Singin' sweet songs of melodies pure and true....
Join us in our journey to adopt the newest members of our family from Ethiopia!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

5 Months Home - Truths from the Homefront

Hard to believe the last time I blogged, it was from Ethiopia on our first trip. Our second trip didn't allow for much blogging considering we picked up our new sons HOURS from landing in Ethiopia. Quite busy since then!

I am actually thankful that this will be my last blog post for this blog since writing a post causes anxiety and my words could be misunderstood and I will never know. But since there have been over 7,500 readers in the past few years, I am taking the chance that one of those readers may be looking for an end to this story. They may be looking for hope that this adoption really did finish and that two little beautiful boys really did find their forever family. They may be desperately hoping that our story is one that is true and legit. They may be like me, and they read other blogs that spoke of fraud. After reading enough of those stories, I was always searching for hopeful stories that would add to my naive thought that all adoption was good and our motive to grow our family through adoption was possible while still being decent, honest people. I am writing this last post for that reader and there are a couple of things I want to share. I am here to put it out there that no one will ever convince me that our sons did not need a family. We read, heard and were actually there to see their past and grow very sad when I think of what could have been their future without adoption. Their story is theirs to tell, but it is important to tell you now their story may have started with some tragic events, but it is not going to end that way. This adoption process really did finish and our forever family of 6 has started. We are all in this for the long run. We chose life for these boys and are learning so much along the way.

1. Me without God = FEAR. God is so much bigger than any battle I have faced. I am putting this truth first because I need a constant reminder of Who needs to be first in my life. My go-to in life has always been to fall back in fear in the unknown. This reared it's ugly head when I was falling to pieces on the couch of a hotel in Ethiopia in fear of things I saw in our boys that I knew we were going to battle for a very long time. It came up again as I was dry heaving in a bathroom in the middle of an airport in Doha, Qatar (at least this was the most beautiful bathroom I have ever seen!) knowing that we were taking two children away from anything they ever had known and to a place where I was required to know how to handle what was ahead. How in the world could I, someone who resorts to fear, do it?? Well, I can't alone. Me with God = the only way.

2. Other adoptive families will be your lifeline. They provide exactly the kind of support and love you need. I sent facebook messages and texts admitting things and asking questions that won't ever be repeated. No matter how outrageous I thought the questions were, these families made me feel accepted and normal. Some of these adoptive families I have never met and may never meet, but I feel a bond with them that will last a lifetime.

3. You can't hurry some things. You would think I would have learned from the crazy long adoption process (we arrived home EXACTLY to the day 4 years after we started the adoption process for Colombia)! When we got home, I was desperately asking how long until we were back to normal, how long until this and that gets better, how long get the picture. I see a situation that is not the way I want it and I want it fixed right now. I have learned the hard way that God's timing is the best. He will get you through what seems impossible. I was in a hurry to leave Ethiopia. That beautiful country treated us royally but I was ready to start new. Our flight left the country at 2am. We carried the boys in their pajamas sleeping along with 2 carts full of luggage. Our hotel driver dropped us off at the wrong departing terminal. After going through security and all that is involved in that, we were told we needed to leave the airport and walk 10-15 minutes to the correct terminal. After the pouring rain...with our luggage and (by now getting heavy) children. Out we went, in the dark night hardly illuminated, with all of the stares (I would stare at us too, I can't imagine what we looked like!) and soaking wet, over huge pot holes, we made it to the other end. I pray that I will not struggle with God's timing anymore and let Him decide how to get us to the right place.

4. Reality may fall short of your expectations. You can only imagine the expectations I placed on these boys. I waited and hoped for them for so many years! Their sweet pictures we got while waiting, the video I made with beautiful background music. All of it waiting for an awesome climax of a happy family of 6 holding hands in love forever skipping their way through fun times. Ouch! Just like my love for them is taking time and slowly growing, their love for their new family is growing slowly as well. It is taking them some time to learn how to act in a family, how to treat each other, how to trust and how to behave socially. I never expected so much of what we have gone through the past five months.

5. What God has planned is WAY better than your expectations. This same love that I want to grow fast is going to be strong and firm. I have plans of immediate and God has plans of forever. Picture us unlocking the door of our hotel in Ethiopia on our second trip holding the hands of our children, them looking around the room, still in their clothing from their orphanage, and one of our boys dropping everything and starting to dance. Looking up at us with his eyes and dancing. Picture all of us smiling and our hearts taking in the fact that these beautiful creatures could put enough trust in us to get in the van with us, walk through the hotel lobby and now into our room. Having no clue where all of this leads and how we will treat them, and still dancing. Oh how He loves us. Follow and trust in Him.

6. The way you parented your bio kids may not work for your newly adopted children. We were pretty proud of the first two beautiful treasures and felt like we knew the parenting drill. Past experience generally shows that if you do "A" and get "B" as a positive result, you should repeat "A." Well, not always the case. This basic formula has been complicated by past tramua and personality differences. My stubborness is now finally giving way. I pray for guidance on how to best parent all of my children as I want to be the best Mom I can be, accepting their differences.

7. You may be really, really horrible at friendships. I love my family and friends just as much as ever, but I sure have treated them horribly. Unreturned facebook, phone and text messages. Thank you cards never sent. The gratitude that they so deserve not repaid. Definitely still feeling guilty about this, but am thankful to say I am so less judgemental of others. We never know what circumstances someone is going through and all of us deserve and need grace.

8. Your bio children will be stretched. This has been heartbreaking for me. If there is any hard adjusting that needs to be done, any heartbreak that needs to be felt, let it be on me, not my children. We wanted to grow our family for GOOD reasons, not to impart suffering and hurt. Once again, God is showing up in these hard places. He loves us so much that all of our 4 children will become stronger individuals through all of this. I have faith that these short term adjustments will ultimately prove beautiful. Again, what God has planned will be way better than what we expect.

9. You will love your spouse even more than you imagined after this. I have looked at him more times than I can remember with huge worried eyes and he smiles and comforts. He brings down my frantic heart rate. He shows me there is humor in things I get aggravated at. Where I fail, he soars. He is patient beyond words. He forgives and forgets without a second thought. We are forever a team. Thank you Lord for providing once again.

Since I don't allow comments on my blog, I get to have the last say. YAY! It has been a long, often exhausting road, but I would bet that the hearts that have experienced the most exhaustion are not ours but our new sons. They need us to rise above all of these hardships and love them. They need us to be superhuman and we CAN do that if we let God join us. I truly believe God loves adoption. He doesn't like or cause broken families or orphans but he walks with us to be part of the solution. You may be reading this as part of a family waiting to adopt, either domestic or international, you may be reading this as a family that has already adopted and looking to feel comforted with familiar thoughts, you may be a family not interested in adoption but want to help orphans or you may be just plain skeptical, but the awesome thing is no matter where you are, you can be part of the solution. I am challenging you to open your hearts to consider supporting prevention programs that keep families together, to supporting and loving those families around you that are in the fostering or adoption process, to supporting families that are made up of children from adoption and maybe, just maybe, jumping on this crazy, roller coaster of adoption yourself.

Thank you for loving and listening and many blessings to you.


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