I think we all remember this rule. As kids we heard this countless times from parents & teachers. “Don’t take candy from strangers.” When people we don’t know try and give us something that sounds really yummy, something that we deeply want…don’t take it. For children this advice is referring to actual candy. In the life of an adult it is different. Strangers don’t tempt adults with jolly ranchers or milk duds. They offer us sweet, flattering words. Something that fills a craving we have. The danger is that we don’t know them and they don’t know us. It doesn’t matter to them what happens in our lives .They have no vested interest in who we are or the journey God has us on. And it might taste good for a moment in our mouths, but it doesn’t feed us. It doesn’t fulfill what we really desire. When people we walk with give us candy it is fine & a blessing from God. Usually if a stranger offers it there is a harmful outcome.
My husband Jady & I have two wonderful kids. We are also in the middle of adopting two kids from Uganda. A little boy and a little girl. The process has taken a year so far. We were at the tail end of the process & just had to update our paperwork after our move to California last month. I started calling agencies to do the update and got some really rough news. California is different from every other state and they won’t accept an updated homestudy in their courts. A homestudy usually takes about 5 months and involves physicals & blood tests, 10 hours of online education, multiple interviews and more forms than you can imagine…all having to be notarized. The thought of all the work and money we had contributed for the first one being tossed out…AAUUGGHH!!!
Then I got a sniff of something sweet and yummy…candy. One agency said something different. They said they could do it and it would be $1500. He told me that there is a loophole in the system and it isn’t a problem. They were a licensed agency with a good reputation. And they had a great argument why the other agencies were wrong.
My heart was ecstatic. We even began doing all the paperwork with them. But, it still didn’t make sense why everyone else told me you couldn’t. Part of me didn’t want to investigate the matter further. I just wanted to go with what sounded great. But, I did end up calling a lawyer and talking to an expert who told me that the law in California says you CAN NOT do that. I would have to toss out all the work we did for our old homestudy & start over. I would have to pay the $3,500 for a new home study and wait the 4 or 5 months for it to be complete. After that I could proceed. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was offered peas & carrots instead of something sweet.
I’m glad I didn’t take the stranger’s candy. I would have gone happily to Uganda in a few months to get my kids. Then once I brought them back and tried to adopt them in California courts, they would have told me I didn’t have paperwork to support the adoption. Possibly I would have had to take the kids back to Uganda and leave them until the correct paperwork was in place. I can’t imagine how messy and painful that would have been.
I don’t have $3500 and I don’t want to do all of the work over again. It hurts, its annoying, very time consuming…I’m just a mom who wants to get her kids home. BUT, God is giving me a chance to eat vegetables instead of candy. Veggies don’t meet a craving, but they meet a desire. I crave my kids now. But my desire is to have a healthy family that is strong and the perfect match. Waiting must somehow fill that desire. It gives me opportunity to press into God harder….and there are always sweet things for me there.
I also wrote a few weeks ago about limitations vs boundaries. Maybe this boundary is the best for my family. Perhaps the right kids are not available yet. Or maybe my kids aren’t at a place for us to add two more to the mix. It is possible my capacity isn’t what I think it is at the moment…Who knows.
I just know that in the long run it is better to fill up on veggies instead of candy. Especially when the candy comes from strangers.