Thursday, December 30, 2010


I was thinking the other day, that nothing more on earth shows our need for redemption more than relationships. My very next thought was, "That is not very profound. That is exactly what has been redeemed: our relationship with the Almighty."

But it had me thinking. Then I went on to read some articles by an education writer who was critiquing the character ed fads that pop up. He went on to state the flaws of each program. He stated that they come from the premise that children are sinful. He asserted that they truly are compassionate, and gave examples of children acting in compassion.

But who is to know the heart, except for God? I know I do things that may look caring on the outside, but motive is anything but. The more I read this Henri Nouwen book, the more my sinful ways are exposed to me. Oh my. How I do use relationships. How my sin taints every aspect of my life.

And yet, my relationship with God is redeemed. After experiencing hugging "my" children goodbye, and watching them walk away, and the utter desolation that I felt, God's love is even more incomprehensible to me. God sent his son, knowing that to do so would include pain.

Jesus' life was the very essence of compassion-to suffer with. His coming to experience life on earth was him suffering with us. He didn't turn away from the woman who reached out to touch his robe. He didn't cast aside the distraught father, he turned to the children who were around him. He knew Peter would deny him, and yet he didn't let that relationship go.

I watched our Encuentro video on Monday. I was attempting to transfer files to my new computer, and thought it would be a good time to put the video on a DVD so it wouldn't get lost. I thought I could handle watching it.

The minute my eyes saw the children, i felt like I'd been whacked. I felt paralyzed. And furious. And so, so sad. I watched us talking to them, hugging them, seeing the hesitation in their eyes. Our pale faces from extreme anxiety.  I got scared that my mind would forget their faces.

And then I had the familiar thought, "I need to go get them." I don't know where this comes from. It just wells up. The get-me-on-a-plane-right-now feeling. We, to this day, have felt nothing but peace about the decision. But, that doesn't take away the longing and the love, I guess.

Friday, December 24, 2010

And out of the blue, it hits.

It's been a long while since I've cried at work because of grief. (I won't go into how many times I've cried because of school stuff....) A few times last year, it happened in front of the kids, and gratefully the kids that saw it were the ones who knew.

Wednesday was math test time for my newcomer boys. I was towards the end of the test when I looked down at the story problem I was about to read out loud.

"N*st*r picked 12 flowers for his mom...."

My throat immediately tightened. I felt my entire body freeze up. I went into something between a panic and paralyzation. I tried to substitute a different name.

"Ben picked..."

I couldn't get it out. And then the sobs came. And the great big tear drops. I began reliving being a mom. My interactions with N. So sad that things didn't turn out differently. They would have been here and would have been coming home from school that day instead of me going to school. We'd be preparing to go to grandparents' houses.

And then my little student spoke.

"It's ok. You can take a minute."

And that was all he said. I turned and walked to get a box of tissues and the sobs subsided. The boys never acted uncomfortable that I was crying; they've experienced deep hurt and trauma in their lives. They just plain get it. 

Vaya con Dios, mijos....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This year is so much better than last year

It truly is. While it's still hard, it in no way compares to last year. We went out shopping today for some of the last gifts. It's so much easier when S is with me. I did start to cry in JCP; we were in the kids section and there was a Hispanic family, and their daughter... And I looked over to the underwear shelves and started to cry. The last time i'd been there I was buying 10 (or something like that, I had to make multiple trips to the counter) packages of underwear and socks and so happy to be doing it! So we left rapidly.

But i was able to continue on.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The book I'm reading by Henri Nouwen has some good thoughts in it. Here is another little bit that I've contemplated for a while now:

Such discoveries remind us of our humble place in the scheme of things. The7y keep us from self-aggrandizement. Perhaps our need to hold life loosely is no more evident than in our daily relationships. Loving someone means allowing the other person to respond in ways you have no control over. Every time you engage yourself in an intimate, loving way with someone else you become at last partly subject to the exhilaration of hearing another person's yes or the disappointment in his or her no. The more people you love, the more pain you may experience. For the great mystery of love is that while it can be received, it can also be rejected. Every time you love you enter into the risk of love....That is what his [Jesus'] death meant-being out of control for our sakes, from great love.

