fail·ure (n.) Lack of success, falling short.
One of my biggest obstacles growing up and even to this day has been the fear of failure. Looking back on it, I can see times where a great moment was just waiting for me, but my fear of failing loomed and while me not taking that step to overcome my fear didn’t have devastating consequences, it definitely kept me from experiencing some really cool moments.
My wife and I have been married for twelve and a half years. We have had some very great and sweet moments, and we have had some real lows. It’s easy to sit back and soak in the good but as soon as a hard time comes, that fear of failure looms. I can remember asking myself if I am a failure in my marriage. I promised my wife that I would never leave her and she has promised me the same, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times where I’ve sat on the couch or lied in bed wondering if I have failed…if we have failed? But then I sit there and think of why I love her, why our marriage is worth it, why failure is not an option, and I work on it. I work on it because when something means so much and when actually failing would have so many devastating effects, you work on it.
While there are many devastating effects that would occur, I want to focus on my seven little “effects”. You see, I have seven kids…SEVEN! My wife and I were blessed to have three kids that came from her tummy and four kids that came from our heart. I remember when we were younger and we decided that we were ready to start trying to have our first baby, there was fear. A fear of “what if I fail this child?” once we bring her into this world. The only exception in that case was that the excitement and anticipation overcame that fear. We didn’t know what would come after our baby was born, but we knew that our child’s future was ours to mold. The only history that came with our baby girl on the day she was born was the love in which we brought her into the world with. Fast-forward another baby and we decided that it was time for our next adventure, foster care.
My wife and I had talked before we were married about how one day we would like to adopt a child. My wife came from a family with an adopted sibling and there was just something about loving a person who truly needed it that really stuck in our hearts. We didn’t know at the time that our journey to adoption would travel through foster care, but after making the decision and going through the training, the call came. “We have a little boy, 17 months old, will you take him?” I tried asking all of the questions that we were trained to ask, but they had no answers and the only answer that they wanted was from me: Yes, or No? In that moment, I was struck with fear. The fear that I might fail this kiddo, but out of my mouth came those words, “Yes, we will take him into our home.”
That night, a little boy came into our home. His history was unclear and his future was not ours to plan at that time. All we were entrusted to do was care for this kid and make sure that his needs are met. In that moment we went from a family of four to a family of five and since then, a family of six…seven…eight…nine! Can I have an honest moment with you? Every day, I wake up knowing that I will fail with at least one of my kids each day and there’s a good chance that I will fail my wife in one way or another too. That thought, that weight, travels with me always. Sometimes the days are long and my patience wears thin.
There are times when my kiddo comes in to tattle on his sister for the tenth time in five minutes and I tell him to just go and deal with it…I fail.
There are times when my daughter has been avoiding bed for an hour and now all she wants is to snuggle but I say, “No”…I fail.
There are times where my six month old is screaming in my arms and instead of trying to work him through it, I put him in the swing and distance myself…I fail.
There are times when I know that my wife needs a date night, but I don’t make it happen…I fail.
I FAIL…I Fall Short!
You see, I know that I fail…a lot, but I don’t let that failure define me. I know that through all of my failure there is a lot of success, a lot of love, grace, teaching, cuddling, reading, playing, the list could go on. That’s the way it is in life. No one ever said it would be easy, but let me tell you this, getting to be married to a powerhouse of a wife and getting to be Daddy to my seven kids…it’s worth it.
When something, someone means so much to you, you figure out a way.
Everyday I learn, I try and oftentimes I fail, and that’s ok.