Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

Psalm 102 September 7, 2012

Filed under: Faith — Lori @ 9:13 am

I have a CD with several psalms written as hymns and today I was humming this one because I was thinking about and praying for a friend who is going through a very difficult trial.  It is a psalm of grief, but grief anchored by hope and trust.  I really like it and I think I will sing this song in my head all day!

Psalm 102

Do Not Hide Your Face from Me

A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the Lord.

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you!
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call!

For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
I forget to eat my bread.
Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my flesh.
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl[a] of the waste places;
I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
All the day my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
For I eat ashes like bread
and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.

12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations.
13 You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold her stones dear
and have pity on her dust.
15 Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
16 For the Lord builds up Zion;
he appears in his glory;
17 he regards the prayer of the destitute
and does not despise their prayer.

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height;
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
and in Jerusalem his praise,
22 when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

23 He has broken my strength in midcourse;
he has shortened my days.
24 “O my God,” I say, “take me not away
in the midst of my days—
you whose years endure
throughout all generations!”

25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27     but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you.

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…And They Lived Faithfully Ever After September 3, 2012

Filed under: Adoption,Faith — Lori @ 10:51 am

I just read an article on Empowered to Connect and it really connected with how I have been thinking about adoption lately.  I am copying it entirely here:

His Master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant…” Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

Everyone loves a story with a happy ending.  It’s the stuff that best-selling books and box office hits are made of.  Happy endings lift our spirits and inspire us to dream.  They get us started, keep us going, and give us reason to believe.

When families adopt they too dream of living out a story with a happy ending.  And well they should.  After all, adoption is full of joys and blessings, and for many these experiences are the hallmarks of the journey itself.

But there’s just one problem when it comes to our enchantment with happy endings – they don’t always happen.  Not in life and certainly not in adoption.  Happy endings are far from guaranteed, no matter how much we pray or believe.  Even if God has called you to the adoption journey, none of us are promised a fairy tale ending.  And far from being a letdown or a depressing thought, this reality can, if we allow it, re-focus our hearts and minds on how God desires the story that He is writing with our lives to unfold.

As we turn the pages of our story with each new day, we discover that the story is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, unexpected lows and unimaginable highs.  We quickly come to realize that it is not so much what happens to us that creates the meaning in our story, but what God is doing in and through us.  And what He, not us, accomplishes ultimately determines how our story “ends.”

No matter where we are along the adoption journey we must remember that God’s call, God’s provision, and God’s blessing is not defined by or even reflected in our circumstances.  Instead, He has called us to be faithful…and to live in the hope that is able to do so much more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power at work in us…until one day we stand face to face and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  Surely that will be the “happiest ending” of all.

Lord, help me remember Your unending faithfulness and guide me by Your Spirit to respond faithfully in each and every moment as I travel this journey You have called me to. Amen.

By:  Michael Monroe

*Adapted from …And They Lived Faithfully Ever After: Devotionals for Adoptive & Foster Families, due out by December 2012 from Empowered To Connect.

 

The Outcome is Not in My Hands August 23, 2012

Filed under: Faith — Lori @ 12:47 pm

I read a blog post yesterday and I am still thinking about it.  It was on the True Woman blog and entitled “When They Don’t Love You Back”.    Contrary to what you might think the article did not resonate with me from the adoption/foster care angle.  The idea that resonated with me is that we are to obey God in whatever He has asked us to do remembering that the outcome is not in our hands.  Here is a partial excerpt from the article:

…He’s been teaching me a deeper lesson about that season of intense ministry—it’s not my job to control the fruit. That’s the job of the Gardener. I am to be faithful to plant, water, nurture, and harvest when God tells me to, but it isn’t my job to control the outcome of my efforts for the Kingdom.

I don’t know about you, but that is a lesson I need to take to heart.

I am not sure if it is just a human trait or more prevalent in our American culture, but we have a certain idea in our heads of success and we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to reach that goal.  Often, those goals can be very worldly and have nothing to do with God’s idea of success.

