Five months into this adoption and it's more obvious each day that adoption is messy. And hard. And why wouldn't it be? At its core is great loss. It impacts all it touches. A family member was in the hospital recently and I felt like I could get a tangible view of what Caroline is going through emotionally.
He was in the ICU. It was so ugly. There were gaping, open, red wounds. People had things draining out of their bodies. One man died. No one there was allowed to do anything but rest. It was a place for your body to recover yet it was so grim I almost fainted the first time I went back there. The healing was bloody. It was painful and messy. And so much slower than we want it to be.
Everyone there to support my family member was impacted. Though he was the one that had the trauma, it took a toll on all of us as we figured out how best to support him, both right then and in the days to come. Everyone put their lives on hold and focused on nothing but what the patient needed.
That's exactly what our family is doing right now. One of our own has a trauma that would surely put her in the ICU if it were visible and it's taking all of our collective energies to support her as best we can. This just isn't easy and my selfish self wants easy so much. I just didn't know I had selfishness and laziness and ugliness like this inside me. It's not pretty. I read a devotional about the good Samaritan being moved by compassion to action when he saw the wounded traveler. It read: "Mercy must respond to the wreckage it sees."
I have been mulling that one over. Mercy must respond to the wreckage that it sees. I see wreckage. And because God is mercy I must be merciful. And mercy responds. But I myself am not merciful. Not nearly as merciful as the wreckage I see requires.
Let me be clear. My daughter is not wreckage. She is the daughter of a King, a child perfectly made in the image of God. What has happened to her and the trauma she is battling; that is wreckage. SHE has been precisely formed, down to her innermost being. She is exactly as she should be.
God sees an opportunity in her to display his glory becuase he's not tied to what our wisdom thinks. Four years ago, the premier adoption specialists in the world said a child over five can't heal.
Today, it is proven that that isn't true.
Of course it's not! God came to restore.
And I see Him doing it every day.
And every day is see more clearly that I am incapable of such a task. But God. He is capable.
But God. Those are my favorite words right now. But God.
If anyone, including me, looked at Caroline's past on paper you would never, ever match that up to the precious little girl you meet.
History says one thing......but God. :).
I look at what is on the agenda every day and I think there is no possible way to do it. And there really isn't.
But God. :)
I fail my kids. Every. Single. Day. Only by the grace of God do their sweet little voices tell me they love me and their chubby little arms wrap around my neck.
As I write this, I'm not even sure why I'm writing this. Maybe just to say it's hard. It is really insanely difficult and I botch it numerous times a day. But God is good. He takes my meager attempts and multiplies it into the love they need and the affection and time that they need. I am so thankful today that He is a God of multiplication. I can no longer read the story in Harris' Bible of the boy with the fish and bread that fed 5,000 without getting choked up because He still does those miracles. When read in simple language it is easier for me to relate how it happens now, right under my nose.
God is so, so good. He gives good gifts.
That's been a theme for me lately. He's showing me some of the ways that he gives GOOD gifts.
All of the following are my sweet good gifts. Two sweet friends trained (pushed!) me every weekend to get through the chosen half. One sweet friend had an out of town commitment but has been with me every step of the way. My other friend ran it with me and encouraged me in every way possible.
We all went camping together and I was so touched by how every kid embraced Caroline without a second thought. Caroline loved being a part of it, Harris loved hanging with his buds, and I was reminded once again how sweet God is and how far he goes ahead of us to meet needs we never saw coming.
God is sending people to do this this with us. A woman, a godly, great, woman that I had never met comes over weekly just to hang out with my people. She brought cupcakes to decorate. She brought a Christmas activity for them to give them a visual of the spiritual gifts God gives us. She has played candy land, admired everyone's bedroom, and was wearing a hello kitty beanie at one point. Let me reiterate, I had NEVER met this woman. She just heard our story and wanted to give of her time to love on our kids. The last time she came I'd had to apologize to my kids for using an unkind voice. That's humbling. I'd spent the morning crying off and on because it was just that kind of day. Then, we get a breath of fresh air, someone to love on my kids and remind me that one of God's great gifts is redemption and forgiveness of sins. Do I ever need both! That brings me to another point.
She heard of our story because of a therapy group Caroline is involved in. A free, church sponsored, AMAZING therapy group. Caroline can now more clearly identify her feelings than I can my own, I think. When I had to apologize to them for using an unkind voice, she was fascinated with that. I don't think she'd had an adult apologize to her before. She unpacked it from every angle..
"Mommy, how were you feeling when you chose to use an unkind voice?"
"It wasn't MY fault that you chose that. That was your own poor decision"
"Mommy, you didn't obey God when you chose to use an unkind voice."
Those are just the ones I remember. That was definitely not my best day and I am thankful she could dissect it and see it for what it was; an adult's lack of self control. Parenting is so humbling.
Another woman that I do not know has committed to tutoring her three times/week! For free.She's a reading specialist who moved here after the school year started, so she isn't working. She is also enamored with Caroline. It does her heart so good to see someone regularly that loves her. She committed to this before we had even met! Who but God could orchestrate that? Again, there it is! But God.
This thanksgiving season there is so much to be thankful for and at the same time life is heavy right now. It's a daily battle in a way I have never faced. I am more aware than ever that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
But God. :)
For I am convinced that neither death,
nor things present,
nor things to come,
nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -