Thursday, October 6, 2011

happens everytime

i seriously have a love-hate relationship with travel. i love it. i hate it. how can that be? everytime, i experience insane homesickness. i always appreciate america so much more when i've been away from her. her cleanliness, her clean water, her clean air, even the ridiculousness of much of our ways. it is still home. and i miss it. and we won't even go into how it is to be away from our kids. because that is pretty much indescribable. and everytime i have these feelings, i vow to be more present with them. more in the moment. less on my agenda.

and then there is this everytime we adopt: 'what was i thinking?' ' what have we done?' all the questions of 'what if' i can't do this mom of 8 thing? what if they massively rebel and tear apart the relationships of our kids already at home?" what truly astounds me is how the Lord so quickly replaces my thoughts with ones that please Him. last night, greg was having all these feelings, and i knew exactly how he felt. because i have felt them every single trip. i can feel absolutely mortified. paralyzed realizing that there is no turning back. and God then floods me with His answers, not mine. i can't explain it other than i know that it is Him. because, me left alone with my thoughts, can be scary. but He doesn't leave me alone with my thoughts! He reminds me that this is not about me, but about Him. it is not about me keeping a neat and tidy life, but one that may be very very messy at times. adopting older kids is the best of times and the worst of times. i literally have to make the choice to see all that is right. i cannot worry about abe and lydia and their adjustment in one week. one month. i just will concern myself with today. and today they are awesome! and excited :) this morning, i thanked the Lord for everyone of you who will walk this with us; praying for us, and not judging while we make this transition into a new family with lots of colors. if you ask me 'how is it going?', you may get a sense that everything is crazy easy.... and then again, you may not. i have asked God countless times this week for extra extra grace and supernatural energy and His peace. counting on all those things in the days ahead (and for the long long flights ahead).

and i am so very grateful that abi and i have not gotten sick at all. a ginormous praise! greg is not faring as well. the pollution has taken a toll on his respiratory and something has settled into his lungs. he left this morning and i know would be thankful for a prayer...

yesterday was the day. i know i will not be able to adequately describe all that transpired. i hope i can remember it in my heart forever. {there was something that happened though that could have overshadowed all the good, but i've made the decision to move past it as i should. it had nothing to do with the mom. it has to do with someone outside (and not reflective in any way of our agency) who allowed sin to get the best of him. as a mature Christian, i pray he has repented. and a lesson for me to take away is to remember that our character and testimony are constantly on the line. one bad decision can erase all the right things we may have done before.} as i said, moving on .... the mom is exactly as i remembered her. as nutso as this may sound, she and i could be good friends. we click. i know girls can understand this. maybe guys can too :) you know how there are some people that you just flow with? well, she is one of those for me. i just simply like her. she came with the orphanage director, her brother, and her son (the one who had been the shepherd after being gone for so many years) who is 15, almost 16. the kids were very happy to see her! i was glad for that. they walked them all around, showing them their sleeping room and the play area. i walked far behind them. i felt like an outsider, but knew full well, i should. this is their time. she will never have this with them again. and that absolutely breaks my heart. they came back in and we gave the mom a nice big photo book that she can treasure in the days ahead. we gave the older brother several gifts and he was very appreciative. i really liked the uncle. i could tell he got a kick out of me. i don't think he has been around many crazy white women like me :) hoping this doesn't sound prideful, but i think he liked me. i think he knew i loved these kids and will be a good mommy for them. we had brought uno cards for the brother and i thanked God many times over for putting them in the wal-mart check out!!! all of us sat and played uno for hours. literally. played before lunch. played after lunch. played until they had to go. there is nothing like easing the tension, breaking past language barriers, like a good ol' card game. i have no idea where this tradition started in our family (does everyone do this?) but when you win a card game, you lick the winning card and stick it to your forehead. i will forever smile when i think of their mom with an uno card stuck to her forehead and just smiling from ear to ear :) :) double happy face. we also spent some time with a translator just asking each other questions. as much as she knows it, is still hurts her to realize she has broken all legal relationship to them. they will always be her kids in her heart, but she had to make the decision several year back to let someone else provide for them because she simply couldn't. and still can't. it stinks. but we are all committed to making beauty from the ashes. it was a day that i think we will all remember with great love.

and everytime we adopt, i personally have moments of total joy and how fun it is to be so silly and goofy with your new kids. they love crazy :) last night, abi, lydia, merone (an awesome 12 year old who is waiting for her family to clear embassy) danced our hearts out. lydia mahilet has got the moves going on!! they (tried) taught me african dance and i taught them the can-can and a few other silly moves. we had such girl fun! when it was time to finally call it a day, all the workers and care givers were hanging around outside, so we put on a performance for them. a vision they will not soon forget, no doubt :) all while singing "my soul my soul must sing, my soul my soul must sing, my soul my soul must sing, to YOU. beautiful One i love, beautiful One i adore, beautiful One my soul must sing!!!" i absolutely cannot wait until we sing that at church because i cannot wait for them to look at me like "hey, we know that song!!!!"

and a gestsure was made to lydia and abe that was just wonderful -- all the workers pitched in and bought them traditional ethiopian dress. i was so so humbled that they would do that.

we brought cake mixes and the cooks made them (using orange fanta, nonetheless) and we had a little party in conjunction with a coffee ceremony. all the kids came in, and we did crafts, and had fun making a mess of epic proportion.

all in all, we couldn't have asked for a more special day. as hard as it was, it was necessary for all of us. i know abe and lydia will always remember the love we showed their first momma. God came through just as i trusted He would, as He has done everytime before.

and now to pack!!!!

p.s. so sorry for not including pictures, but promise to upload the 1000s of pictures abe has taken :) once we are HOME!


  1. It is so beautiful to read your blog posts.
    Your heart comes through so clearly;
    I can see you and hear you telling me
    the words which you have written.
    Your posts are so distinctly YOU.
    Much love and many prayers, as always.

  2. Tears filled my eyes as i read, Jan. What a beautiful picture to all of us praying on the other side of the world. I could envision everything you shared...sp precious. Your honesty and heart touch me...I love how you love Him and honor
    Him! Praying for your safe travel and transition home. I'm so sorry this is my first comment but I got a hold of your blog a lil late. Love you!!!!!!!! Sending you a very big squeeze!! Xxxoooxxoo

  3. How beautiful!!!
    Thank you for sharing so openly & honestly.
    What a fantastic gift you have given the kids birthmom & in turn given them as well.
    Praying for safe, smooth traveling!

  4. thrilled for you, jan. i can totally relate to many of your thoughts right now! sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  5. So happy to have you home and see your family walk down that terminal as we have seen so many times truly blows my mind how God's hand continues to move on hearts. Abe and Lydia are beautiful, and we can't wait to get to know them more! Praying you guys get a great night sleep and that the days and nights to come are nothing short of miraculous!!! Love you! Brittney

  6. Jan, not many people end up with as good a mom as you. I hope that mother feels the peace she should having you be their mom. The kids are really pretty kids.

  7. What a special day! Thanks for sharing. I remember the feelings of panic on the morning that we were going to meet Lucas. God sent emails from friends that were just what I needed and He flooded me with peace. Such a blessing.
    Can't wait to see the pictures!

  8. So, so, so enjoyed meeting you, too, last night at the cook-out. Loved seeing your new amazing children and talking to you. Red threads connect the heart of adoptive mamas like nothing else! :)