David Brainerd comes to mind when I think of a historical figure who toiled in obedience to the Lord and yet saw little, of what he (or we) would term, success – at least during this life.  David Brainerd (1718-1747) was a missionary to the American Indians in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania. Born in Connecticut in 1718, he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-nine.  (Click the link on his name to read a short biography.)  He devoted his life to bringing the gospel to Native Americans and when it finally seemed that hearts were opening to trust in Christ, he became very ill.  He spent time at Jonathan Edwards’ home at the end of his life.  Jonathan Edwards published a book of his life and writings which became Edwards’ most published and read work.  For over two centuries now, it has served as an inspiration to ministers and missionaries throughout the world.  (Information contained in this paragraph is from the link mentioned above.)

A quote from the linked article:

Certainly Brainerd’s work was extraordinary, but the question still remains: why have the records of his short ministry (three years) had such a profound and lasting impact? To answer this, several characteristics of Brainerd’s ministry must be considered.

First, David Brainerd gave up his life in complete devotion to the Lord’s work. We can see a picture of this in some of his final words:

It is impossible for any rational creature to be happy without acting all for God. God Himself could not make him happy any other way… There is nothing in the world worth living for but doing good and finishing God’s work, doing the work that Christ did. I see nothing else in the world that can yield any satisfaction besides living to God, pleasing Him, and doing his whole will.18

Although he was originally concerned about material comforts, Brainerd came to believe that nothing mattered except serving God. He also sought God regularly through prayer and fasting. He records days of prayer and fasting more than anything else in his diary. In fact, it was so important to him that he taught the Indians to pray and fast before he would administer communion to them. Clearly, Brainerd had a heart that was intent on seeking God and doing His will to the best of his ability.

Do take the time to go to the link and read the rest of this short biography and see what the other characteristics were of David Brainerd’s ministry.  We can learn a lot from the way he lived his life.

John Piper wrote, “Brainerd’s life is a vivid, powerful testimony to the truth that God can and does use sick, discouraged, beat-down, lonely, struggling saints, who cry to him day and night, to accomplish amazing things for his glory.”

That is where I am.  I am a discouraged, tired, struggling saint (saved by the grace of God through Christ), crying out to the Lord asking Him to empower me and help me where I feel completely unequipped to do what is in front of me.

From David Brainerd’s own words:

I never saw the work of God appear so independent of means as at this time. I discoursed to the people, and spoke what, I suppose, had a proper tendency to promote convictions. But God’s manner of working upon them appeared so entirely supernatural and above means that I could scarce believe He used me as an instrument, or what I spake as means of carrying on His work… God appeared to work entirely alone, and I saw no room to attribute any of this work to any created arm.

The story of Brainerd’s life can encourage me in obedience with the knowledge that any success/fruit/outcome is completely in God’s hands and will come about by His power and will.  I love that the Lord chooses to use us in His work, but may I always be cognizant of the fact that it is He that brings about the results.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  Philippians 2:12-13

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:8-10

(All photos I use in my posts are my own photos unless otherwise credited.)

 

Count the Cost July 10, 2012

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,Life — Lori @ 11:08 am

I am a little out of practice!  I have not written here since January.  It isn’t that there has not been plenty to write about, there is just not much free time where my brain has enough energy to put thoughts into a coherent form.  I was talking with my counselor (psychologist) today about some issues with Levi and the dearth of good resources for parents with adopted kid issues.  She said that I should write a book!  I may just do that. 🙂

It is hard to know how to share some of the struggles of adoption.  I wrestle with the decision of what to write and how much to say.  The thing is, it often feels very private and personal.  And yet…we need to be honest about adoption.  Adoption is wonderful.  I love it.  God loves it.  It is a good thing.  There are children all over this world who are without a family.  I firmly believe that the best place for a child is to be with a family.  If they cannot be with their own family, they need another one.  That is just the way it is.

