Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I haven't written in so long because there is too much to write. Too many emotions felt, too many mistakes made, so many joys and triumphs seen. Every day feels packed full of so much and in reality, we do very little on a daily basis.

But I know people are praying. And wanting to hear. Hear how they can pray more. Hear how their prayers have been answered. So this is an update on us and how God has used you MIGHTILY in the past 7 weeks since we arrived home.

I have three toddlers at home. Two of which break down at any moment and scream, throw a fit, make something HUGE out of the smallest things. I comfort and calm screaming over a fly landing on their chair, a small doll shoe lost, milk spilled, hair they don't like, change of plans, a stubbed toe.  And like most toddlers, emotions are extreme, the ENTIRE world is about them and everything stops until the need is met, the boo-boo is forgotten, or they realize they won't get what they want and resign to moving on. My other toddler, well, the other one doesn't scream unless disciplined. And then the anger that is bottled inside is mustered with all his strength to an ear piercing level which is directed AT YOU. He is most definitely screaming directly at you and wants you to know it. But overall, he stays aloof, happy, independent, with an air that says, "I don't need you. I can do it all myself and am fine without you."

I will be honest and tell you I am SO in over my head. In every way possible. Going from one child to three overnight is ferociously hard for me. The amount of time it takes to care for all them, the energy that is required to calm the screams, kiss the boo-boo's, tie the shoes, and most of all, love love love and minister at every moment is exhausting.
Britt is grieving the loss of being the only Kid. Anytime my arms are full of Fiyori or Kobe, she stands and looks at me, and slowly falls apart, whimpering, "Mommy? Mommy?" She loves her siblings, although she does hit them alot, but what she does not love, is when she has to share me. She is a screamer, hitter and drama queen by nature (ehem, sounds all too familiar). And so now, when these two people come into her world who force her to share her toys, books, space, Mommy's arms and attention, she's left reeling. Its been hard to watch, and harder to remember that her world just got rocked, when she is screaming and punching Fiyori for the 8th time in the past two hours. (That is NOT an exaggeration).
Fiyori is the one I've seen the most progress from. From the 2-3 hour rages she would have, where a stubbed toe would send her under for hours, she is now able to better control her emotions, engage with us when we are trying to comfort her and respond more quickly to discipline rather than fight and fight and fight against us. She is an incredible big sister to Britt, extremely patient and so so caring. She is the first to share with Kobe and Britt, the first to ask for a kiss or hug. But she's my whiner. My complainer. The child that requires some of the most attention to draw her out of her bad moods with love and silliness. The playfulness that is required, the energy I have to muster from within to remind her that being miserable is actually miserable, is so exhausting. She is so tender, in so much need of affirmation and BEGS for it with her over-acting dramatic need for attention. Good or bad, she wants the limelight.
Kobe. Kobe is laid back, happy and silly 80% of the time, and very easy-going. But the more I come to know this little person, I see wounds beyond my ability to heal. The little man has put up walls only the God of the Universe will bring down. He has a way of shutting you out without even talking. We don't speak the same language, but I know when he's gone into his fortress of "safety". And its a battle to pursue his heart, to run after him when he acts like he doesn't want you. The true battle is not of just convincing him that he will fall in love with me but convincing myself of that as well. Its easy to give love when the child wants it. Its a whole other ballgame when the child wants/needs your love but sends you the exact opposite message. Reminding him time and time again that he can shut me out, attempt to distance himself from me, or hold his grief alone, but that I am here, I'm going nowhere and that he is unashamedly unconditionally LOVED.  Believing the Truth rather than the emotions. That we are FAMILY. That we belong to one another. That one day we will smell the same and I will know what he is thinking or feeling by the look in his eyes, the way I can with Britt. I KNOW that day will come but I don't feel it yet. It is battle I was completely unprepared for and often feel lost on how to fight. But every time I see his face, his heart turn inward, grasping for the safety of his solitude, I pursue. Just as Christ pursues me every day. Kobe and I... we are so similar. We shut out the ones who love us the most and lie to ourselves that we are fine alone.
 But through it all God has spoken. Sweetly. Firmly. Gently. He has told me in the wee hours before they wake up that He is with me. That He is guiding me in my confusion on how in the world do you mother a 8 year old who acts three one moment and then fifteen another. How to disciple in a Godly, loving, gentler manner without having the blessing on language to explain the why's or the heart beyond why they are being disciplined. How to show your insecure, attention seeking daughter that she is loved, valued, beautiful, even when her tactics to get attention are so. stinkin. annoying. How to convince a boy who lost his first mother, that you do and will love him for forever and its okay to be sad, hurt and angry but that God is healer and those wounds will leave scars but will be heal. How to comfort Britt in her grieving yet teach her the appropriate ways to express that grief. I hear the Holy Spirit speak and He continue to confirm that He is working. Healing. Giving wisdom to Eric and I in the craziness.
He has shown me how to face the depth and ugliness of my sin because there I have the choice to see His beauty and depth of His grace. And honestly, I am realizing, this is the biggest thing He has in mind with this whole adoption thing. Making me more into His image. Drawing me into His likeness so I can enjoy more deeply His character, presence and fullness of life. Yes, He gave orphans a home. Yes, He will use our family to heal and restore their brokenness. But in return, He will use them to sanctify and call me to a greater understanding of grace because the depth of which I need it, I am finally seeing, is SO much deeper.
He has reminded me that the moments of screaming, chaos and frustration are just as much Him as are ones filled with laughter and giggles. He is in the painful moments as He is in the beautiful ones. And often, He is making beauty out of the pain. Don Miller put it perfectly in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, "Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller."I am learning to embrace the hard. To embrace the pain because I know there I will find much of Him.
Thank you for praying. You have made this woman see, smell, feel and taste Jesus in a deeper new way. You may be praying for the healing and transition of my children, but alongside you have lifted this tired momma to the Cross so I can be made anew.