It was late, way past bedtime and I was reading three books to my some of my grandkids- Sam, Theoden and Lucy. We sat on the edge of the bottom bunk which always seems like a great idea until sleepy kids lean back on me. Theoden put his little hand on the small of my back and a warmth came over me. Connection. The awe of the moment. Three trusting souls leaning on me. Trusting me. I was suddenly transported to another time, another place. An orphanage, a world away and fifteen years earlier, I am reading to children who lean on me, listening, Waiting. Not trusting yet. But, there is that hope. That hope of a future together (on my part). Those small bodies. Those small hands.
Fifteen years ago, yesterday, four new Guires landed in the states and we became a family of nine. We had spent five weeks in Poland, during our initial visit, for four of them we lived in the orphanage.
So, things are a little different now. My house was once a bustling center of activity daily and now it seems to come in blips. Holidays find my house bursting at the seams with children, their spouses, grandchildren and extended family. On a daily basis, some days are quiet (weird) and other have short bursts of bustle-college kids stopping by, grandkids spending the night. It is just, well different. So, as I muse on the past fifteen years, I thought I’d make a list of things I have learned over the years about life and adoption.
1. Adoption is positive. It was God’s idea. All of His ideas are good.
2. Kids from hard places can connect.
3. You are not in control. Step back and let God work.
4. The activities your kids whine and complain about the most will become their favorite memories.
5. Not everyone understands the work you have done raising your children. Don’t expect them to.
6. You cannot carry your children’s burdens/past. They eventually have to face it on their own, when they choose
7. Your kids have triggers. So do you and you have to deal with your past in order to help them face theirs.
8. Hard is good. Nothing worth accomplishing is easy. Don’t be afraid of hard. It strengthens you.
9. Your job is not to raise happy children. They have to choose to be happy. Be happy yourself!
10. Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. Financial trouble. Sickness. Heartache. Adopting children does not make your life perfect, but life is good with children. They make every day an adventure.
11. Your children are not what happened to them. They are unique and God has a purpose for each them. Don’t tell Him what it is. He will tell them. He is writing their story.
12. Don’t expect your kids to do what everybody else’s kids are doing! They have a different schedule. They don’t have to measure up/compare to everyone else. Neither do you!
13. Your best life is the life God has given you. Enjoy it. Hunker down in the moment. Feel the small hand on your back. Let thankfulness overwhelm you.
14. Don’t be overwhelmed by your present circumstances. They will pass. So, before they do, find something good in the moment you can savor as a memory later.
15. There is a season for everything. This season of raising children is going to come to a close at some point. Make sure you have something purposeful for to do while you raise your children and when they leave the nest. Find your bent and follow it.
Want to read more of my story? You can! My book is now available! Click on image below to go directly to Amazon.