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Rest in God

Nov
2013
14

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So this weekend Josh and I got to go away. To Sandestin. FOR THREE DAYS.

I can’t even describe how amazing this was.

First of all, everything you read about adoption makes you feel like you won’t be able to leave your children alone for like a year after getting them or you’ll give them a complex. So it was pretty unexpected to get to go rest up after such a short period of time. As with all literature about marriage/child-rearing, there was much to gain from all the adoption books we read, but one has to take these things with a grain of salt. We did not give them a complex. Instead they gladly shooed us out the door because Mimi is here and who needs you guys anyway?!

(Speaking of Mimi, good grief. My husband’s mom watched ALL FOUR of our children while we were gone (with some help from my sister-in-law). The woman is a saint. And will probably have to sleep for a week to recover. And has an extra jewel in her crown in heaven for this weekend.)

Second, we got to go to a conference with Douglas and Nancy Wilson as guest speakers and if we didn’t already love them we love them now. They talked about pride and forgiveness and child-rearing and godliness and it was just so good (in case you have no clue who I’m talking about, you can read some stuff they’ve written here and here).

Side Note: This was a conference for the Presbyterian churches in our region. And we totally crashed it to hear these people speak. Which makes us complete weirdos.

Third, did I mention it was in SANDESTIN??

We went with our friends who also have a brood of small children and she just kept turning to me all weekend and going “It’s so quiet…IT’S SO QUIET” It was, indeed, SO QUIET. We lead very LOUD lives, with small voices interrupting nearly every moment with questions, cries, laughs and questions (yes, I just said questions twice. YOU know why, young moms). So to have thoughts and conversations that were completed without interruption for 3 days was straight up glorious.

The second morning we were there we were sitting out on the porch reading our Bibles and sipping our coffee. Blue skies, crisp air, warm sun. Eating breakfast slowly, drinking coffee while it’s still hot, concentrating on what I’m reading. It felt perfect. And I had this thought, I wish I could freeze this moment. But I think the thought behind the thought was, I wish it could always be like this.

But that is not real life, people. I sometimes find myself, in the midst of the very hectic days, with all the needs to be met and tasks to be completed, longing for moments like that one. If only I were sitting in a quiet place, able to actually think and read and consider and BE. But to long for only that is, in essence, to say that God is only really a part of those moments. When, in fact, I am much more apt to feel my deep need for him in the daily madness.

Now I’m not saying it’s wrong to enjoy those moments. I’m incredibly grateful that we had this weekend. We so needed it, a breath of fresh air in the midst of an intensely busy ministry and family season. But there is a difference between feeling grateful for moments of rest and idolizing them. And I don’t know about you, but I can very easily idolize rest.

This is actually a very dangerous place to live. The aforementioned Nancy Wilson says in her most recent blog post, “Restlessness, dissatisfaction, and discontent can keep us from glorifying God right where we are.” It is very easy to feel discontented with life until we get to take a break and rest. But, the very essence of our relationship with God is that he comes to us when we are at our very poorest and neediest and ugliest and dirtiest and covers us with the blood of Christ and gives us faith and belief. And so we ought to continue in this as we know Him more deeply. Colossians 2:6 says, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”

So in the moments when I’m tempted to think, If only I were back in that quiet place, instead I ought to remember that this is the best place to meet with God, for He is our real rest. When my kids are screaming and I’m exhausted and I forgot to buy milk and I can’t even remember what I read in the Word of God this morning, He is my rest. And when we can rest in Him we can serve Him. I’m not working toward my next moment of rest. Instead I’m working as I rest, and I can be content right where I am.

 

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This morning in church we dedicated our new children to the Lord. I always like child dedication. I like saying the important things out loud. That our children are not our own. That they have been entrusted to us by God. That our roles are important and good and right. That family was created by God and ordained by Him. That parenting doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but with a family of believers to help and encourage and admonish. I like that our Elders lay hands on us and pray for us, shepherds supplied for us by The Shepherd, to care for our souls and watch over us.

Of course, while all this solemn important stuff is happening, Charlie is rolling around on the stage showing her pink monkey panties off to the entire church, but whatever. I kinda like this, too. Because it’s real. We parent REAL children.

As we stood there, together with our friends who dedicated their adopted son from China, I was reminded again how great the church really is.

I have loved our church and been loved by our church since the moment I entered it 11 years ago, even more so since Josh and I entered ministry life 6 years ago. But going through this adoption with our church family was knowing that love on a whole new level. I’ve said this before and it’s worth repeating, I do not feel like Josh and I adopted these children. I feel like our entire church has adopted them.

As I write this my little boy, the new baby of the family, comes toddling down from nap, huge grin when he sees his mama. Gone is the distended belly and the dreadful cough and serious serious face. Eva is pressed against me, no longer hesitant to seek out affection and receive hugs and kisses. Our church made this possible. Our church loves these children.

A third of the cost of our adoption was covered by the gifts of people in our church. A THIRD. On top of that, a couple let us come into their house, load all of the furniture in their living room ONTO A TRUCK and transform it into a little concert hall so we could have a benefit concert to raise said money.

Someone completely covered the cost of our airfare. And if you’ve traveled internationally you know that is no small thing.

My dear friends threw me the most beautiful shower. They showered me not just with clothes and toys but with promises to be IN this with me. To pray and cry with me, to answer my phone calls when I needed help, even in the middle of the night.

Over and over I was asked, “What do you need? How can I help? What can I do?” All wanting to be a part of this beautiful thing God was doing.

Then came the time to go and leave our 2 children to get our 2 children and the emails were sent out and people were PRAYING. Praying for us, praying for Reagan and Charlotte, praying for Eva and Titus, praying for our extended family as they bore the brunt of the childcare while we were gone. Praying for health and safety and endurance and joy. Sharing our joy as we sent pictures and stories.

One friend emailed me regularly, long emails about her day, what was going on, funny things that had happened. She’s a busy mom, but she took time to do this because she knew how hard it was on me to be so far from home.

And then we came home. And oh how our church LOVES these children. That first Sunday, coming home, being with family again is one of the best Sundays of my life. It was as though these children of ours had been here all along. Covered in hugs and kisses as they met family after family who had prayed them here.

All I can do is pray that we would continue to be a church who does this. That our story would be the story of many other families in our church. Today is Orphan Sunday, a day to consider the physical, emotional and spiritual need of millions of children worldwide. Children without homes or families. Children in need of saving. Our children were orphans, but they aren’t anymore. Would you join me in asking God, seriously asking him, what would You have me do? It’s a terrifying question to ask. I KNOW. But I can guarantee that if you open your heart to it, whatever He might have you do, He will give you joy in it. That is my story every day. This is our story, the church’s story.

 

 

 

I Need…

Nov
2013
01

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Several mornings ago, Charlie came downstairs and the first words out of her mouth were, “I need.”

I was doing something – flipping pancakes or loading the dishwasher or something – so I didn’t see her, just heard her lispy voice, “I need…I need…I need…I neeeeed…I neeeeeeeeeed…”

I turned around to find her wandering around the kitchen, searching for something, and I realized she didn’t have any idea what she needed, just that she needed something. She finally landed on something she spotted on the counter – a toy maybe? I can’t remember – and said, “I need THAT.”

As I watched her do this, I thought, Is that what I look like to you, God?”

When I wander through my day, dissatisfied, grumbling, easily irritated, looking for something, anything to satisfy, do I look like a 3 year old saying, “I neeeeeeeed…”

Isn’t that what we do sometimes? This, God, this isn’t enough. I don’t know what it is I need, but it’s something more than this. Then we allow our eyes to wander around and we fix them on some temporary thing that we think will meet the undefined need. If I could just have a little more time to myself. If I could just have a vacation. If I could just have that food I don’t need. If I could only have my pre-baby body back. If I could just have that new clothing item or decorate my house a little more nicely or whatever. In the end the thing itself doesn’t matter because all it’s doing is pointing to the condition of the heart. I need something more than you, God.

How hideous. That I would look at an all-knowing, saving God and say this isn’t enough.

But I am Charlie’s mom and I know what she needs and know more than she does and have patience with her (sometimes) when she thinks she needs more than I’ve given her. And though it is indeed hideous that I would look to God with anything but gratitude, He patiently shows me that He is more than enough. Always. Over and over.