Our pain and suffering of the Lord are intimately connected. When we mourn, we die to something that gives us  a sense of who we are. In this sense suffering always has much to do with the spiritual life. We surrender our striving denial of our limitations. We release our hold on a piece of our identity as a spouse, a parent, a member of church...We may even suffer for our faith. Jesus' first followers were handed over to persecution and death. And so we admit, not without many tears, that we sometimes must let go of what we hold very dear. (from Turn My Mourning Into Dancing  29-30)

The absolute scariest thing for me now is to have my love rejected. Initially, it was nearly impossible to put myself in situations where it could. But, I had to. In order to move beyond that paralyzing fear of rejection, I had to still open my arms in love- especially to children.

My niece and nephews have been a balm to my hurt heart. So has another friend's boy, and our former neighbor girls. It's amazing to me how each little choice I make to risk love, risk being rejected has strengthened my capacity to love. I was telling S the other day that the "fist bump" is quite helpful. Kids are kids, and if they don't want to give affection, they're not going to. So saying goodbye can be rough on the adult who gets pushed away or ran from- especially when their heart is hurting. But the poor child doesn't want to give affection-and shouldn't be forced to.  They'll give a fist bump though- and it may even put a smile on their face.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Each little bit

is important. Last Thanksgiving and Christmas we pretty much wanted the entire winter months to disappear. Facing the holidays was bringing up way too much emotion. We played no music, had no decorations, and pretty much managed to have each day just like the next; it worked very well too. When Christmas was over, i didn't have to face the transition, we had no "let down" feeling after taking away the tree because there wasn't one.

But do you know what I did today? I played Christmas music. Not music with words; I'm not sure I'm quite ready for that. But Manheim Steamroller, and some others Pandora chose for me, were playing in my classroom this morning.

Healing is a long road, but this is another example of God's remarkable influence on restoring what was once broken. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God is merciful...time and time again

We've been reading through Judges and Samuel in small group. Over and over again, God shows mercy to those who've said no to him. Samuel marks the beginning of God sending Israel a king because they keep saying no to the Lord as King. When I read this verse:

Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance.7“Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer.8Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.9Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”
I was very humbled. Here I am, saying no the Lord, saying that I want to be the king in my life.

What right do I have to say that?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thank you friends for your encouragement!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I don't like my job anymore. It rules my life. It makes my stomach knot up most days. I come home exhausted, mad, cranky and wanting to give up. Because of the environment, kids are afraid to talk. I then have to fight that to get them to learn.

Basically, most days I feel like my life stinks. I'm unhappy, rushed, tired, frustrated, and just fed up with life being this way.

Yes, I have a job (and I should be sooo thankful) and I have house (I should be soo thankful) and I'm not sick. But the one thing, the only thing, I want I can't have. I hear other people say how blessed they are..because they have kids. And that's all I want!!! Why can't I have that? I honestly could care less, at this point, where I lived or how much money we made. I can't even spend time with the people I want to spend time with either.

I am so mad! I'm so mad I'm crying. So there you have it. I hold it in all day long. But when I come home, the anxiety, suppression, frustration and indignation comes flowing out. And I hate that. I want to relax and enjoy home. But I can't. Cause it's all gotta come out somewhere.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Stepping Forward....a little more

Yesterday I had a sick day for a Dr. Appt.

So when I came home, I wondered what I should do. I was looking at my desk and thought I should start there. You see, it's been covered with papers for over a year. It was clean May 2009. But that's because I'd organized all of it to be ready when we returned from Colombia and needed to complete post-placement reports and schedule Dr. visits.

But when we came back, we couldn't bear to unpack. Our suitcases sat in the living room for a month and a half. And then, we never really unpacked; we just pulled what we needed out until all was pretty much out.

Except for the paperwork.

When you devote hours upon hours upon hours to that paperwork and it symbolizes your children, it weighs heavy with value. I could not even bear to look at it. So I stacked it on my desk with averted eyes. Letters that came from Children's Hospital with the kids' names on them were stacked on my desk. A few times I tried to clean it up, but I just couldn't handle it.

Yesterday, I knew it was time. Some of the top papers weren't adoption related at all. That was easy. But then i saw a hospital letter with S's name on it-unopened. I opened it. The words "your child..." stared at me. I put it quickly into the adoption medical file. A few more random papers and then the binder. The binder I'd meticulously organized with all of our copies of the Homestudy, passports, applications, signed documents, receipts, all of it that we'd need to finalize the adoption in Colombia. And it was all still there as I'd put it in. One paper had our signature on it. The one from Bienestar when we took over care of the children.

