Lessons God Taught Me On The Bathroom Floor

In 2014, guest blogger & Lifesong Adoptive mom Nicole Schmidt shared candidly about the struggles she and her husband faced after bringing their older sons home. Today, over 6 years later, her words hold up. Enjoy this guest post from the Lifesong Blog archives… 


Our entire adoption process, we held this verse in Ephesians close to our hearts.

“In love, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.”

After about a year-and-a-half-long process. we boarded a plane to go pick up our boys in Ethiopia. We were ecstatic! During our entire adoption process, we prayed this simple prayer:

God, show us your radical love. Help us to love as you love.

We went straight to the orphanage as soon as we got there, and picked up Abe and Manye. They were all smiles, and Tom and I had visions of what this new family could look like.


But like any parents to new children, those sweet visions soon met reality.

We spent our first few hours together treating our younger son for scabies and breaking up fights. For anyone who has ever dealt with lice—scabies is like lice over the entire body.

The fighting was constant, and we started to realize our oldest son wasn’t as happy to be with us as we had hoped. In fact, he was full of rejection that would only build in the months to come. Most of his anger and rejection were directed at me. It hurt. And we started to wonder what we had done.

We kept praying:

God, show us your radical love. Help us to love as you love.

Once we were home, things became increasingly difficult to navigate, and I started to let resentment and fear creep in.

Couldn’t they see all that had been done for them?

We offered them a new life, and a new inheritance, but it was met with hurt and rejection. There were days when I was so rejected and so hurt, the idea of getting out of bed in the morning filled me with panic. Never in my life had I ever felt such hurt. Their pain was spilling over into every aspect of our lives. There were days when our biological kids just couldn’t cope, and we felt guilty for all they were going through.


So one day, at rock bottom, I prayed this prayer again… this time face down on my bathroom floor:

God help me to love as you love. Help me to see these children the way you see them. I am not sure I can love them. Please, God, just help me.

And He brought me to a place in scripture that I had glossed over many times before in Romans.

“God shows his great love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Read that again.

The Lord challenged my heart at that moment in such a tangible way:

Nicole, you have been praying this prayer over and over. And I’ve answered it. Did you mean it or what? Or were those just words? Because if you want to love like me, you have to be okay with rejection. Because I died for you, while you were still full of rejection, trying to do things on your own. When you were rejecting your inheritance, I had already claimed you as my child. 

Every day, when I look at my sons and this new family, I am so grateful for this picture of the Gospel. I want to be a doer of God’s word.


I still want to love as He loves.

People that don’t know us sometimes make comments about how we saved our boys—but that’s not true.

We may have removed them from their physical poverty, but only God can remove the spiritual poverty caused by such loss.

Everyone is broken and in need of a healing Savior. We are different, but we are the same.

There are doctors that have lots of labels for my children. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, High Anxiety… but that’s not who they are in Christ.

Our God is a God of restoration. He is healing what has been broken. We see our sons being released from emotional and spiritual bondage right before our eyes. He is doing miracles in our family.

Walls are crumbling. God is bringing healing, and He is teaching us more about His great love every day.

I give thanks to God for those dark moments—the ones that sometimes happen on the bathroom floor—because there is restoration on the other side.

Let us support you in your adoption journey!

We believe God intended all children to be in a safe and loving Christian family. But because we live in a broken, fallen world, that doesn’t always happen. Our goal at Lifesong is to bring joy and purpose to the fatherless by helping them become sons & daughters. Fill out the form below to get FREE resources and encouragement no matter where you are on your adoption journey.



Request Free Adoption Resources

  • Connect With Us
  • By signing up you'll receive occasional adoption-specific email opportunities and encouragement. Plus, receive your FREE 10-step adoption guide today!
  • Hidden
    MM slash DD slash YYYY