Rough. We’re a little over two weeks in and you’re asking how we’re doing.The answer is rough. Adding any new baby into the family takes some adjustment time. Adding a six year old and three year old who have had their hearts, minds, & bodies torn? Let’s just say we’ve never been tired the way tired has met us right now as we teach all five of our children (“big 6”, “new 6”, 4, 3, & 2) what it means to live in a family where parents instruct & discipline from love and where we encourage each other.
Words. There are words, unkind words getting flung around our house as the children battle through some sibling rivalry and while we absorb anger from their grief. When I am being called names that shall not be named, it is easy to feel my own heart hardening. But I am a grown up. These words do not have power to define me. These are the same words that were yelled in anger to my fost/adopt kid when he was a tiny, malleable human. They did define him & he took them in as his internal speech & replayed them so often that in moments of intense tantrum, they are the molten lava bursting from his core.
Why? Why on earth are we doing this? We ask ourselves daily. We know for a fact we are being obedient to what God is asking us to do. Not a general everyone kind of us, just us – me, Nate, and our family. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, we fret about our bio kids. Truthfully there have been nights when we go to bed thinking we’ve just ruined seven lives.
Resiliency. Do I truly believe God cannot redeem this or do I believe that our children (both bio & fost/adopted) are resilient enough to get past the hard and strong enough to allow their lives to be a day-by-day God-story?
Consistency. We do the three (or four) hour bedtime it requires, we fall exhausted to sleep, we worry, we pray, we tell God that this obedience doesn’t make sense, we promise to do our part of the hard work while demanding/begging the One Who Heals to do the healing. We trust healing comes through our consistency. So we sleep, wake up, and do it again.
Nuggets. We find the good nuggets in the day, cup them in our hands. We hold them up to ourselves to light our way out of the claustrophobic tunnel of “this feels hard”. We hold them up to the children to look in wonder upon. This children, THIS is what love/truth/justice/grace is about.