I find it a common practice in our day and age for all of us to want to put conditions on our life decisions. Like, “I will only parent if I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of this child.” Or “I will only get married if my spouse will never leave me!” Wouldn’t that be great!?

Unfortunately, life and decisions we make don’t work this way. For every single decision we make (even the unconscious ones), there is an effect. While we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences.

When an expectant parent chooses to place a child for adoption, they choose to give their stewardship as parent over to someone else. They don’t get to choose everything that happens after the adoption before placement happens. Similarly, a bride and groom don’t get to choose everything that happens in marriage before they get married.

Like marriage, most who enter adoption agreements do so willingly and consciously. As an adoptive parent, you pledge to be responsible for someone else’s physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual needs until they become a legal adult. This transition of stewardship from the birth parent(s) to the adoptive parent(s) moves the decision-making power and, thus, responsibility for care giving to another party. It is a serious undertaking not to be done lightly.

I certainly felt the weight of this responsibility as a young adoptive mom. I felt all the hopes and dreams which this birth mother had for her child placed in my hands. The stewardship was immediate. And at times, I felt unequal to my tasks. It was hard for me to bear the load of parenthood, let alone the unique honor of being chosen for an adoption relationship. It was a lot to take on.

At times, I had my parenting decisions being called into question by my son’s birth mother. I was disheartened by this reaction. I was doing all I knew how to at the time. I would have preferred for a chance to learn on my own from my decisions. I wish she would have trusted the decision she made giving me the responsibility to make decisions for our son. It would have gone a long way in our relationship to have felt encouraged, respected, and supported.

It is up to the people involved in the adoption (or marriage) relationships to make the best of their union. Each individual has the RIGHT to feel any way they want. They even have a RIGHT to their opinion as to how things should be handled. They even have a RIGHT to ask for what they want and desire. However, that is all each person has the right to. We do not get to choose for other people. And sometimes, we don’t even get to choose the results of our own decisions.

As we get better at knowing what is best for us, we get better at making decisions. I feel like I have come a long way in my decision-making skills. I am clearer in knowing what is best for me. I am able to identify what is my responsibility and what is not. And It is also easier for to recognize which decisions will result in me getting closer to my desired result. This does not guarantee control over the result of our decisions, but we learn to decipher with more accuracy.