“She is very small, too small. Her size isn’t our concern as much as the why she is,” she told us over the phone. We had sent the medicals of our newest to our beloved pediatrician. “Oh, and I have to tell you, I love her so much, I made her picture my desktop! We’ll get her right on track when she gets home,” she told us. We hung up feeling thankful, and pensive. Loving your child from afar risks your heart, yet it is a pain dulled by hope, hope which is so much stronger, brighter.
Each night the boys, chasing the sun, create new worlds and games for themselves. Their laughter draws each of us towards them, joining, everything else can wait.
Sunday afternoon, Maria and I sat with lettuce, long and far past it’s prime. Flowers, humble to begin with, now shrunk back and dried, turned to fuzz waiting to be blown away. We sat alongside each other and picked each piece of fuzz, pulling out tiny, brown seeds. A new garden between our fingertips with each pluck. Food and dinners, placing them into a jar. As we sat we talked, and I asked her about every thing that she loved. She filled the warm air with her voice, delighting over her love for bunnies–mostly, as I smiled and nodded, testing myself to see the extent of my listening ear. These are the things in her heart, and I want a clear pathway from early on, as we sat, shoulder to shoulder.
The other night, Maria and Andrew brought in a sick chicken, egg bound. The moon shining in through the kitchen window, they looked up ways to care for her, drawing her a warm bath in the sink, rubbing oil on her bum, as I slowly backed away. My two animal lovers caring so much, while I worked on something else. The chicken died in their arms despite their efforts and they went out back with headlights on to bury her. I sort of gave condolences from afar. They made me smile.
Maria and I made it our goal to learn to make our own, healthy salad dressing. We worked together and created something incredible, better than in stores, and our family can’t get enough. We will share it soon, it’s very easy.
It’s these afternoons we love the most. In a sense, with this adoption we feel…swept out, and in many ways we are. Yet with that, like a small seedling growing in our hearts, uncurling fresh, and alive, we have found deep peace, and contentment. While recently I was a victim to anxiety, God’s voice has been clear, clearer, because I am listening, a voice of good, and truth.
And through that, we are finding unexpected joys, with less. With limited, with need. Life truths, connectedness to each other, and God. Sometimes I feel so grateful I could cry, but I don’t have time.
And so we slow. And we savor. And we appreciate, with new eyes.
This summer, we have been homeschooling. I write out the list, and give it to her, “But–what if I am not good at writing a story,” she asked me, worried, very worried. “It’s not about being good, it’s about having fun. If you have fun, you did a good job.” Each day, her stories are becoming more elaborate, she has joy over the parts she is most excited to read to us. We do art each day, this has been hardest for her, really reading the directions to the arbitrary task I scribble out, doubting herself, doubting her abilities.
Yet, with each day, her art comes alive. Displaying it is done with pride. And she knows it.
A lightbulb has turned on. What used to take a lot of work on my part, she now sails through. This summer something new is happening.
At lunch the other day with friends, she so boldly shares about a friend’s flock, “That chicken is a rooster,” no fidgeting, no “I think so…” but with knowledge, that she shares, and why.
And she is right.
Andrew includes her into anything each night, fixing and reformatting up old computers, sprinklers, all of which she has so much more knowledge and ability in than I, because she is eager, and loves time with her daddy. These are the moments captured in time that we hold onto.
Our lives will be never ending growth, and for that I am glad. God will do what he does in the fullness of time.
God can do anything, you know–far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God! // Ephesians 3:2