Thursday, May 26, 2016

My son

There are days that I feel like I am the luckiest mother in the world. Today E was working on a school assignment, and he came to me for advice. It involved some moral issues that many people don't agree on. He shared the opinion that his friend had shared with him, and some of the arguments that were in several articles he had read, but he came to me very confused. I helped him lay out the pros and cons of the issue and then we took a step back and looked at it from a biblical perspective. I helped him back up some of the arguments with scripture, and we had a really good and in depth conversation. In the end, E said something that really touched my heart. He said that in his devotions it has been telling him that he is of the age to start making his faith his own, but then he said that while he knows that is true, he really respects my opinions in the area of faith.
To have a 12 year old son saying those words to me, wow, what an honor. I am so lucky to have a son who respects me and desires to grow in his faith and understanding of the world. He has been growing in his maturity, and I am so proud of the young man he is becoming. We have had some great moments of laughter and fun, as well as moments of mature conversation. Thank you God for blessing me with one of the most amazing boys in the world!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Adoption reflection

I have had many reflective times this week as I have considered our adoption of 2 older children. The word older being taken lightly as I am referring to the oldest age at BG, not the oldest age people can adopt. There is just so much history that we will never know or understand. There are times when a very simple thing will invoke sobs, or a comment will produce unexpected anger. There are triggers that we can't understand, but if we are patient and kind, we can work through them. Sometimes, when I am tired, it is hard to be patient, but I am learning that it pays off.
Last week I was having a conversation with one of my younger daughters and it took a turn that I wasn't expecting. Soon, she was sharing some super painful experiences from when she was younger and broke down sobbing. All I could do was hold her and tell her how sorry I was for the pain she was reliving. It was so sad to see her so vulnerable, but I was so grateful that she opened up because the experience she shared with me helped me to understand some of the behaviors I had seen since she moved in with us. Having a moment like that created a very special memory for us. I can't change what happened, but I can do my best to keep her safe, help her feel loved, and give her hope that her future can be different from her past.
While I was driving last week, both of my younger daughters were in the car and began discussing the day I took them home from BG. N was so scared when we pulled up to the house and she began sobbing on our first day. She reminded me that when she was sobbing, I began to cry and she asked me why. I told her that I cried because I felt sad that she was afraid of us. I knew that she would be safe and ok with us, but I was sad for her because she didn't know that yet. It was very cool to talk about that day with them both. One advantage of adopting older kids is processing some of the stuff we did when they only spoke Sesotho. They are almost fluent in English already which makes things so easy. I praise God for fast language learners.
I have begun to keep a journal for the girls to read when they are older so I can write down the details of the hard stuff they share with me. I don't want to share their pain publically on my blog, but I want to remember the details so I can go back through it when they are ready. My sweet little daughters have walked through a depth of pain that I cannot imagine and it breaks my heart. I know that God allowed them to be in my family so I could be the one to walk them through it, but it is hard as a mother. I have worked hard for 12 years as a mother to protect my children from horrible pain, and there was nothing I could do to protect my youngest 2. I don't know if I will have the strength or the wisdom each time a new memory is shared, but I will put my trust in God.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

He is in Control

Looking out the window as the breeze blows the swings around, and all the children are napping peacefully, but my heart is sad. There is a beautiful precious, baby girl who will never get to be pushed in the swing. We won't get to tuck her in for a nap or snuggle with her, or see her learning to crawl or walk. She has been taken into the arms of her heavenly Father, and those of us who remain here at BG are sad for what we had hoped for her life to be.
Putting the casket of a little baby into the ground feels wrong, yet it is what we did at Beautiful Gate today. She passed away in her sleep last week. We praise God that we have not had to walk this road for 3 years, however our hearts ache for the loss of one who was so very small. Please pray for our staff as they loved her like their own, and for our volunteers who also loved her. When people sign up to work or volunteer here at BG, it is because of a deep love of children and desire to see them grow up to be happy and healthy. They don't take into consideration the anguish that could come when a tiny life is taken unexpectedly, so please pray for them.

As I placed some flowers on her grave, the Lord gave me a song to bring peace and remind me that none of us are walking through this alone.

"All is well
With my soul
He is God
In control
I know not
All His plans
But I know
I'm in His hands"

Farewell sweet little one. There is no better place than in the arms of your creator, but we will miss you.