At that point the sobs hit. The wracking, I can't breathe, immensely painful kind. I put the binder in the file cabinet and continued on. I came across receipts from Carrefor, and the little grocery down the street where I'd carried E (the only time he let me carry him) and actually felt like a "real mom" grocery shopping with 2 of her kids. I'd had to say "no" to H when she saw a princessa paper doll and book. She asked so sweetly, and I desperately wanted to buy it for her, but it was like $12,000 or something, and I couldn't figure out the math to see what it would be in $USD. Not to mention the hell that would break loose back home if one of her brothers got a hold of it and destroyed it.

Then i found the file that had a song H had written down for me for a hand-clap game. We'd been playing it one day, and she tried to say it slowly enough for me to learn it, but without seeing them written I was having trouble. So she labored over writing it down for me. We sat on the wood floor at the top of the steps, me relishing the sweet time with my daughter. I remember thinking how blessed i was to have H as a daughter.

And on I went. I got the desk cleaned off and the papers put away. My heart was very sad. I tried and am trying hard to accept this day, yesterday, that day in June as God's will. At this moment, it's very painful.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stepping Forward

When you're stuck in the middle of grief, anxiety, confusion, hurt, anger and depression, it's hard to see how God has moved in your life; how he's worked on your character, built up your faith, shaped humility and deepened compassion. But after a while, sometimes a long while, has gone by, you may be able to see some of how God has used you to tell His story.

Last weekend, I experienced being fully present in the moment. I didn't confuse that moment with previous moments. I was able to just be "me". My little nephew was very upset that he couldn't ride home in the tractor with his daddy. He was carried inside and I picked him up to comfort and console him. I held him for 7 minutes or so, and when he was calm, we went to go play in the garden dirt.

It wasn't until 5 hours later that it hit me. I had no negative emotional response when I picked him up and he was angry and crying. No flashbacks of our experiences parenting. Nothing. I had been calm, handled the emotions from my nephew calmly and lovingly with no problem.

That is cause to rejoice! And I did. Not jumping up or down or anything, but I had tears of thankfulness. My Lord has given me the strength to endure this past year and has taken away much of my distress.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Sean's Grandma passed away this past week. She was 94 1/2. I'm so glad I got to know her. She was my Grandma too. When we were first married, we were able to stay with her and Grandpa. She'd make us bacon, eggs in the bacon grease, and hashbrowns. Mmm.

While we were up there, it was the Auburn Car Show. This year, they had the Duesenburg Exhibition of Speed. Duesenburg owners drove their cars in to show them off on a runway. It was so cool to see these cars speed up! Clark Gable's car was there too.

And of course we played with the nephews and niece. But I didn't get pictures of sobrina this time around.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The past year has set my mind whirling with pondering "the will of God". In Colombia, we had peace as that God was in the middle of what was happening; though that peace was in stark contrast to the terrible devastation we felt. However, upon coming home, we felt stuck. Utterly, completely, sometimes hopelessly, stuck. I read about this feeling in a book by H. Norman Wright, where he described the after effects of grief as being stuck on ice; afraid to take a step for fear of sprawling again. And so one just stands still.

But it hasn't just been grief that has caused me to feel so stuck, or to fear moving in any direction. The reality that trusting God might mean further pain has kept me motionless. As I look back, the comments that often made me the maddest were the ones around "God has a plan." To someone who is experience deep emotional pain, that is not helpful. They are already acutely aware that God's will for their life at that moment is to suffer. One immediately knows that life down the road is not going to be void of more pain, and the thought of it happening again, experiencing this pain again, is too much to think about.

As I've thought about God's will and what that really means in my life, I have come to find that it is not quite as mysterious as I once thought. My will interjects itself where it shouldn't. Sometimes we as followers of God think that we need a "sign" from God as to which direction to take in our life, or what choice to make. I don't think God has a schematic drawn out with all of our moves, and what "his will" is. Instead, ultimately God can and will use all of our choices, decisions and actions to further his kingdom and bring glory to himself. Our task is to accept the life in front of us. There are many choices that we can "just make" and accept the outcome of whichever one.

When we suffer intense anguish, something miraculous happens. We see ourselves for what we truly are: helpless. Totally, completely helpless and in need of a Savior. In those times, our only recourse is to turn to God. There is nothing else, no one else. It feels literally like turn to God or die.

