A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For this child I prayed....

I love this saying. I see it on adorable baby photo frames, decorative plates with little tiny footprints, all over. And each time it makes me mist up.

I think of all eight of our children. I think of how each one came to our family and how each one grew in my heart.

See, the secret is, that although three of our children grew also UNDER my heart (in my womb), each child grew in my heart long before I could touch him or her. In some ways the adoption journey is like the pregnancy journey. You wonder about all sorts of things. What he or she will sound like when you first hear their voice, what things they will like, which family member they will most resemble is some way, what they will grow up to be. All of that. I dream about the three children we are soon to bring home in some of the same ways that I dreamed of my birth children before they were born.

But this time, again, they come to us as little people with developed personalities and history and experiences. These histories can be difficult at times. I cannot tell you the times I have listened to my boys relate experiences that make me just want to cry. No child should have memories of things like that, should have experienced some of what they have experienced.

But, we are so grateful that they are here and work to teach them that they are stronger because of what they experienced. They lived through things, and they have moved on.

To watch them now, to see their strength, their joy, their resilience, and who they are becoming - all of the children, all five that I can currently see, that is the greatest blessing.

No matter whether a child is born into a family and remains in that family, or whether life throws them into a whirlwind and they end up in another family, they are who they are. I want them all to know that they belong, and they do. I watch our birth children struggle with their own issues and know that each child, no matter their history, will have their own set of struggles in life.

If as their parent, I can give them some skills to deal with these struggles in a positive and persistent way, then I think I have given them a good gift. No one is immune from struggles.

I sat with my eldest birth daughter today at yet another endocrinology appointment (diabetes). I was trying to count how many of these we have done in the last six years since her diagnosis. Every three months for six years, would probably put us at about 18, with a couple more added in when she was first diagnosed and seen more often. It becomes routine, but not routine. She was all worked up because she knew that today she would have a blood draw. She only gets these once a year, and we have numbing cream, but she has been working herself up for this for at least a month, knowing it was coming. Most days she doesn't struggle with this chronic issue - it just is what is. But sometimes these appointments really bring home that this isn't normal, that this is difficult, that this really stinks. And we both know that this will likely continue for the rest of her life, though we are praying for a cure. This is what is. She could get hung up on the issue and be wallowing in self pity, but she isn't. She won't. Not that there aren't moments, but they are generally very brief. And we deal with it and move on.

We do this with all the kids. Life happens, crummy stuff happens to everyone. It just does. No one is immune, at least no one I know. So, we need to look for the good stuff. Deal with the bad as much as we must, and then move on. I know one lady who is in her sixties, still mourning for her crummy childhood and complaining about her mother and how things could have been different and how that would have changed her life. Not to say that I don't feel for her experiences and pain, but for heaven's sake, move on! Make good choices, learn from your bad ones, learn from you bad experiences and get out there and make a great today and tomorrow! That is all that we get. At some point we need to say, "yep, that stunk, but I don't want to keep reliving it". We can chose our todays.

For this child I prayed....

For each single one.

That they will be healthy and strong, that they will love deeply and long, that they will make wise choices, thoughtful choices that will lead them to fulfillment and happiness. That they will work hard and be satisfied, no matter what they do. That they will always let their past provide them with a foundation and strength and compassion and love. That they will be faith filled, that they will know the wonders of a true relationship with their Lord. That they will never sell themselves short, that they will try many things, that they will find the true meaning in their life. That they will be kind, giving, loving, and generous people. That people will walk away from meeting them and be blessed. That whatever they do in life, that they will do it to the best of their abilities, no matter what those abilities are. That they will love us as we love them. That we will always be a close family, that we will have those ties that bind lovingly.

Those prayers we say for our unborn babies, those are the same prayers we pray for our children who have come to us through adoption. Those prayers are the same. The children, well, we may not have seen those tiny baby toes, or seen them as little ones learning to walk, but we still prayed for them for each of those things. Those deep prayers of the heart, they are the same.

I looked again at photos of our children in Ethiopia, and just had to say "we have a daughter, we have a son, we have a son". I am still in awe.

Terrified at times, but in awe.

For this child I prayed... For Alex, for Zeri, for Kiley, for Amanuael, for Solomon, for Faith, for Tsion, and for Abenezer. They have all grown in my heart long before I could touch them. For this child I prayed..... And prayed.... And prayed.....


Becky said...

I wanted to reply to your comment on my blog--Sally isn't aware of any discrepency in her age. She really doesn't even understand what the difference is between 4 and 5 :) When the agency originally called with was a 4 year old, then she became a 3 year old...but we were pretty sure before we even met her that they were off. Pretty close, but off. So I can't really tell you what to do for an older child--I had a friend who adopted a 10 year old who told her a few months later that she was really 13--they did change her birth date for that! Sorry I don't have more wisdom for you!

Apryl said...

Sorry--my mom was using my laptop and I didn't see that I commented as her :)