Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | May 14, 2013

Control Freak

Yep… those two words describe me! I like things to be in order and organized just the way I want them to be. You can just ask Dayna… I like lists and get very excited about excel spreadsheets!

That was before my husband and I started the adoption process ourselves. Oy vey! I have this strong desire for control, but have absolutely no control over the process. As so many of you know (and I knew from a social workers standpoint), the adoption process contains many unexpected twists and turns. Our trust must be completely in our caseworkers, orphanage workers, foreign judges and government officials, Immigration Services, etc. There is nothing that we can do to hurry the process along or to make things go according to our own timeframes.

This weekend was difficult, as it was Mother’s Day. It is difficult to celebrate Mother’s Day when our child is 7,607 miles away from me. I needed to do something therapeutic, so I decided to paint our son’s soon-to-be-bedroom. The color we had decided on and bought was gray, and then have blue, brown, and white accents. So I spent a good 5.5 hours taping, trimming, and painting the room. It was quite therapeutic.

I finished around 9:00 pm, and looked at my handiwork. The walls ended up being purple! I had bought paint swatches, then paint samples, and painted little sample areas so that we could choose this color. Never was there any purple undertone. But here the walls were, finished, and looking terribly purple. I became mad. Really, really mad. My husband tried to comfort me, and told me it looked fine. I said, “No, it doesn’t look fine. It looks purple! I’m repainting it.” He is a very wise man, and the next words that came out of his mouth were the smartest words he’s ever said: “Let’s eat some ice cream.” I ate my ice cream and calmed down.

Why did I become mad about such a little thing as the color of the walls? It wasn’t the color of the walls that made me mad… it was that the one thing I felt I had control over at that moment did not turn out the way I wanted it to. In the process of bringing my child home, there is so little that I have control over. Painting his room was the one thing that I could do where I had complete control. So when my gray room turned out purple, it was just too much for me to handle on an already emotional day.

It reminded me of the story in Luke of Martha and Mary. Martha was so worried about making everything perfect for Jesus’ visit. She was probably like me, and a control freak. She most likely wanted to make sure everything was clean, that the food was prepared perfectly, that the best wine was being served. When I was young, whenever we would have guests over and my mom would be cleaning, my dad would call it “Martha Mode.” Every now and then she would go into what we called “Hyper Martha Mode”… that’s when you had best just stay out of her way. I guess I know who I get it from!

Then we have Mary. When Jesus was there, she sat at his feet and listened to every word he had to say… soaking it all in. Martha of course complained about Mary to Jesus. Jesus’ reply, found in Luke 10:41-42 really convicted me: “And Jesusanswered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

I probably relate more to Martha than I do to Mary. Actually if I am being honest with myself, there is no “probably” about it… I absolutely relate more to Martha! I worry… I aim for perfection… I want control. But Jesus’ words in this Scripture hit me like a load of bricks… “one thing is needed.”

I need to be reminded that when those crazy times come, and nothing is going the way I want it to, I need to spend time at the feet of Jesus. I need to soak myself in His word, and in His presence. That is the “one thing” that I need. More than control… more than perfection… more than legal paperwork from Taiwan; I need Jesus.



  1. I painted a lot of rooms during our wait too. It IS therapeutic. Sorry it didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped/planned. And you do have a very very wise husband.

  2. At least it wasn’t pink…. I hope that made you smile!

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