But it is not always for us to receive immediate comfort. Our life must still heal, and while we have Biblical hope in Christ, it takes time for our minds and emotions to process through what has happened. It may sound "wrong" for me to say that during times of my deepest heartache God was no comfort. But, it's true. Nothing was comfort. There was no way to escape the pain. So how does that work with the only recourse being to turn to God? How can one, at once, turn to God and yet experience no comfort from Him? For me, comfort came in God sustaining me. I knew that this pain, the pain of the children, was not in vain. God's ultimate plan is for us to be shaped into His image and glorify Him. I knew I was not alone, but what I wanted was God to literally be next to me telling me my pain was not in vain. Comfort was not what I expected.

I'm not sure why I'm saying all of this. Maybe it's to open someone's eyes as to how to be a friend to someone who is in pain. Or maybe it's to share with someone in pain that God's comfort might not come as we expect it to, but God will be there.

I've been reading a book that's very encouraging. It's called He Leadeth Me. Here is a little bit:

"Now with sudden and almost blinding clarity and simplicity, I realized I had been trying to do something with my own will and intellect that was at once too much and mostly all wrong. God's will was not hidden somewhere "out there" in the situations in which I found myself; the situations themselves were his will for me. What he wanted was for me to accept theses situations as from his hands, to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at his disposal. He was asking of me an act of total trust, allowing for no interference or restless striving on my part, no reservations, no exceptions, no areas where I could set conditions or seem to hesitate. He was asking a complete gift of self, nothing held back. It demanded absolute faith: faith in his existence, in his providence, in his concern for the minutest detail, in his power to sustain me, and in his love protecting me. It meant losing the last hidden doubt, the ultimate fear that God will not be there to bear you up....
Of course we believe that we depend on God, that his will sustains us in every moment of our life. But we are afraid to put it to the test. There remains deep down in each of us a little nagging doubt, a little knot of fear that we refuse to face or admit to ourselves, that says, 'Suppose it isn't so.' We are afraid to abandon ourselves totally into God's hands for fear he will not catch us as we fall. It is the ultimate criterion, the final test of all faith and belief, and it is present in each of us, lurking unvoiced in a closet of our mind we are afraid to open. It is not really a question of trust in God at all, for we want very much to trust Him; it is really a question of our ultimate belief in his existence and his providence, and it demands the purest act of faith."
-He Leadeth Me by Walter Ciszek, pg 77-78

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


My sisters and i went to the waterpark on Monday! It was actually I who suggested it. I was quite surprised myself. For some reason, it just sounded cathartic and therapeutic. We had a lot of fun. When we went down the giant slide, I had a sweet memory of going down the one at Jaime Duque park with H. She and I got stuck in the middle and I remember how much she laughed. I really miss having a daughter.

I love my sisters. I'm glad they're close by.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We took a real live vacation this year. We flew to San Antonio for a few days. It was so pretty! I know everyone who goes talks about the Riverwalk, and no wonder! It's magical! We also drove up to Austin to see Juni*r Br*wn play at the C*ntinental Club. (He sings "You're wanted by the po-lice, and my wife thinks you're dead." among others.)

Then we came back home for a night and drove to NW Ohio the following morning. It was a great week!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thank You

Over the past year, we have received cards, notes, phone calls, emails, and blog notes encouraging us. It has meant so much to us as we process through what happened; in fact, many times those notes have been quite timely. A few days before one of the kids' birthday, and yesterday on the day we left for Col. last year.

I don't think I can quite put in words how much everyone's love and prayer has meant to us. It has helped sustain us.

Muchisimas gracias.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I see you, but you look like a tree walking around

Sean's been taking our small group through Mark. Last night we were discussing Mark 8. Every time I read that chapter this week, I felt it was for me. But then I'd get upset! I also stumbled across a man named Walter Ciszek who was a priest in WWII Russia. He was captive for 23 some years. He had this to say in one of his books:

"Across the threshold I had been afraid to cross, things suddenly seemed so very simple. There was but a single vision, God, who was all in all; there was but one will that directed all things, God's will. I had only to see it, to discern it in every circumstance in which I found myself, and let myself be ruled by it. God is in all things, sustains all things, directs all things. To discern this in every situation and circumstance, to see His will in all things, was to accept each circumstance and situation and let oneself be borne along in perfect confidence and trust. Nothing could separate me from Him, because He was in all things. No danger could threaten me, no fear could shake me, except the fear of losing sight of Him. The future, hidden as it was, was hidden in His will and therefore acceptable to me no matter what it might bring. The past, with all its failures, was not forgotten; it remained to remind me of the weakness of human nature and the folly of putting any faith in self. But it no longer depressed me. I looked no longer to self to guide me, relied on it no longer in any way, so it could not again fail me. By renouncing, finally and completely, all control of my life and future destiny, I was relieved as a consequence of all responsibility. I was freed thereby from anxiety and worry, from every tension, and could float serenely upon the tide of God's sustaining providence in perfect peace of soul