Let’s take this out of the abstract and talk about real life for a minute. I was a rather unpleasant wife and mother today. And that’s putting it rather mildly. I met the endless questions of my children at the breakfast table with something less than joy (again, to put it rather mildly). Josh literally woke up to the sound of me shouting down the stairs at Charlie. I had let him sleep in but I was being a huge martyr about it, which completely defeated the purpose of doing something nice for him. He tried to be nice to me and joke around and get me out of my funk, but oh no, I was staying in it. Friday morning is our date morning, and I look forward to it ALL WEEK, but then I ruined it with my bad attitude. And I just continued in this vein for the rest of the day. My husband even let me take a nap this afternoon and I was still snippy and irritable when I woke up.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Well, I’m an idolater and I think I need more than I have. Today was no different from any other day except that I said yes to sin and no to God. I wandered through my day with that “I need” feeling and refused to allow Him to satisfy it. Even typing this I cringe to think of it. In Loving the Little Years, Rachel Jankovic says that sometimes you want to spank all your kids but you know deep down you’re the one who needs the spanking, and that sure was the truth today.

So what do I do when Charlie professes to need things she doesn’t actually need? Well, she’s 3, so obviously I’m not going to go into some deep theological lesson about it, BUT, it is my job to teach her that there is only one thing she needs. This means that sometimes I let her have the thing and sometimes I don’t and have to deal with a tantrum, but always I am teaching her, you don’t need this, honey.

And God, my Father, He is teaching me the same thing. I read His Word and I see it everywhere, that He has met every single need I could possibly have from now until the end of time in Jesus. And He won’t let me stay in a day like today, and He let’s me come crying repentance to Him and to my husband and my children because of Jesus. Even that need to make the wrong of a day like today right is met in Jesus. He is more than enough, when we obey, when we sin, more than enough.

 

 

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Here’s what an average day looks like for me:

I get up at 6, sometimes before, if I can drag myself out of bed the first time the alarm goes off. I get my coffee and read my Bible and eat my bagel (sigh. I love bagels). And I run upstairs at 6:40 to get my shower in before the little alarm clock in the kids’ room turns green at 7 and they all come running out shouting “THE LIGHT IS GREEN THE LIGHT IS GREEN THE LIGHT IS GREEN.” They all sit down to eat and while they bicker and giggle and eat their cereal (Apple Jacks this morning if you must know), I run around getting clothes and socks and shoes and hair brushes and bows and snacks and jackets and backpacks. I answer what seems like 1,000 questions while I do this

“Mom, can we go outside?” No, it’s still dark out.

“Mom, can Mimi pick me up today?” Yes (T, TH) No (MWF)

“Mom, can I have goldfish?” That is silly, you are eating Apple Jacks. Why would you need goldfish??

“Mom, can I live at Nama and Ganpa’s house?” Gee thanks, Charlie, and no you can’t. You poor thing, you have to live here with me.

“Mom, can we go on a treasure hunt today during rest time?” That doesn’t sound restful.

“Mom, can I be done?” No, you’ve eaten 4 bites.

Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…

And it’s only 7:30

I get the kids dropped off at school, all 4 if it’s Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Just the big girls if it’s Tuesday or Thursday. First Reagan at her school, and then the little ones at theirs. By the time I leave their preschool I am sweating. Doesn’t matter if it’s 50 degrees outside. I’m sweating. Because it’s 9am and I haven’t stopped moving since they got up.

At this point I typically sit in the van and think, now what was I going to do today? And sometimes I honestly can’t remember and I forgot to write it down and I’m just staring into space trying to figure out what I should do. But, of course, even without a plan there’s always the laundry and shopping and cooking and cleaning. The rest of the morning is usually made up of a combination of those things and maybe a few moments of just sitting quietly and reading or catching up on email or maybe wandering around Home Goods for fun. Because sometimes I think it’s more important to wander aimlessly around Home Goods than it is to make sure every box is checked off.

I’ve got 2 1/2 hours and then it’s back to pick up the kids, first the little ones, then Reagan. They pile in the car and the questions begin where they left off. So many questions. Everyone is hungry, wants to show me what they made at school, everyone wants to dictate what is going to happen for the rest of the day and I crush all their hopes and dreams when I say no. But sometimes I say yes and we DO skip nap and we DO have a tea party with the china and we DO eat cookies for snack and that’s fun. But usually it’s No, you have to take a nap, you can have a cheese stick instead and mommy needs to fold laundry, she can’t have a tea party right this very second.

They eat their chicken nuggets and grapes and beg me to let them skip their naps (Why?? Why are they so surprised by nap time every. single. day??). The 3 littles go to their separate rooms and Reagan proceeds to have “rest time.” I do her homework with her and then set her up with a movie or some toys or a computer game and tell her it’s time to be quiet, but of course this is completely impossible because isn’t she a huge extrovert? And doesn’t she want to talk to me nonstop for the next 5 hours until she goes to bed?

