Working for a large adoption agency isn't easy. I am one person -- but I represent 1200. And I work in a messy, messy world. Nothing about adoption is as cut and dried and easy as the general public thinks it is. It is just sometimes, for lack of a better word, icky.
And there is no way to please everyone. Each person in the Adoption Kinship Network (the new phrase replacing the triad and attempting to include other significant people in a child's life) has their own needs, their own perspective. And often if we a take a stand for one of those members, the rest misunderstand.
Add to the messiness of the adoption world the messiness of the Church -- this huge diverse group full of people attempting to follow Christ in an imperfect world with all of it's differences between denominations and perspectives.
The organization I work with is deeply entrenched in both of those worlds and for anyone who thinks it's easy to navigate all that, you haven't done it yet!
I read an email on Thursday night after a great first day at the Willow Creek Association's Global Leadership Summit. I learned a LOT that day and was fired up -- similar to the feelings of youth camp as a 13 year old. And then I read this email and it was as though all the air had been removed from my balloon suddenly and I was deflated and defeated. The email was about a public post online that basically bashed me personally and the agency I work for in general. It was written by someone who doesn't know me personally, but still that, and the comments by strangers that followed it, were hurtful, insulting, and some of them quite false.
Because, you see, nothing is quite as easy as it appears.
And because my agency has to respond to things according to policy, I was forced to do absolutely nothing... besides shrivel up and whine internally.
Until the next morning, when I heard a speech by Dr. Brene Brown, who is quite a profound communicator. She said that courage and comfort are mutually exclusive -- that if you are going to be courageous there are times you will be uncomfortable ... you will face adversity and criticism, and you will often deal with opposition.
And then she quoted Theodore Roosevelt, and when you read it, you will not need further explanation as to how that was a day changer for me and how it inspired me to keep on keeping on.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”