Four Years – plus Four Kids – Forever

Departing Addis with Eby and Little Man - March 2007

Today is our fourth Forever day with our four children!  Four years ago today, we met them, at two different orphanages, with two different agencies processing our adoptions of three of our children.  We met Honeybee that day as well, but had no idea she would later become our daughter.

Isn’t it amazing to consider the way we plan, and prepare, and think we are in charge of our own lives, only to look back and see that we could not have planned this is we had tried? God is definitely in the details.

Russ and Dimples arriving at the airport - May 2007

I just looked back at my past three Forever Day posts and it is so interesting to read what I had to say.

Forever Day 2008

Forever Day 2009

Forever Day 2010

Today I am honestly feeling a little weary, not particularly due to the children, but the demands of life.  I feel guilty because this is a special day and I should be up and energized, making an amazing dessert, digging out photos to share, etc.  Fortunately, I can fall back on our traditional Forever Day menu of Honey Curry Chicken with Yellow Rice which is super easy and loved by everyone.  I’ll have Dimples make a cake when she gets home from school – she has mastered lemon cake with glaze.  Honeybee can help me cook dinner and make the salad.  All in all, I think I can pull it off, I just wish my heart were more into it.

A Blessing from Honeybee's Grandmother

I’ve been thinking back over the past four months and Russ has had a very demanding work schedule.  He has been working many evenings each week and nearly every Saturday, unless we’ve been out of town.  My big kids are very helpful, but they are busy with school and we put a high priority on working hard academically. I don’t feel strong enough to do so much on my own.  (My friends whose husbands are deployed – please forgive me for even writing these words — I admire you more than you can know.)

I’m trying to press on with a good attitude, but I find myself feeling a little flat and heavy hearted.  Fortunately, Russ made it home late last night after a day of canceled flights and many hours in airports.  It was so good to see him!  He fed the cows, thawed out the frozen faucet, plowed the driveway, took the garbage cans down to the highway, and even had time for me — all between 10:30 and midnight.  Just having him here to get the girls to school was a blessing this morning.

So, today when Honeybee and Dimples get home from school, we’ll make our special meal and set a lovely table with a favorite table cloth, our “fancy” Sunday glasses (if it has a stem – it is “fancy”), and extra candles to lend a little more cheer.  We’ll cook a favorite dinner, (the high fat-version, not my low-fat adaptation) and gather around the table as a family.  I suspect I’ll look around the table at all of the beautiful faces and marvel at God’s plan for our lives.  We’ll read the Bible as the candles burn lower and then serve lemon cake with ice cream.  Over dessert, we’ll tell the story of meeting our four amazing children, children who were once orphans and strangers, who are now our sons and daughters – forever.

A miracle in our midst.

Rusty made this video over three years ago, before we adopted Honeybee. It’s the beginning of our life as we know it now; I hope you enjoy it.  It still makes me cry.

Blessings friends,

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

30 Comments

  1. Sharon
    February 24, 2011

    We just had our family day yesterday, so this is perfect timing for me to read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts-I love your realness.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Sharon, congratulations to your family too! I just hopped over to your blog and read about your "family day." Thank for sharing the good and the bittersweet.

      Reply
  2. kristen pajama mama
    February 24, 2011

    oh, that video still makes me cry, too. praying for rest for you-amidst the celebration of your forever family.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Thank you, Kristen.

      Reply
  3. Lisa H
    February 24, 2011

    I know it IS hard…..but when it's all said and done, aren't you glad that you're part of the story that God is writing? I know I am…I feel "ruined for the ordinary" and even on the hard days, I know I wouldn't change it! Praying that you see the fruit of your faithful labor as the mom to these four precious children this year in an AMAZING way!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Lisa, thank you so much. It was great catching up with you yesterday.

      Reply
  4. Lori
    February 24, 2011

    Sending love from our family to yours. Just being together and sharing the love in your home is celebration enough. I think of you every time I make Curry Chicken and Yellow Rice!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Thank you, Lori. Thinking of all of you too.

      Reply
  5. Lori (Maine)
    February 24, 2011

    What a precious blessing that video is–even to me, a stranger! Thank you for sharing that with your readers! What a sweet family God has made!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Lori, thank you — I still love it too.

      Reply
  6. kristine
    February 24, 2011

    Being together around one table and it's not delivery pizza, that sounds like a beautiful celebration. Congratulations on four beautiful, sweet, lovely and challenging years.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      I hope so! We are having a rough afternoon, so I hope we can pull it together and have a good dinner.

      Reply
  7. kristine
    February 24, 2011

    Actually being together is the celebration. Even the rough days. Hang in there.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Kristine, thank you.