The kids “sleep” (really, at this point, it’s only Titus who ever falls asleep). And they get up around 3 and then I’ve got 4 hours until bedtime and I think, I’m so tired, how will I do it? But the mid-afternoon slump passes and I grab some coffee and keep going. They play, and I wish I were someone who gave them super fun organized activities to do, but mostly they just destroy the house while I finish up the things that need to be finished up. Fold the laundry. Empty the dishwasher. Load the dishwasher. Make the dinner. Pick up. Set the coffee pot for tomorrow (most important task, obviously).

And then it’s 5:30 and DADDY’S HOME!!!!

This makes everyone happy. We eat and then I clean up while daddy does bath ’cause he’s awesome. And I didn’t used to think doing dishes was fun, but doing dishes in a quiet kitchen filled with music I want to listen to (ie, not Raffi) while my kids are upstairs contained in the bathtub is one of my favorite things. Then it’s the bedtime ritual, Teeth brushing, all the medicine for my poor kids with all the seasonal allergies, go potty, have a sip of water, no you can’t have juice, pray, sing the songs, 30 minutes to read and then LIGHTS OUT.

And then Josh and I, we look at each other and it’s, “Hello, dear, nice to see you. How are you?” Because really, we’ve barely had a moment together, and certainly not a moment when we can have any kind of real conversation. And sometimes we talk about our days, but sometimes we just collapse onto the couch and watch TV. And then we go to bed, because it’s all about to begin again.

Here’s why I share this:

Adoption seems very radical. But really, it’s one radical leap of faith followed by normal life of faith. That moment that we said, yes, we will do this. Yes God, this is scary and expensive and crazy, but we will do it. That moment felt kind of radical. And flying to Uganda for a month to bring 2 children home. That was a little out of the ordinary, for sure. But now? Now, honestly, it’s just life again. Normal, everyday life. And of course there are exceptions to this for some people, but for us, it has simply been a radical act of obedience followed by all of the same acts of obedience God called us to before. Just with 2 more kids now.

For me, there was always this kind of mysterious aura surrounding the idea of adoption, especially the international adoption of older children. What on earth would that be like? It felt so unknown. Kids who don’t speak my language. No knowledge of their past. But there is nothing mysterious about children who need a mother and father and a place to be known and cared for.

I also share this because I am asked, almost daily, how it’s going. And there are certainly difficult moments and it’s somewhat exhausting, BUT, overall, it’s amazing, better than I could have imagined, and I’m grateful. Grateful for normal everyday obedience.

 

 

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On September 11, 2001, I was 17, a senior in high school. That morning all 950 or so of us seniors were herded into the gym to take our class picture. We were all crammed onto the bleachers, making jokes, rolling eyes, acting like teenagers, as some poor photographer tried to get at least one where no one was making a crude gesture or doing something idiotic. I vaguely remember walking back toward my Latin class with my best friend Carrie, probably laughing, we were always laughing. We parted ways and I entered my class to find Mr. Rohleder and all my classmates completely silent, eyes fixated on the TV. I sank into my desk and joined them in their shock, unable to comprehend what I was seeing. I remember going to a couple of more periods, finding that one teacher’s son worked near the pentagon and he hadn’t heard from him and didn’t know anything yet. Eventually a voice on the PA system informed us that if we had access to a car, we could go home. What was the point in staying? No one was teaching.

I spent the rest of the day staring at the news. I was a silly teenage girl and I never watched the news but it was all I could do that day. I remember the looks on my parents faces. They were afraid. My dad had served in the Gulf War and they were no strangers to this growing conflict in the Middle East. And that it had come to U.S. Soil? Terrifying. I remember the horrific death toll. I remember that while many died without any possibility of escape, many chose death in the hope of saving just a few. I remember the look on our President’s face as the news was whispered in his ear. I remember the images of death and smoke and rubble and mourning. I remember. I haven’t forgotten.

And we all have that story. Not that one exactly, of course, but everyone I talk to remembers it in detail. Where they were, who they were with, what they were doing. It’s impossible to forget. But as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline today, seeing post after post reminding me, “Never Forget,” I suddenly realized, this will be forgotten. Now I don’t mean that there will be a time in the future that people don’t know this happened. That’s not possible. But this remembering for those of us who lived that day will one day be gone. I thought of my children, born 7-10 years after that day. This will be a fact in a history book to them. Just as the Challenger explosion is a fact to me, but a very real memory for my mother, who has told me in great detail about that day. Just as the attack on Normandy is a fact to me, but a very real memory for my grandmother, whose husband was not on those boats that day because he had been sent home with Rheumatic Fever. Our children and our children’s children will study September 11 in school. And though it may move them, they will not remember as we do.