I have talked about a person’s motivation to adopt before.  If you are considering adoption there are a lot of things you should ponder long and hard.  I have written a post on adoption related books that are must reads for true and needful information before and after going into an adoption.  There are no fairy tale endings.  That is not to say that things cannot be wonderful and that there aren’t a lot of blessings for you and your child in adoption.  But, you have to be realistic.

You see, you go into adoption the first time (at least we did) with a lot of enthusiasm and frankly, rose colored glasses.  You read about issues associated with adoption and you think, that won’t be our experience!  And, it won’t be your experience.  Not exactly anyway.  There are as many difficulties in adoption as there are children who are adopted.  You really need to assume that there will be difficulties.  Maybe lots of them.  Ones that may take years to work through, or they may never be conquered.  I am not being melodramatic, this is fact.

The girls have been in our family for over four years.  They are a daily blessing and we love them intensely.  We are still dealing with learning issues and problems that undoubtedly stem from early malnutrition, trauma, and who knows what.  Our hope for our girls is that they will learn what they need to function as independent people and have fulfilling lives.  This is not an insult to them.  This is fact.  Our expectations for our adopted kids have to be adjusted from our typical parental expectations.

I often read a blog, Urban Servant.  It is written by a mom of eight adopted children.  She is very honest about her children’s struggles and I know there are many adoptive parents who are so thankful for her honesty.  We can’t be a support for each other – as adoptive families – if we don’t share our struggles as well as resources we have found.

The other piece of this is our Christian walk – our discipleship to Jesus.  Being a disciple means that you are following someone.  You are emulating their life and you believe what they believed.  Have you ever thought how absolutely scary it is to say you are a disciple of Jesus?  I have said that I am a follower of Christ, but I do not think that I ever, until very recently, considered the full impact of that statement.

Think about the life that Jesus led.  Did He have a lot of acceptance on earth?  How was He received by His own people?  Was His life a walk in the park?  How did it end?

I could write a book to answer those questions, but I don’t have to!  Just read through one of the gospels, say the book of Luke, and they are all answered.  Only a handful of people accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.  Many followed Him around, but most of them just wanted what He could do for them.  His own people thought He was a blasphemer and should be killed and eventually they had a part in His death.  His death was the most horrific event you can imagine.

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 16:24-26

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

In another place (Luke 14:25-31), he tells the crowd who is following Him – waiting for another miracle or another meal:

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

So, let’s recap those facts.  To be a follower or disciple of Jesus we need to 1) deny our own desires, 2) Be willing to lose our life, 3) Hate our own families (This doesn’t really mean to hate them.  It means that we love them less – or do not put them above our devotion and  love for Jesus.), 4) Bear our own cross, 5) Follow Jesus, and 6) Count the cost.

That is a pretty good list for how you need to think before going into adoption.  It is really a good list for ANY Christian.  And, yes, it is a bit scary to think about it.  Thankfully, if we belong to God through Christ we are not asked to do all of that on our own.  Unfortunately, as Americans, we tend to think in terms of everything in life turning out with a certain good/happy conclusion.  The therapist I was talking with yesterday said that most Americans go into adoption thinking that love will conquer anything.  That just isn’t accurate.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t adopt – it means we need to be realistic about it.

A friend was recently speaking at our church about the ministry she and her husband have devoted their lives to.  She talked about making a commitment to the Lord that she wanted to give all of herself to Him and to His purposes for her life.  I remember making a similar vow to the Lord many years ago when our bio kids were very young.  I did not take that vow lightly.  However, I had no idea how it would actually play itself out in my life either.

I feel like I am rambling here and please forgive me as I kind of work through all of this as I write.  You see, my life is not neat and tidy and separated.  I don’t have my Christianity over here and my life as a mom of adopted children over there.  It is all entwined.  I am muddling along trying to do the job the Lord has asked of me and I find that I am failing miserably much of the time.

