This past year has been the most challenging and exhausting of my life. I am a happy joyful person full of love for others and when Ryan and I felt called to adopt I knew I was being led specifically to the work of mothering whomever God gifted me with. What I didn't yet know was that when our prayers were answered my capacity for love would be stretched and moulded and I would be changed. When you adopt a child you never assume the road will be easy, easy is not the motivator, love is. I cannot imagine loving my daughter Tricia more deeply or passionately and even as I type these words it brings tears to my eyes to think of how hard she is to love sometimes. Of course all parenting is hard work, no doubt every parent wonders if they have what they need from day to day, but when you are called to parent a broken child, a child who is suffering from trauma at a core level you wonder if you have what you need hourly. Being the caregiver to a traumatized child is in itself traumatizing, causing suffering under the weight of the anger and abuse unfathomably coming from a tiny little person.
But here's the thing, the most amazing part of this journey is considering our own adoption into God's family. We are His broken adopted children whom He nurtures and supports and endures with in order for us to come to a place of peace. He desires for all of His people to come to know him as their adopted dad who loves them unconditionally, irregardless of where they have come from and what pain they have suffered. He offers us unconditional love, grace and a peace that passes understanding. How beautiful is that? Christ took our pain on, our problems and deficiencies and illnesses, all of it! He is my hero, my model of what grace filled parenting looks like. Because guess what? Love endures all things, it is patient, love is kind. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. How incredible is that? Talk about a parenting mantra!
The bottom line is that I am broken and empty but as I call on God He keeps sending me help. He provides me a husband perfectly matched to me and who lifts me up daily. He brings me friends, sisters and brothers who know me, know my hurts and want to help even if that means they are just washing my dishes when they stop by or playing with my daughter for a few minutes while I type this email. These beautiful people don't run away from our difficulties, they come alongside and under and support and lift and love. Often people say they don't know how to help when they don't know anything about healing from trauma. I tell them they are already helping by sticking with us, hugging us, laughing with us, crying with us and praying for us. This is what my church means for me, it is a group of people and wherever they go , whatever place they find themselves in, they change it into a time and a place where love abounds. Sundays are a blessing where we fellowship and worship and learn but it also a time when we bring the crazy of the week and have a place to put it... we put it down, we sing it up, we hug it out, we laugh it off and we give to one another.
I thank God for all of you daily... because His love Abounds.