      Reply
  8. Jess
    February 24, 2011

    Still makes me cry too…

    Lisa, I wish I could give you a big hug, it sounds like you need one. But since I can't , please know that you are truly an inspiration. Whenever I get flustered with all of the daily demands that come with a big family, I think, how does Lisa do it? I admire you. Your strength. Your heart. Your relationships with your children. You are an amazing person, doing amazing things…

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Jess – thank you – oh it has been a hard afternoon and evening and nothing turned out as I hoped. Thanks for the hug and the encouragement.

      Reply
  9. Anna
    February 24, 2011

    We just celebrated our Meetcha Day and Forever Day this week as well. I had the same sort of day…knowing we had so much to celebrate but still feeling just a little run down (and I only have 2 little ones). God still blessed our little meal.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I think of you often. You are amazing!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 24, 2011

      Anna, it is lovely to hear from you. Congratulations on your celebration too!

      Reply
  10. Kathrin
    February 24, 2011

    The picutres are lovely! Congratulations! I am happy for youi all!
    I have good new too. If all goes well I'll let you know by the end of the week.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 25, 2011

      Kathrin, I look forward to hearing your good news!

      Reply
  11. Cindy
    February 25, 2011

    Lisa, Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of our adoption… of the lovely little girl who became a part of our lives so many years ago. We too have very trying days and the one's we deem "special" often don't turn out the way we would like. But the ordinary days… the one's when we hear laughter, see tears, witness our children giving love and being loved, the days when running feet and mischievous squeals, those really become the days that we all remember and cherish. I pray you have an ordinary day my friend…

    Blessings,
    Cindy

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 25, 2011

      Yes, an ordinary day today is just what we need. Thank you, Cindy.

      Reply
  12. jill
    February 25, 2011

    Congratulations Lisa and your beautiful children.! God is amazing…He is always good! And he teaches the parents a lot more than the children through this process 🙂 I cannot wait to make your chicken recipe!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 25, 2011

      Jill, I cling to knowing that God is always good — and sovereign. I hope you like the recipe. I served it last night and realized that I really like it best if I put the rice on the platter and spoon the chicken and sauce over it. The sauce is very thin, so it doesn't look nearly as appealing when served separately.

      Reply
  13. Elizabeth
    February 25, 2011

    Happy family day!

    I am probably in a very small minority in that we don't do special occassion things to mark the day of our boys' adoptions. There are a couple reasons for this… first, especially for one of my sons, that day was not a day of happiness and joy. At. All. It was the day that marked his world coming crashing down around his head and it was only a couple of years later that he truly started to recover from the event. It has never seemed right to celebrate it. Second, because of the trauma associated with the date, we have found that it is not a good time to expect resiliant behavior from our son. That time of year often finds us all in survival mode, which also makes it a bad time to throw in a celebration.

    This is not to say we don't celebrate the fact that these boys are our sons and that we are thrilled to be their parents and that they are a part of our family. We just don't make a pointed effort to commemorate the day.

    I hope you all have a joyous dinner together. I have been so blessed to follow you as you walk through your adoption journey.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 25, 2011

      Elizabeth, we have always enjoyed our quiet celebrations in the past, but this year it was not good for one of our girls. The boys loved it and Little Man keeps saying, "Happy Forever Day, Mommy." We'll figure out a better way next year! Thank you for your insightful comment.

      Reply
  14. Jillian
    February 26, 2011

    Forever Family days are bittersweet here…We celebrate them and their lives with us, yet realizing their loss…for Vivace-forever Family Days comes nearing the end of his typical SPIRAL/CYCLE…so while progress is made, the year could be good over all…Nov, Dec, Jan HIT and BOOOOOOM it is a rough time then last days of Jan is "forever family day"…it is rough…He comes back out of his cycle around middle of Feb…..this year it has lingered longer but not as intense…I am LOOKING forward to march-when my heart is more in it 🙂

    Reply
  15. Ann
    February 26, 2011

    Tears streaming down–even though I've watched it before. The thoughts that come to my mind are how happy God is, and how happy He is that he gets to see your family every day. And how happy God is that you have persevered. Prayers for you as you go through a challenging day in terms of hubby's schedule. Thank you for taking the time to encourage and post.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      February 26, 2011

      Thank you, Ann. BTW, my sister pointed out to me that somehow your blog had disappeared from my "Favorite Blogs." I have no idea how that happened, but I put it back on — to the delight of many, I'm sure.

      Reply
  16. Julie
    February 28, 2011

    Congratulations! Four years of love and stability for your kids. Four years of walking close to God as your minister to the hurting world within the walls of your house. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. We are richer because of it.

    Much love,
    Julie

    Reply

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