Saturday, September 8, 2012

Family Moments...They're Getting More Popular

As we look back over the past 21 months and our experience with adoption, it often feels like we've been overly critical, disillusioned and perhaps even disappointed with our decision or even worse, our children.  Well today we'd like to set the record straight.

While it is true that we do not believe that anything could have prepared us adequately for the adoption of these children and the impact that they would have on our home and lives, we also recognize that this has been a blessing beyond description.  Sure, we've endured some difficult times and had moments that made us wonder if we were inhaling some strange gas through the air vents of our house!  We've wondered what in the world our children were thinking when they turned somersaults in mud puddles or cracked farm fresh eggs on their forehead or touched the electric fence surrounding the pasture just to see if really was on!  We've had our moments of wondering if we were parents or group home managers and if we were becoming totally different human beings than we'd been all our lives.  But one thing has been driving us: 

God called us to adopt these children and without us they would be lost in a system that would never make decisions solely in their best interest, tuck them in bed each & every night and make sure that they understood their intrinsic, God-given value in this world and that without them we would live the rest of our lives with a sense of emptiness and a feeling that we somehow missed something special that we were suppose to experience.  

So we've talked much in our past blogs about the bad and the ugly of dealing with a system that tries its best to meet the needs of children such as ours but miserably fails as parents.  We've talked about our feelings of being in this alone and wondering if they would ever be able to love us back and we've talked about all the challenges involved in trying to assimilate a sibling group into our family.  But now its time to talk about the good!  Its time to talk about Family Moments.  You know, those moments that you experience as a family that are uniquely different than any other moment you will experience outside of your home.  Those moments that indicate you belong to something permanent and that informs you that you will never be alone as you walk through this life.  These are the moments that later anchor our souls and allow us the necessary resiliency to function and thrive in a world that's lost its collective mind and heart.

So here's to those moments, which by the way are becoming more frequent.  Some of them are serious and some are humorous.  They are defined by Jonah, the 4 year old, climbing up into a dinner chair and "washing dishes" while Karen & I make dinner only because he wants to be in the same room as Mom and Dad.  Then there is the recent breakdown by Judah, our 6 year old, who subsequently crawled up into Karen's lap for comfort when he usually works real hard to hide his disappointments, vulnerabilities, and avoid affection at all costs.  And then there's the faint voice that came this morning from the front our house.  It was Jaden, the 5 year old, whose quivering voice could be heard declaring that "Oh, no!  I'm  going to be stuck in these bushes for the rest of my life!" and then pleading desperately for help!  

And then there is the time when the 2 youngest were actually playing together in the play room and the night that they all went to sleep without any significant parental was short-lived but a breakthrough moment, nonetheless!  We all gathered around the dining room table recently to share a meal that was eaten in relative peace while on another occasion all the boys were playing on our playground together without incident.

Yes, we continue to bump into stubborn wills and collide with dysfunctional behaviors, but overall, we are beginning to notice moments of family and flashes of parent-child ways of relating that seem to be coming our way more frequently.  We raise our hands to the air and say, "Thank you Jesus!" while thinking deep down inside that "This is what we signed up for!"

Until we write again...a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12).