I don't usually pin my troubles on spiritual warfare. It's the sort of thing I do believe in (in a "Yeah, it's probably true" sort of way,) but it's certainly not my first thought whenever I'm faced with a challenge or hardship. I tend first to look at myself: is there something I am doing, or not doing, that is causing this?
Yet I've been increasingly convinced that the obstacles to our adoption are coming from a nefarious spiritual source. It was my husband, actually, who alerted me to this fact. I have been called to adopt for years and years. I've been praying for it daily and offering my Masses for at least three years now. Yet I've been met with such resistance from my husband that I have put the possibility aside for some undetermined age that is known only as "God's Time." I know I will adopt. At some point. But it's not on the radar right now.
A few weeks ago my husband sent me an email with an adoption horror story where a boy was returned, by himself, to Russia (who was threatening to freeze all American adoptions at the time of the story. ) He followed it up a few days later with an opinion post by an adoptive father lamenting the dearth of support agencies and resources for those with troubled adoption situations.
In the email, my husband wrote something like, "These stories are just falling into my lap without me seeking them out. If I believed in an omnipotent being, I'd think he was trying to tell me something."
It floored me at the time, and I started thinking to myself, "Maybe he's right...Maybe God is speaking to my husband because I'm such a control freak that He can't reach me through my stubborn fixation on this idea. Maybe God really is saying no to the adoption...Maybe it's because I'm not a good enough mother...I yell at my kids too much and I watch too much TV and don't sweep the kitchen every day...Maybe God knows I couldn't handle it..." Then I got hold of myself and realized I had played right into that trap of self-doubt and fear that is the Devil's M.O. It took me a few weeks to see it, but once I did it became clear as day.
Who uses fear to keep us from doing good? Who divides a husband and wife? Who attacks using lies that are hidden by half-truths? Not God. Not an omnipotent being who loves us, loves His creation and urges us to be loving to each other. I'm aware of the potential for great pain and sacrifice. It's not enough to drive the call from my heart, because God has put that call there, and "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8 : 38-39
These adoption horror stories are not coming from God. They're coming from someone who wants to stop the adoption. I've been reading a book titled "Successful Adoption," and this afternoon I read the following: "When you adopt a special-needs child, Satan really doesn't like it, because that has been his territory, and he knows that God is going to be glorified." Source: Robin Pennington
Satan is served by people fearing to adopt. It supports the idea that there are too many people in this world, and that children are a burden rather than a blessing. It creates a justification for abortion, birth control and IVF. It perpetuates the lie that suffering is bad and should be avoided whenever possible. When people are afraid, they do not reach out. They close in, protecting themselves from suffering and harm. Satan is served when people are afraid, because fear makes us put ourselves and our own needs first.
It's like my heart has burst into flames and my energies to pray for our adoption have been completely renewed. I'm still prepared to wait for God's time, but instead of limiting my prayers to "Lord Jesus, I pray for our adoption and our future children," I am going to be focusing my prayers to defeat the work of Satan. A novena to our Lady seems an excellent place to start, followed by candles lit at my parish for this purpose and a daily prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. I'm also going to turn my husband's heart over to St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus. What a wonderful role model in whom we can place our trust!
I humbly ask for your prayers as well, my friends. For me, for my husband, for our adoption and for an increase in adoptions around the world, for those who are orphaned, for those who are neglected or abused or unloved, for those in foster care, for all those awaiting a forever family, and for all families.