Where Is the Trust?
Even after more than two years, there is not an internalized sense of belonging yet. There is is an apparent lack of trust in spite of the fact that for more than two years it has been clearly demonstrated that what our children need, and yes even sometimes want, has been consistently provided.
What does it take to develop a sense of trust and belonging?
Was That Trust, or Just a Fuzzy Image of Big Foot?
Of course, in the midst of this, we have made a discovery about ourselves as parents. We are not trusting either. We are not trusting God to work in our kids' lives over the long term. We are not trusting God in the fact that we can only do our part and nothing more. The rest is up to God and the children themselves. We are not trusting God's word full of promises and basic principles for parenting and family.
Like my children, trust has been elusive in my own heart too. People, including children, do not change overnight or even over two years. We change over a lifetime. Bill Mounce's articles referenced with the picture above makes the comment in part four:
But we have committed ourselves to him [God], to walk the path, and so we ask for God to help us understand and obey. And as we obey, the truth of the Bible is validated in our experience; and as it is validated, we start to trust.
Gaining Trust & Belonging
For me this is not just a theory of how God's word impacts my life, but experience. However, I often forget my experiences. Over time, with enough experiences, it finally sinks in. It takes a while for things to soak through my hard head and in God's sense of humor, He led us to adopt children with so many of my qualities already built in!
Properly understanding God's word and obeying it never fails us. James 4:7-8 is a help here. James uses the metaphor of farming to remind us that things are a process. The farmer works hard but is patient. He does his part. The earth does its part. The weather does its part. God does His part. The farmer is just the farmer, not the earth, the rain, and certainly not God. But most notably, the farmer is not alone in his work and neither are we as parents!
So, to answer the original question, "What are we doing wrong?" We are not being patient and trusting. Thus, we are asking our children to be something we are not. When you skate on banana peels of fear and distrust, you fall.