That’s such an interesting word, remember. Because, try as we might, we will never remember perfectly. And even if we did, our children certainly wouldn’t be able to carry our memories for us in the same way. And we know that with the passage of time our remembrances will fade into nothingness. That’s kind of depressing, isn’t it?

Well, here’s where I find my hope. See, that word appears a lot in the Bible. Remember. Primarily, it appears when God tells His people to remember, and when God’s people ask HIM to remember.

Over and over and over again in the Old Testament God’s people are told to remember that God delivered them from slavery. “Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there.” Remember, remember, remember. But what do they do? They forget. I’m sure they said to one another, “Never forget!” But those who were there grew old and died, and their children’s children knew they should remember, but their remembrances faded with the passage of time, just as ours do. Each command to remember is like that…impossible to obey. Impossible without a God who never forgets.

But this God I worship, He really does remember. He remembers everything. He remembers all that has taken place and knows all that is happening now and sees all that is coming. Most importantly, He remembers that which His people have begged Him to remember since the beginning. His promises.

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people…as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies…to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant.”

These are the words of Zechariah, a priest of God’s people and a prophet. Jesus is coming. God hasn’t forgotten. He’s remembered. And He has become God with us.

What does all this have to do with remembering September 11? Well, nothing, at first glance. But as I remember the tragic events of that day, the lives lost, the fear, the destruction, the evil, the bravery, I also want remember that all the tragedies we face in this life are – whether huge, significant, and terrifying, like September 11, or small, but deep and personal, like the loss of a parent or the failure of a marriage or living with a chronic illness – these are not missed by our God.

He is not far from us. He is with us. And He has remembered His promises. We find our hope in Him.

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One of the things I just LOVE about Eva is that her face is ridiculously expressive. You guys, you don’t even know. If you spent even 10 minutes with her, you would be dying over all the expressions she makes. Of course, corresponding to all the faces are all the feelings. ALL THE FEELINGS. About all the things. When she’s happy, she’s ecstatic. When she’s sad, the world is coming to an end. I don’t even want to think about the teen years.

The point is, she makes the best faces. And I felt that I should share them with you. Eva, please forgive me in those teen years when you have ALL THE FEELINGS X 1000 and you hate me for posting these pictures.

There’s laughing face…

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(That’s my dad, who picked both children up upside down the moment he met them and now they are in love with him forever.)

And then there’s “Oh my gosh I’m going to pee myself I’m laughing so hard” face…

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(This laugh got us through a long hard day of waiting at the Ugandan passport office)

Oh, and speaking of laughing face, This post is about Eva, but here’s Titus tickling his own feet and laughing hysterically about it. You’re welcome.

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Then there’s this face, which is reserved for things she’s never seen before or things she finds yucky…

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This particular face is for that big thing in the movie Cars that repaves the streets or something. Some little boy somewhere knows the name of that thing. Anyway, she told me it was yucky. And she’s correct about that.

She made that face a lot while watching popcorn pop for the first time. And if you haven’t seen that, stop what you’re doing right now and watch it and then walk around with a stupid grin on your face for the rest of the day because it makes you feel like a little kid again.

Then there’s angry/sad/pout face, which we are all familiar with, because every child alive has perfected it (and quite frankly, I make a pretty good angry/sad/pout face myself)…

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She’s got nothing on Charlotte, though

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She has a face she makes when she’s concerned about something or afraid that Titus will get in trouble (I knooooow. Cue the waterworks. She is so protective of her brother and it’s heartbreaking).

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And finally, there’s this face, which she makes most often when I point a camera at her, and which I can only describe as her “Why, yes, I AM so gorgeous!” face…

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Take some time to delight in your children today! Even if they’re making “angry/sad/pout” face. They might just need mama to laugh at them to get them out of their funk.

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Hey. Remember me? Katie? I was going to write all these awesome posts about adoption?

Oh, wait. I have 4 kids now and my brain doesn’t work anymore.

Actually, there have been many days that I have thought of great things to share. But the problem is that I think of those things at 10 am while I’m cleaning or running errands and then sit down to write it down at 8 pm. And I find that I can’t remember anything or even really how to type at that point.

