Archive for September, 2017

  • What If… (Mama’s turn)

    Date: 2017.09.05 | Category: Adoption

    I have been working on this blog post for a while now.  I am having great difficulty finding the right words to put down on paper that describe how I am feeling.  I have started the beginning over and over again.  I put it on hold when Jasmine came to me with her own blog that she had titled “What if” too.  I let her go first and sat on this some more.  It still doesn’t convey exactly what I want it to convey but it’s sat there waiting to be done long enough so I will give it a go.

    Recently I was honored to get to be a part of the launch group for Katie Davis Majors’ new book “Daring to Hope”.  I loved her first book “Kisses for Katie” and when doubting myself about being able to raise a large family, I would think things like, “Surely I could handle being a mother to 16 if Katie could handle being a young mother to 14.”  I had already parented.  Some of our kids were already grown.  I had a husband, a large home, food and anything else we could possibly need.  We had great medical care and insurance and I wasn’t running a non-profit on top of everything else.  Surely if God called us to this journey, we had everything we needed to be able to finish it.

    In her book Katie talks about redemption and grace and mercy and wrestling with God.  She talks about being prisoners of hope and how there’s beauty in the ashes.  This book is so much like my own life.  The being fully aware of how lacking you are and how much God isn’t.  The embracing of how you don’t have control.   The new seasons that you didn’t ask for and never would have chosen.   The pain of trauma and trying to heal little hearts and realizing it isn’t about you at all.  You were never meant to be the rescuer, God is.  God is faithful.  God loves your children.  God knows.  God sees the beauty in the pain.

    I wouldn’t have signed up for this life.  I was much too happy and content living our comfortable life to sign up for anything perceived as hard.  We did much like the Hill’s talked about in their book “House of Hope”.  We climbed into the river and let God lead us where He would.  To some that would seem reckless like we weren’t giving enough thoughts to all the “what ifs” that are out there but that just wasn’t true.

    My mind was full of “what if’s” as we proceeded…

    What if we spend our lives being obedient to God’s call and the world never, ever agrees with anything we’ve done?

    What if I work from the time I get up until the time I go to bed and I just can’t get it all done?

    What if  a full night’s rest never happens?

    What if we do everything we can possibly do to make it better and the trauma seems to win too many times?

    What if we can never, ever retire?

    What if it hurts our big kids?

    What if we sometimes don’t get everything in our school day done?

    What if the house is never perfectly clean?

    What if we eat on paper plates for the rest of our lives?

    What if it’s near impossible to invite anyone over?

    What if we never, ever get to all go to church together as a family?

    What if we sometimes disagree?

    What if we go through some really hard times as a family with medical issues or the emotionally issues of trauma?

    What if?

    What if?

    What if?

    Truth be told?  I don’t feel guilt or jealousy or any of those other emotions that tend to make us feel “less than”.  That doesn’t mean I don’t mess up or need a do over.  It just means I can see the bigger picture.

    Maybe it’s because I am over 50 and with age comes wisdom to some degree.

    Age has allowed me to see that I can not possibly please everyone and as a recovering people pleaser this is a huge deal.

    Age and my children’s medical issues bring the truth of what is really important into the light. I have read the Bible and no where did I find the words that if I believe in Jesus then my days will be perfect, my home beautiful, and my children perfectly behaved.  Instead the Bible states just the opposite.  In this world, you will have trials and trouble.

    His words have helped me find peace with my life and my large family.  I can now temper all those “what ifs” above with the “what if” of not adopting them.

    It’s easier to extend yourself some grace on a sticky floor when you temper it with “would have died in an orphanage”.

    It’s easier to not worry about raising the perfect student when they are trying so hard to learn a new language and catch up from years of no schooling when you compare that to never receiving any schooling.

    It’s easier to stop and enjoy the moment when you aren’t guaranteed that you will have years together.

    It’s easier to go through the hard knowing that every day there is healing – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  There may be almost as many steps backwards as there are forward, or at least that’s how it feel somedays, but there is definite healing.

    It’s easier to find peace with your life when you have been granted the most amazing front row seat to some pretty darn incredible miracles.

    Yes, we are a large family.  Yes, we do things differently than many smaller families.  Yes, it makes it harder to get out and do things sometimes, but on the flip side we have each other.  We enjoy each other’s company.  We love days spent in our backyard that we’ve made into a park complete with a 600 foot sidewalk path where we they can ride their wheelchairs and bikes and play.  We have girls in wheelchairs and kids who are incontinent so we bought our own backyard blow-up pool with slide that they can easily get around on.   Cassie was a gymnastics instructor for years.  We bought the mats and now she has her own little class right in our sunroom.   We want our children to experience life but what we want most is to give them a life with family.  We want them to have a place to belong and a safe place to fall. We want them to know that they will never, ever be alone again.

    I think we all have to agree that every child deserves the love of a family.  Jasmine’s Dream is “A Family for Every Child”!  We believe that in this house.  We can help. There are so man ways to step up and help.  One child at a time, one family at a time, and if we all work together, we can make a world of difference.

    Let’s work together on family preservation.  Love Without Boundaries Unity Fund is a great way to help pay for the medical procedures that families can’t afford.   Let’s support people who foster and help families heal.  Let’s provide surgeries and rehab and food and water so families can stay together and raise their children.  Let’s build schools were children can get the education that they need.  Let’s volunteer in our local schools.  Be a Big Brother or Sister.  Let’s donate a few dollars to help bring other children home because sometimes adoption is their only hope.  Let’s quit pretending that we can’t do anything and instead CHOOSE ACTION!!!

    Because “what if” this comfortable life you are living really isn’t what it’s all about?

    “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”  – Francis Chan

     

     

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