more respect for those who are diligently seeking to learn and grow than those who blindly accept and follow what they’re told without wrestling through the issues to honestly ‘own’ them, themselves.
Phew! OK… so try sticking THAT in a box on a form. <sigh> I guess that’s what the homestudy is for, eh? 😉
I couldn’t agree with you more. Where are you in your adoption journey? Have you completed your homestudy? I felt very frustrated by all of the “check boxes” in adoption as well. It seemed very black and white to me, “Will you accept this,” or “will you accept that?” I feel like we’ll accept the one the Lord tells us in our hearts is ours, and that’s not something you can write on paper. Basically, I just prayed that we checked all the right boxes about ourselves and the baby we’re wanting to open ourselves up to the avenue that will lead us to our child that God has prepared for us in advance. Does that make sense? He or she is out there somewhere, and we just have to be open enough about ourselves and what we want to get us to that baby. Thanks for being so open and honest about your feelings during this process!
Thanks for your comment! We’ve just (finally) sent out application in, but have already had our inital meeting with our social worker. We’re hoping to go through our adoption education classes with the next series that starts at the end of January / beginnning of February, and then we’ll (finally) get to the homestudy. It’s funny, but as soon as we decided to stop the whole TTC/infertility journey and start this one, I’m feeling super impatient to get going! 😉
I totally hear you on the difficulty in knowing where God’s leading (and more specifically to whom He’s leading)… in some ways I want to check ‘yes’ to every box, and in other ways I know it wouldn’t be wise, since we have our limitations. I just find it tough that every box symbolizes a whole spectrum of experience and diagnosis. “Yes” to FAS could mean super mild to very severe; same thing with learning disabilities or high risk premies… Ergh. So hard to know, eh? I end up trying to remind myself to “do your best, pray like crazy, and leave the results up to God” and let that be that. Sure is hard, though! 😉
Oh I remember filling in that form and feeling like I should write a lengthy explanation beside each box. Yes, we’re Christians, but not the obnoxious kind that thinks we know everything and everyone else are just heathenish losers… It’s hard to pigeon-hole yourself.
Hahah – Christie, I hear ya! I love it; “Yes, we’re Christians, but not the obnoxious kind…” ;-D
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