Rights, Watching, and Living
A few weeks ago I was finally able to drop off the adoption paperwork for the 7 kids. This process has taken us over a year to complete (and that’s just the paperwork!) I went to the courthouse last May to pick up everything thinking it would be a fairly simple process, NOT so, come to find out you have to be married at least a year before you can adopt a step child. Each child had a packet of about 25 pages that needed to be filled out and each one needed additional legal documents attached to their packet, death certificate, birth certificate, and marriage certificate. Dropping it off was a huge relief. I could now cross “adoption” off my list. As I handed the clerk the huge stack of papers I asked her how long she thought it would take. Her response threw me a bit, “It should be completed within 6 months. You’ll have the home study but you’ll be able to skip the court date for terminating the parental rights because upon the death of a parent they immediately lose all rights.” Wow, just like that, you die, you have absolutely no rights anymore to the children you made. Without your egg or your sperm these children would not exist. It seems like there would be some sort of legal loophole to that theory, and I’m sure there have been a handful of people who have tried to find a loop hole throughout the years. It made me wonder, if one of them would have put in their will something to the effect of, “upon my death, I will not allow anyone to adopt my children”, would that have given them a voice from the grave? Been some sort of a loop hole? Sorry, this is where my mind goes, but really, would that be upheld in a court of law? Not that they would do that, but as a mother I hate to think that if I die I have no rights left to my own children. Although, it won’t matter I suppose, and that’s the faith part of it. And, as I’ve said before, they aren’t really ours to begin with; ultimately we trust that He will take care of them. I think part of this doesn’t sit well with me because I don’t believe you really die when you die. I understand that we need the terminology, but I do believe that they are both very fully alive, in fact more alive than we are. I also don’t buy into the concept of them watching over us, I know highly controversial to most who want to believe this, and maybe I’m wrong, but to someone who has remarried, it’s a little disturbing to think that they are watching us, critiquing us, our marriage, our love life, our parenting skills, our lack of parenting skills or whatever it is they would want to observe. It makes me a little squeamish to think that they might watch over us like guardian angels or possess some sort of super powers. I know that this thought brings many people an incredible amount of comfort, but I don’t see any Biblical backing for it. There’s the verse in Hebrews that people often use, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” but as most translators and Bible commentators can agree, the word witness does not mean “spectator” here, it means bearing witness and more specifically, they are bearing witness to the faithfulness of God. Honestly, I think they have much more interesting things to watch where they are than our lives. I prefer knowing that Almighty, All knowing, All merciful, full of grace God is watching over me, “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:7-8) and I believe that it was His presence, not my late husband’s, that brought me comfort and peace in my darkest moments for He promises, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Just keep livin!