Since we’re ‘adults’ we spent some time cleaning out our garage, I call it nesting. We found a huge pile for the William’s adopting Rose for their garage sale. It makes it so much easier, “Store this piece of crap, or redeem it for a life that we can always know and give her a family.” Win win.
We found a tension rod and some old fabric, it ended up a hit with the kids.
I rarely find myself talking or writing about our newest adoption. It feels much differently than the last. The last one had so many feelings, anticipation and fears, decisions and thoughts we had never experienced before. Times we were certain that we could very well be throwing our lives away, coming to a place of that acceptance. To lose our lives.
We now feel so peaceful. We are in the right place, doing the right thing for our family and this child. We feel content moving quickly, then waiting for the process to move in the time it will take. As adoptive parents, I think we are able to experience life constantly with an added layer of gratitude, coating every part of our lives, like snow, the covering with a vision of the immensity of power in the simple. What would otherwise be mundane or maybe even a hassle, shines to us, the magic woven within family. Even our family. Giving our children opportunities on the spectrum of huge, and swaying to the small, all bring a deep level of satisfaction. The mess of pancakes, simplicity of baths that smell good, filled with laughter and soaking floors, the process of filling up 5 plates three times a day, they all feel good. Their lives stretching out before them, so much hard work through the adoption process paid off in these small lives, a slow river flowing, bringing life.
So I guess i can say, that adoption is a process of sorts, it will cut your priorities with a razor sharp knife from which you will never recover. And what you are left with is brighter and more powerful than what you had, even if it’s simple.
Maria got a bunny.
I was totally against it.
But she won the character award at school, we told her we were more proud of her for winning this award than any other award. And told her she could pick a special treat.
“A BUNNY!!!!” she exclaimed.
“No,” I told her.
Andrew and I talked that night, “She would so love it.”
“No,” pretty certain I had already made this ‘choice,’ not sure why it was still on the table.
But they somehow convinced me, and I got the final words saying something like, “I will not ever care for it, I will let it starve with no mercy if you guys don’t feed it,” they grinned eager, and I knew deep down, Maria the nurturer will care for this darn thing like a child. It was kind of growing on me, well until…
On Saturday morning they woke up and stood in line to get this bunny. Let me say again, they stood in a line, on a Saturday morning. For a rabbit. THEN someone tried to cut in front of them! And they had to tell them that. (I always try to tell people they got in a fight over the rabbit, but it’s not really true ; )
So Andrew made a hutch for it out of our old play house, and made a door.
The bunny, named Poco, turned out to be theraputic. She can hold him all day, knowing it’s best for him, yet it’s calming and serene. It has built her confidence around her peers, greatly needed. Suddenly, she’s the expert, she’s the mama, and she tells every small guest who flock around the bunny just how and where to hold him in a strong voice.
The cat and the bunny are friends. It’s grown on me. It will be a huge rabbit, with a good personality. I haven’t cared for him once, and he is thriving.
Friends who deliver farm fresh food. A strong community, committed to one another in every sense. The fruits of that flourishing, thankful for these people. We will always say yes to helping them, as they sacrificially help us and one another. Our children and homes are stronger because of it. The pleasure and power of a strong community centered on growing through the God who always gives.
This one, growing in grace.
“God reminded me how beautiful we all are to Him, after all, we were created in His own image, and He looks at me, at you, in all our sweat and dirt and brokenness, and says, “I choose you. You are beautiful.”
Did a photoshoot for ‘A’ who just two days ago had to return back to Latvia and her orphanage. Her family misses her terribly, this girl is truly incredible, blessed by the time I got to spend with her.
We hosted a BBQ here for some local hosting families, I can’t believe how fun it was filled to the brim with children from around the world. When you look at this picture, it may be hard to imagine that half of them have, or do live in hard situations that no one should.
But that night was filled with lots of food, smoke from the fire and warm marshmallows. With parents cheering each kick of a ball, as they are washed with praises and hugs, eyes alive.
My boys fell in love with “s” from Latvia, and “v” from Ukraine and their amazing soccer skills and talked about them for weeks after. The host parents, loving these children so well, who were just strangers weeks prior, changing their lives with a word, a touch, a sense, for the first time, that they are loved. That their lives matter, and that they are seen, truly seen as they reached out, arms to comfort? Words to encourage? So many firsts in one short summer.
There is hope and there is love for those forgotten. It’s not always easy, but it is always good and it is needed, and it brings us all together. If you are lonely, try doing something for someone else.
There is hope to those born afar and who have lost so much more than they ever should have, there is always hope, and to the little ones born here who get a chance to love and learn as they learn new languages, taste new food, learn what’s important.
Plus…so much FUN!
Last week we went to ‘S’s disco bday/going away party. His host parents are truly incredible <3 We had a blast, raving with babies.
Maria starts middle school in the fall, we were in a pickle….
The only two options, we thought, were an intense magnet school for those already proficient and ready for much more, which we weren’t, or a local middle school, for which we didn’t think she would be ready for socially either the more we heard about it. Although 12, she is so much younger and more innocent than her peers and we were worried, she is already pretty shy with kids her age. We prayed and prayed about it, and one day after our growth group prayed, a family at our church who randomly hosted sweet A, contacted us about the school out of the blue and got us in for the last day of enrollment, so we got on the wait list, “why not.”
This is what we learned, all the kids take a foreign language, learn an instrument and take tae kwon do. It’s 4 full days a week, one day of home school, with an active parent involvement and uniforms which is ideal for our little Russian who is used to wearing one outfit for 2 weeks. They believe every child is gifted and will find their gifting, based on Howard Gardeners multiples intelligence’s. I learned all about this theory all through the credential program, and always wondered why no schools made it their focus. They believe in allowing kids to learn through experience to actually retain information, and each grade does a trip. 7th grade goes to Costa Rica to learn biology. The people we met were amazing, the campus beautiful. The cost, free.
We waited all summer and yesterday found out she’s IN! We ordered the uniforms, they are so amazingly cute! We are just so happy for her and feel like it will be her year educationally. WAHOO!
So, bunnies, middle school uniforms, discos, lives of orphans being changed by cool people willing to say yes, an almost clean garage… Phew! Glad I had time to write a blog, summer is filled to the brim!
How are you doing? What are you kids up to? Would you ever do orphan hosting with your family? Have you ever owned a rabbit–a flemish giant no less? How are you feeling in life right now? Let me know!