Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Risk and Relationship

So, it's been a little while since we've written anything. The last month has been quite full for us as we, among other things going on, have been going through a certification process for adoption through the Department of Child and Family (DCF) and the state of Connecticut. Tonight was our graduation from the training and now we are on to the home study. We have learned a lot but it has been very time consuming!

Throughout the process thus far, a consistent issue we have kept coming back to is the idea of risk. The adoption process via DCF has some legal risk connected to it. Due to the fact that the main goal of DCF is to reunite children with their families, things don't always work out picture perfect for adoption families. A placement always begins as a foster situation before an adoption is finalized, and at times it can take months in the courts. And sometimes the courts don't always agree with DCF's recommendation to terminate parental rights and the children are returned to their birth parents.

As we have had numerous conversations on moving forward in this process, we have kept coming back to this issue. Are we taking too much of a risk? Should we not go through the state but find a private adoption agency instead? What would happen if we had to give children back to parents who at one point abused them? Should we just keep going with fertility treatments? Can we avoid a risk?

The conclusion we keep coming to is that risk is inevitable. We could risk having a pregnant mother change her mind. We could risk an international adoption not going through because of their nations courts. We could risk losing money in the process. We could risk having another miscarriage. Risk is something that we cannot avoid.

And we've realized that this is true in whatever relationships we have, or want to have. Without risk, we can't have relationships at all.

At any point in our lives, the people who are around us can hurt us. It's a risk for us everyday to open up to people, to be intimate with our spouses, to trust the people who say they love us. And yet in our fallen world, the people who are closest to us have the power to hurt us the most. Words cut a little deeper. Broken promises hold more weight. Rejection hurts worse.

The thing is, if we don't take a risk, we don't get the good things out of relationships either. If you never call the girl you've wanted to ask out for months, she'll never have a chance to say yes. If you never open up to a new friend, you won't ever go deep. If you never initiate sex within your marriage, you'll never have any. We always fear a rejection but if we always try to protect ourselves from a "no", we will never have any "yes" in our lives either.

And isn't this what unconditional love is really all about? Being willing to love the people in your life without being concerned with whether you are loved back. Giving even though you might not receive. Forgiving when you are hurt even though you might get hurt again.

Think about the loving risk God took by sending us His son. How did that work out? God could have played it safe. Jesus could have walked away and given into His anxiety in Gethsemane. He could have avoided the risk of suffering and certain death but yet, for the sake of true love, Jesus continued to do what needed to be done despite the possible consequences.

Risk is unavoidable! People will hurt us and say no and turn us down. But to convince ourselves that we need to just play it safe, will not just eliminate the pain in our lives. It will also eliminate the blessings.

Jake

4 comments:

  1. This was awesome to read, thanks for sharing this man, seriously. I'm in a confusing situation right now, trying to hear God's voice in a relationship that has become rather discombobulated and continually reading about the risk associated with love is refreshing.

    I feel it is something we need to be reminded of a lot, without risk, without the will to love beyond the feelings, but to serve, that is always the test.

    I've been reading this blog for a while now, the both of you are legit, genuine people and I will be praying for your adoption process and for children, however God chooses to bless you two.

    Keep your heads up, share the Peace.

    777

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  2. you have no idea how on point this was to my life! I felt the Lord speak through you. thank you.
    I. needed. this.

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  3. Thank you Jake and Melissa. Your honesty about the necessity and yet challenges of taking risks are so prevalent whatever stage of life you're in (single, dating, married, parenting, waiting, etc). This was so well said: "the people who are closest to us have the power to hurt us the most. Words cut a little deeper. Broken promises hold more weight. Rejection hurts worse."

    I think there can be incredible redemption found in relationships, but also incredible pain. You named both so well!

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  4. Very entertaining post. I had really great time reading your post.. It encourage me more and learn lot of things. Thanks! :)

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Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.