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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Learning to Love and Trust

I find it to be very interesting…almost always on the heels of a “good” day we experience a bad one. One day Hope agrees to start wearing deodorant; the next she is pouting b/c I am not spending enough time with her. One day Mandy is enjoying her bicycle, jumping on the trampoline, and jumping rope; the next day she has a crying fit b/c I make her go outside to play. Mandy lost her privilege of going on the family swim night last week due to the fact that she had a crying temper tantrum during dinner. It was uncomfortable and ugly, but Hope was able to see that we didn’t allow Mandy to slam her door when she retreated to her room.  Mandy was able to see that Hope missed ice cream for dessert b/c she was pouting in her room from being asked to get off the computer. Both Amanda and Hope saw us discipline Austin and Hailey as they acted improperly against each other. Both Amanda and Hope have experienced special 1:1 time with mom and dad as well as seen us carve out time to spend with the other children. All of our kids have learned more about sacrificial love, pursuing others for their good, and walking outside their comfort zones. Adoption is a beautiful thing for EVERYONE involved!!!

Hope and Amanda are excited about Nai-nai coming on Wednesday. Both the girls are crazy about family, immediate and extended. Since they found out about it yesterday I have heard about Nai nai’s impending arrival about 63 times…it is so good to see them wanting to be a part of the family!

Hope has had the experience of helping Dave dig up our septic tank to have it pumped, blowing the driveway clean, and build a storage shed behind the barn. Mandy has discovered that sharing is better than having everything all by herself, power outages won’t be the death of her at night, and that Easter baskets hold a LOT of yummy treats! Hope has found that even though she has never played “Spot” with a bunch of kids she barely knows, she can have a lot of fun and hold her own while being “it”. AND, both girls are learning to walk in the love of a forever family…that when they make mistakes, either intentionally or unintentionally, by omission or commission, they can seek forgiveness and have it granted. That we will protect them when scary things happen. And that love is always waiting to be lavished upon them when they are willing to accept it.

During the Good Friday service our exchange student and honorary member of our family, Minnie, accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior!!! The new girls didn’t know what to make of it, especially with the mixture of tears and laughter from us as well as MANY people of our church. I continue to hope and pray for our new girls that they will also join our spiritual family soon. Mandy hears me pray every night that she will love Jesus with her whOOOOOOOle (spelled as I say it) heart; Hope asks for Dave to pray over her at night. We pray that we are helping to break up their fallow ground, for it IS the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon them. (Hosea 10:12)

I still am amazed that God has entrusted these two children to us. They are not blank slates—they have come with past problems and nuances, some of which are larger than others to overcome. As I sit with my 4 bio children around me I also realize they did not come to us as blank slates…they each have their own issues and inclinations that make them distinctly themselves. We are discovering more about each child as they are discovering more about themselves. God is responsible for their hearts…we are responsible to love them and build them up according to their needs. This looks differently for each child, which makes the whole job of parenting more challenging and interesting than if they were all just the same. It also makes me draw nearer to HIM, which is also part of His plan. Praise His Name!

All my best,