I have found in the last six to nine months that I have been feeling beyond exhausted.  I have felt like my energy was being sucked out of me both physically and emotionally.  I have actually pictured in my head that scene from “Princess Bride” where Wesley is having the life sucked out of him by that machine.

Last Sunday as I sat before the service began I was again thinking of the “life sucking” machine.  All of a sudden a verse popped into my mind.

Philippians 2:17  Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

It occurred to me that my thinking was very self centered and negative.  If I could just change my thinking to a positive and remember that my life is not my own, but has been purchased with great cost and that it is my act of worship (gratefulness to God’s gifts) to give of God’s grace and mercy that He has given me to others – willingly and with joy.

Romans 12:1-2  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I realized that the correct attitude as a believer is to be filled – with God’s love, grace, and mercy through His word and the Holy Spirit – and then to willingly pour it all out into the lives of others.  It was more of an attitude correction and looking at the idea of what is going on in my life in a positive way rather than a negative.

I am sure I will have to remind myself and have an attitude check on a regular basis!  But, I was so thankful that the Lord opened my eyes to my heart needing to do an about face.  That is always a good start.

All that to say, Levi has been having a hard time adjusting.  We began to worry last fall when we weren’t seeing signs of his attaching to us as we had seen the girls attach.  We began to look for resources and talk to professionals.  We just got back the results of Levi’s testing and we are indeed dealing with RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder – as well as some other issues.  In talking with psychologists we have relayed situations and have learned that there are good and positive signs that Levi will have some kind of attachment to us and will hopefully be able to have attachments to other people in his life in the future.

There is a very long and difficult road ahead of us.  We have complete faith and trust in the Lord that He will guide us.  We also have complete trust that the outcome will be the Lord’s sovereign and good will for us and for Levi.  We would greatly appreciate your prayers joining ours as we tackle these issues.

 

A “Word” from the Lord January 12, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Life — Lori @ 12:20 pm

It is my belief that the way the Lord continues to speak to His people is through His Word, the holy scriptures.  What a blessing and comfort that is!  Our only disconnect from His words to us are when we do not read them, memorize them, meditate on them.  It is to our detriment that we do not.  Because it is through His alive and powerful words in scripture that He teaches us, admonishes us, comforts us.  His words are life.  How powerful are God’s words?  Well, he spoke and all creation came into being!

I shared the following story with a friend and decided to share it here as well.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed last week as I was getting back into our school routine and feeling like the task God has given me is more than I can handle.  In my daily Bible reading I read the first two chapters of Joshua one day.  The words that were meant for Joshua from the Lord, to give him confidence and strength for the task ahead, were just what I needed the Lord to speak to me.

Joshua 1:7-10  7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

I needed the reminder that God’s word is all that I need and I cannot turn from it – looking for answers somewhere else.  It is because He is always with me, always guiding, always supplying, that I can be strong and courageous in the face of what sometimes seems like an insurmountable task!

The verses mention prospering and success.  It is very important that we see those words in context.  If we see those words in the verse as a promise, well, they come with a condition – that we obey perfectly all of God’s law.  That is not possible.  However Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior did obey God’s law perfectly!  Praise the Lord, it is Jesus’ righteousness that I am wearing before God and not my own!  Of course, this promise was made to Joshua and in turn for the Israelites.  God had a plan for them and He was telling Joshua that His plan would have success.  There is a principle in that for us as well.

I believe God has given each believer a task that He has prepared for us:

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

If God has called us to do something, He will prepare us and He will provide for us and He will give us success.  We will always reach the end of our own ability – probably quicker than we are willing to admit.  We will prosper and have success in those tasks God calls us to because they are the Lord’s tasks and He will accomplish His good and perfect will as the sovereign and almighty God.  Will the world measure prosperity and success as God does.  Probably not.  But, if I have faith that in all things God is at work for my good and His glory, I can see God accomplishing His will which will ultimately be success in my life.  It may not look like the world sees prosperity and success.  But, we must have eyes that look beyond the temporal of this world.