And, if I can be totally honest, most nights lately we get the kids down and I eat ice cream and watch TV or internet loaf. I may or may not be eating ice cream out of the carton as I type this…

Oh, but here’s the good news! I’ve been steadily losing weight anyway. Here’s a winning weight loss program idea: Just fill your house with kids 5 and under and you’ll forget to eat all the time! Except ice cream. I never forget ice cream.

Things are slowly but surely settling into a normal rhythm around here. It’s strange, but it’s hard for me to remember life being any different than it is now. It’s sort of like when you have a baby, I guess, and before you meet the baby you can’t imagine him/her. But once the baby arrives, Bam! Life before baby becomes a foggy memory.

It’s hard to believe that just 8 months ago I was in Uganda on that brief trip, meeting these 2 sweeties, completely unaware that they would change our lives forever.

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That’s Eva in the blue, the day I met her. She sat in my lap for 20 minutes, wanting nothing more than to stay with me. Oh gosh, stop. I’m making myself cry. (I’m happy to say that the other 2 children standing by me have been adopted as well).

And there’s Titus, making classic Titus face. Totally inscrutable. Now he’s mostly smiles and laughter

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Although he does still occasionally make inscrutable face at me. Especially when he’s mad at me.

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(I literally just said no to him when I took this picture. He’s stunned that I would refuse him anything)

Eva is a total girl. I remember looking at her, and all the other girls in that orphanage and thinking how indistinguishable they were from the boys, all with shaved heads, many in boys clothes. However, that girl is 100% GIRL on the inside. She and Charlie are currently neck and neck for most dramatic person in this house. She also talks. And talks and talks and talks.

Here she is talking to me…

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And talking…

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Aaaaaand taaaaaalking.

 

 

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I love it. At first it was frustrating because I couldn’t understand a word she said. But she picks up English super fast. And you know how when your toddler starts talking you totally understand it and everyone else is like, “huh?” That’s how it is with her. Sometimes she tells me a whole story and only like 3 of her words are English and I still know exactly what she said.

Eva and Titus are so weirdly well adjusted, too. They do great at church and school, they eat and sleep great, and hate bedtime and fight over toys just like other kids.

But seriously though, folks, it didn’t start out that way.

There were some really hard moments in those first few weeks. For me, the hardest thing was how both kids, but especially Eva, reacted to Reagan and Charlotte. For the first couple weeks they rejected all affection from their sisters. Oh, and Reagan was so very eager to love them. Charlie is 3, and she couldn’t care less about anyone but herself right now, so I think she was oblivious. But it was hard on Reagan, and hard on me.

It was hard for me to understand my own feelings. Think of how you’d feel if your daughter encountered a kid at school or on the playground who was unkind to them. You feel defensive, and usually angry toward that kid’s mom. BUT I WAS THAT KIDS MOM, TOO. And of course, I knew deep down that Eva wasn’t being intentionally unkind. It’s just that it had been her and Titus against the world for so long, and it would take time to let someone else in, especially someone she viewed as competition for our affection.

I had to accept that while I loved my new children as dearly as my biological children, I hadn’t known them nearly as long, so nurturing them and teaching them wouldn’t come as naturally as it did with Reagan and Charlie. It would take time.

 
But God’s been answering prayers in this area, and I’m amazed at the improvement even in the last couple weeks. I now regularly hear Eva yelling out, “Reagan, look!” wanting to involve her sister. And they seriously make each other laugh. And Titus lets Reagan carry him around like a baby and copies everything Charlotte does. It’s pretty amazing that they are learning to love each other so quickly.

Thankfully we have a God who is a million times bigger than these things and nothing is too difficult for Him. He was able to take these 2 kids and give them a love for us as though we were there biological parents. You can’t imagine the delight of going to pick them up from school or from church and hearing the excited, “Mommy! Mommy!” that comes from their mouths. It’s as though they never knew anything else.

And He took my heart and gave me a deep love for them, too. I am their mother, plain and simple. I did not give birth to them, but they are mine just as though I had.

So every day now I’m getting twice as many dressed and making twice as many sandwiches and kissing twice as many boo-boos and hearing twice as much noise. There’s twice as much fighting, but also twice as much hugging and snuggling. And I’m definitely twice as tired, which is why I eat ice cream instead of blogging at the end of the day. But it’s all worth it.
Reagan, Eva, Charlie, Titus. All mine, forever and ever.

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