I wrote a post late yesterday about celebrating our priorities as we parent children from “hard places.” As we give ourselves to loving and raising our children, and in some cases, seeking deep healing, we have to make unexpected choices. For instance, I never imagined that more than five years after our children came home, my days would still be very focused on therapeutic parenting, or that I would have piles of paperwork on my desk related to special needs, or that I would be scheduling appointments with multiple physicians at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
In saying “yes” to our children, we’ve had to say “no” to other opportunities. Sometimes I don’t do it well and I say “yes” to far too much only to realize that I simply can’t do whatever it is I thought I could manage. There simply isn’t much margin in our lives for activites that take place outside of our home. Leaving Dimples with her siblings is rarely possible, and taking lots of kids along doesn’t work in all situations.
Then again, our children have made our world so much wider than I ever could have imagined. Not long ago I had a meeting with the director of our local HIV/AIDS organization – that would not have happened six years ago. Our life as exclusive homeschoolers also no longer exists. It was a loss to us, but this year we’ll have children in three schools as well as at home, and the number of people we know in our community continues to increase.
Not to mention, if we had never brought children into our family from “hard places,” if we had never struggled, sought help, changed, grieved, learned a new way of parenting, this blog would not exist. Writing One Thankful Mom has expanded my world – I’ve made some of the dearest friends and been blessed in so many ways through all of you. I’ve brushed up on my punctuation skills, although quotation marks can still get the best of me, and learned how to upload photos all by myself. This blog led to me being part of Empowered to Connect, which is such an honor – and I’m learning how to speak in public. The very first time I spoke there were over 1,000 people and I thought to myself, “Why on earth am I here? I’m a stay-at-home mom from north Idaho!”
Saying “yes” to adoption also opened the door for Russ to use his many years of education (and many degrees) to head up a well drilling ministry in Kenya. While it is a lot of work and sacrifice, it feeds his soul to bring clean water to the most vulnerable widows and orphans. Since December 2010, the team has dug 25 wells – thanks be to God.
And our faith – if you were with me now, I would want to grab your hands, and look into your eyes so you would really hear this. Our faith is the very best part of this entire journey; we have grown in our love and trust in Jesus more than we could have imagined. We’re learning not to ask “why,” but to seek God’s purpose in our struggles. We want Him to be glorified in our family, even when we are messy. When we are desperate and crying out to God, an amazing thing happens, He shows up. He loves us, He loves us, He loves us – and with that love comes peace. I’m not saying it is easy or pretty, it’s more like great gulping sobs of mercy.
This leads me to my Tuesday Topic question,
When you said “yes” to adopting or fostering children, what “no’s” became necessary? What unexpected “yes’s” have come to you from that decision?
I would love to hear your stories. Please share them by leaving a comment. So often, I don’t answer the Tuesday Topic until after you have shared your thoughts. Today, I’d like to think of this as a discussion we would have if we were sitting my family room sipping lemonade. Let’s hear from you.
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