I have always loved 2 Corinthians.  Even before I had really suffered much in my life I loved that book.  I think it was God’s way of preparing me – as I said, He is always faithful to do that!  I want to quote some of the fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians, but can’t decide where to start. 🙂  There is so much there that pertains to what I am thinking about today.  Honestly, I should give more room to God’s words than to mine.  His are much more effective.

2 Corinthians 4:7-18; 5:1-10

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

1 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Hear the word of the Lord!

 

 

Wrap-up of 2011 January 3, 2012

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,Family — Lori @ 12:33 am

I left y’all hanging at the end of 2011 and there were some things I would like to share with you.  We had Levi’s adoption finalization on November 9.  The judge did a great job making it a special day.  She had made a sign congratulating Levi.  She brought cupcakes for all of us who who attended – there were about fifteen of us!  She also let Levi use her gavel.  He liked that.

He was rather confused by what we were there for.  He kept saying, I am already Levi Schneider; I am already your son!  He sure was, it just wasn’t quite legal in the U.S. 🙂

We laughed and were a bit nervous when the judge showed Levi a button and said to be sure not to push it because it called officers into the courtroom.  I am pretty sure she has forgotten the psychology of a seven year old.  Don’t say, “Don’t touch this really cool button that will make something really interesting happen.”  Okay, that isn’t what she said, but I bet that is what Levi heard!!  Anyway, we did keep him from pushing it, but he wanted to. 🙂

Once again we were reminded how very fortunate we are in the support that our family has.  We were so thankful for family and friends who made the not so easy trek to downtown Portland to attend the adoption ceremony.  We were watching a 2011 photo show at our church’s New Years Eve service and included in the photos were Kevin and I coming home from India with Levi last March.  One of the photos showed a picture of all the people who came to greet us – there had to be about thirty people.  It was truly overwhelming at the time to see all those people, but even after nine months seeing that photo brought back this rush of emotion and tears remembering all that we have to be thankful for.

We traveled to Medford for Thanksgiving.  It was a very special time with Kevin’s family – especially because his Dad has been battling cancer.  When someone you love is fighting a serious disease it really makes you reflect on life and what is important.  We had a time of sharing what we are thankful for and all of us could agree how thankful we are for Kevin’s parents and for the example they have been for all of us.  I so appreciate how the cousins have embraced our children and all of them enjoyed spending time together!  Here is a photo of the “kids” table which includes our Kelsey who is 22 and a cousin who was married just this last spring.

We had fun decorating the Christmas tree on December 3.  As Levi’s first time he was a mixture of excitement and confusion.  What did all these decorations mean?  There is so much to learn in a new culture!

The girls were in a Christmas musical play in December.  They had so much fun practicing for that and really loved performing it.  I got to watch them twice as they did two performances and it blessed my heart to see their happy faces as they sang about the true meaning of Christmas.   Here they are with two of their biggest fans, Grandma and GG.

We were so thankful that Kevin’s parents were able to drive up to see their play as well as spend time with three of their four kids’ families who live in this area and celebrate an early Christmas with us.  What was so exciting was the fact that Kevin’s Dad felt good enough to travel and it didn’t set him back.  Praise the Lord for that answer to prayer!

It has been our experience after losing our son Grant, that there are certain times of the year that bring your grief to the surface.  Christmas is one of those times.  A few weeks before Christmas I was sitting in church with the three younger kids beside me, listening to their voices singing out and I was just overwhelmed with how much God has blessed us.

