Monday, August 15, 2011

The Wonder Years

Last weekend we celebrated four incredible years since adding three incredible children to our family. While our lives have completely changed in almost every capacity, it has happened so gradually that it seems like they have always been with us. The anniversary date allowed me the opportunity to reflect on just how miraculous our journey has been.

The desire to adopt had been in my heart for awhile, and I foolishly thought this was something our family could do for God. After all, I'm an elementary school teacher and we'd already raised two children. How much harder could raising three children be? My arrogance astounds me! What in the world could I do for the creator of the universe! It didn't take very long for me to realize that this was going to be way harder than I anticipated. Turns out I could do absolutely nothing! But God,(my favorite phrase in the Bible)reached down in loving kindness and grace could do immeasureably more than I could even ask or imagine and believe me I was asking. He provided everything that we needed to do what He called us to do. I had a front row seat to watch the heart that God has for children and that there is nothing that is too difficult for Him.

He provided our church that was a much needed sanctuary every Sunday and Wednesday for all of us to draw strength and encouragement from. The Children's ministry lovingly ministered to our children and taught them by words and example of the love of Jesus. We rejoiced when two of our children both professed belief in Jesus Christ and were baptized. I saw how God hand picked each and every teacher whether it was Wee school,Sunday School or Elementary School to meet specific needs every school year. He surrounded us with people who volunteered to help with childcare, tutoring, and even music lessons. He provided our two grown daughters who opened their hearts as well as their hands to welcome their new brother and sisters to our family. His almighty presence and His powerful Word reassured us and continues to guide us through our journey. He provided Himself.

I have gotten to know our three children really well over these past four years and they me. Together we embarked on a journey to become a family. The vulnerability, courage and acceptance they each displayed to begin a brand new life with us is humbling. To be sure, much like the natural birth of our two older daughters, we experienced labor pains. Likewise though, the pain has become a distant memory with every contented smile that I see on their faces. I simply cannot believe how much they have grown and matured over these past 4 years. While on the golf course with our son and Eric recently, I recalled a previous time on the golf course several years earlier when it was just the two of us, before we even knew our son. I was painting a wonderful picture for Eric about how our lives would be so much richer because we would not just be playing golf ourselves but teaching our son to play and here he was in the flesh, our adorable son completely in love with the game of golf. The picture would be really beautiful if our golf game was better, but still.

I thank God for the privilege of raising our second batch of kids. I get to see the world through the uncensored eyes of a child on a daily basis. Just today, our youngest was retelling with perfection the story of Ikea who climbed up the sycamore tree to see Jesus!I know that He has a wonderful plan for each one of our children and He has allowed me to be intimately involved. In between homework, soccer practice and laundry God is kind to give me glimpses of how He is already working in their lives. I regularly hear them singing praise songs to Jesus as they are riding bikes or doing puzzles. I know that the road will not always a rosy one, and one day they will not be as excited to hang out with us, but I also know that God has proven Himself to be faithful and that He will be with us.

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