Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh, my heart.

     Last night dinner took an hour.  Not because Zeke was gagging on green beans or Blake was refusing to eat his roll (seriously, I know.), but because we were telling stories and giggling.  It started with Molly asking Ryan to tell embarrassing  stories about me.  That escalated to funny stories starting with "Once, when Blake was a baby....." or "Etienne, when we first brought you home....."  It was one of those moments that Ryan and I knew we had dreamed of so many years ago when started thinking about having kids.
     I was in the midst of sharing a memory of the first time we met the boys when Etienne interrupted me.
"Was my mom there?"
      I tried to keep it simple, just the facts.  "No buddy, it was only the other kids at the orphanage and the  nuns that took care of you."  That was enough for now.  Everyone went back to giggling at the funny stories. 
     Later, in bed, Ryan and I were talking about it.  This kids memories are coming back and fhey must be so confusing, the images, the feelings and the unclear stories.  He has been home for almost 3 years, yet in so many ways, it still feels new to us.  I think that is because there was a time before us.  It is what it is and the fact is, it stinks.  No kid should have memories of anything other than their parents love.  We accepted long ago, before the dossiers, the sleepless nights, the tutorials on ethnic hair, that we would accept that some things surrounding international adoption (really, adoption in any form) are painful and lousy and we can't change that.  We can only pray through it.
     These kinds of conversations, they ground me.  They remind me of the huge work that is going on under my roof and I am humbled HUMBLED that Ryan and I have been blessed to battle for His glory.  Seriously, we were thinking about how, yes, it's been almost 3 years, but we still have these heart-in-the-throat moments with our kids on a regular basis.  Wow.  
     Summer has probably been more exhausting for Molly than the rest of us because Etienne's escalating behavior has been such that she can't ignore it.  She's tired, exasperated and reflective.  And we are taking the approach that she is so blessed to be his big sister, that God knows she can love him through the pain.    I watch her and he squeezes her too tight and I see her genuinely pat his head with love.  Such evidence of His grace.  So much beauty out of ashes.

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

   -Isaiah 61:3

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