A question I ask myself regularly. Somedays it seems we have made it to the other side of the extreme behaviors associated with the grief & trauma our boys have experienced and other days it still seems like we have a long way to go. Today it still seems like we have a long way to go. When we set out to adopt our big boys (9 &10) from Ethiopia I read every adoption book, blog & article I could get my hands on. At the age of 25 & 29 we committed to jumping in head first to the unknown of raising older children with tragic pasts. I read about other’s experiences with adopting older children and would a lot of times wind up reading about the many struggles that can come with it. I chose to overlook a lot of those resources because of course it would be different with my children, after all I was going to be a way better, more loving parent than the ones in those stories. Well I think you know where this is headed, I quickly realized no amount of love, concern or attention would “fix” my boys. I use the word “fix” because I used to think that’s what it was about, fixing the bad behavior and helping them be their best self. I have since learned through many tears, frustrating moments & late nights pleading with God that it isn’t about changing them or even myself but allowing God to heal the wounds, letting God come into the darkest places of our hearts. There is no method of parenting that will completely change any child. There is grace & there is hope. Those are the truths I cling to in the dark of night when I feel overwhelmed at the responsibility God has given me to parent these beautiful children. I am learning to embrace the messy parts of our life. I am learning to show grace to the child who constantly break my heart with hurtful looks and words. I am learning to control my knee jerk reactions to the behaviors that seem to never end. But most importantly I am learning to accept the love that God constantly shows me, I am starting to realize I cannot show genuine love & grace to my children until I realize how much my own life has been a reflection of God’s constant pursuit to know me and love me. One thing I always tell my children is that I am still learning. I want to be the best mother to them and realize I fail regularly. I hope to always be in a position of growth & discovery. God has blessed us with 4 incredible children and 4 extended families we hold very dear to our hearts. The fact that I am entrusted to raise & guide these small humans is sometimes daunting but I am learning to take it a day at a time, a word of affirmation at a time, a hug at a time & a kissed boo-boo at a time.
Since every post is better with pictures here we are in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.