I think of Job and how he had lost every one of his children and how he grieved for them.  In the end, God blessed him with more children and restored all that Job had lost.  I have often thought about how Job must have felt.  I think I now know.  He would have never forgotten the children that he had lost.  I am sure that as he looked around and smiled at the children God gave him after the tragedy he still had an empty place in his heart and pain for the children that were no longer there.  The new children did not replace the ones he had lost.  But, the presence of those children must have given him hope and filled him with awe at the faithfulness of God.  Well, I don’t know if that is what Job felt, but it is what I feel.  I am so blessed by the addition of our three special delivery children and thankful to my core for our precious daughter Kelsey.  But, I also miss Grant beyond words.  I miss how much he would have loved these new siblings and what a great big brother he would be.  Levi builds a special creation with his Legos and comes and wants to show me – just like Grant used to.  There is a mixture of happiness and loss in that memory.

Psalm 9:1-2   I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;   I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you;   I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

 

Second Best? November 9, 2011

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,Family,India — Lori @ 12:23 am

Adoption is a beautiful thing.

 

Families are God’s design for raising children.

 

There is pain and loss in adoption.

 

I really do not like that last sentence.  It isn’t that I do not believe that it is true.  I know it is true.  I have three adopted children.  I see their grief and loss.  I am not going to lie, there were times early in the girls’ arrival that I was annoyed that they didn’t understand how much we loved them and how we wanted good for them.  They were still looking back.  It is taking me a long time to understand that.  They still look back.  They will probably always look back in some way.

I have made peace with that.

The girls have asked me what happened to their Indian mom.  How do I explain something to them that I don’t even understand.  I have been given very little information about their relinquishment.  Kalindi’s memories are a bit jumbled.  She told me some things when they first came when she was able to communicate it in English.  It really doesn’t make sense and when I tried to check the story with her orphanage I was told that she was wrong.  They said that all the kids talk about their stories and they get confused about what their story is.  She also said that they watch movies and somehow parts of them end up in their story.  I don’t know if we will ever know the truth.

Kira has no memory of her mother.  She tells me, though, that she pictures her mom in her mind and even dreams about what it would be like to be back in India with her mom.  I am not going to lie, that hurts a little bit.  I do know how much she loves me and I know how much she NEEDS a mom and that is me right now.  She asked me some questions the other night that were basically, “What happened that I am not living with my Indian mom?”

I have no truthful answer for that.  I don’t know the real story.  I can only make guesses.  I always err on the side of giving their parents the benefit of the doubt.   I am sure their mom made the best decision she could for her daughters.

I guess the problem is trying to teach my girls to be content/happy where they are.  I can’t change their past.  This is their reality.  How do I let them know that their past is precious and important and will always be a part of them – and that is good – and yet help them to embrace their life now?

That the girls are working through all these feelings right now is probably very natural and very good for them.  It is a healthy step they need to take in order to make peace with what their life is now.

We had an interesting discussion in school today.  We were talking about Jesus and that Joseph was only Jesus’ guardian, he was not his biological father.  The concept we were learning was that Jesus is fully God and fully man.  Not an easy concept!  The girls asked questions because they weren’t sure they understood what I meant.  Part of their questions were answered by talking about their biological parents in India (and that we are now their parents, but we are not flesh and blood related) and as we were talking Levi said, “I don’t have any parents in India.”  The girls kind of giggled at that, but the truth of it is that Levi was an infant when he was relinquished.  He does not remember having parents.  I don’t think he even knew what he was missing.  I told him that he did have a mom and a dad in India, but that I do not know who they are or anything about them.  They did not give us any information and I am not sure if that is because they don’t want to or they don’t know anything.  I said that I didn’t know why his parents could not take care of him, but that they took him to the nuns because they knew he would be taken care of there and that they would find him a family.  He took all of that in very matter of factly.  I suppose the truth of all that will have to sink in over time.

Tomorrow is Levi’s adoption finalization ceremony at the courthouse.  The judge will officially sign his paperwork making him legally adopted in the U.S.  We had to wait until we had two post placement visits with the social worker before we could file for adoption.  All of the paperwork of the last two or so years is about to come to an end!

Levi enjoying his birthday dinner out.

 

 
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