And then this:

"God’s will was not hidden somewhere ‘out there’ . . . the situations [in which I found myself] were his will for me. What he wanted was for me to accept these situations as from his hands, to let go of the reins and place myself entirely at his disposal.”

Oooh. So now add that to this whole thing of me wavering back and forth on whether I'm going to teach next year, where i'm going to teach next year, and having to fork our $$ to take the classes, and you get one anxious Angela. And then I come back to what Jesus says in Mark, and I keep thinking, "how on earth do I do that??" There are times when I want to, and times when I just plain don't.

My will and God's will. My will is still battling it out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Job

This is the last year I'm going to teach for a while. My certificate expires and I didn't take the classes to keep it current because we were paying for an adoption (and knew i wouldn't be going back to work anytime soon) But, I just don't really want to teach anymore right now. For a lot of reasons, but few that i can actually articulate.

So I have to do something else.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The "Prayer of Abandonment"
for Adoptive Parents

Father, we abandon ourselves into your hands,
to send a child ... or not ... as you see fit.
You by whom the Word was made flesh,
send us a miracle, if this is what you desire.
Or lead us to her, if that be your will.

We do not ask for guarantees; no parent can.
Only light enough for the very next step.
We do not ask for a perfect child,
nor can we promise to be perfect parents.
Whatever you choose for us, whatever you desire
we abandon ourselves to your perfect will.

We are ready to offer our daily "yes,"
until that perfect will be revealed in us.
And until, at last perfected, we bear witness
to the work of redemption you began in Eden.

We love you, Lord, and offer ourselves to you,
wholly and without reservation.
We surrender ourselves, moment by moment,
knowing that this is only the first small step
Of a lifetime of surrender,
so that we may be made more perfect in love.
That we might imitate, on earth as in heaven,
the redemptive love
the adoptive love
the selfless love
with which you first loved us.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I danced in the car tonight...

I haven't done that in a long time...probably about a year. And it felt wonderful. My ole fave "Get Ready For This" came on the 90's station and i turned it up. :) But not at a stoplight because I didn't want people to stare. :0

Yes, Wendi, I think you're right. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our Referral: One Year Ago

Not an anniversary I ever wanted to end up the way it has. Last year, we were getting ready, furiously, to become parents. I was filled with hope, excitement, joy, anticipation... Now, our house is still empty, but looks exactly the way it did a year ago...ready for children. I've never felt like it was "time" to do anything other than just leave everything the way it is.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Easter was great fun. On Saturday, we whisked the kids down to the basement, along with 2 lambs for photos. This one above captures the chaos. Trying to get 6 kids and 2 lambs facing the camera is a feat! Then the lambs were peeing on the floor... it was too funny. Here's a picture of a ewe and her lamb. They're so precious!

We enjoyed holding and playing with our niece and nephews. Here is Sean entertaining them with the wonders of the iphone. :) Baby H loved to fall asleep with Sean.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's Spring!

Last weekend was typical Ohio Spring: it snowed on Friday. Now this week, the high is supposed to be in the mid 70s. I couldn't ask for prettier weather during my spring break!

Last weekend was also Palm Sunday and our church's Easter Egg Hunt. We invited our neighbors. Little Boy went with his family, and Las Chicas and their Mama rode with us. I was so happy that they could come. Our church puts out 20,000 eggs for this massive egg hunt....ok, it's not really a hunt cause they're only like 6" from each other. Las Chicas scored! They totally outhunted many of the other kids. One of them had a full bag, half of another bag, and eggs in her pockets, shirt hem, and under her chin. Of course with 20,000 eggs. Don't worry, there were enough left for everyone else too.

I was surprised that I didn't get sad when we were there. I was actually able to enjoy the whole thing without the shadow coming over me.

But that didn't help when Palm Sunday rolled around. I'd forgotten that the Sunday School kids would be walking through the sanctuary with palms. Suddenly I saw them walking out of the corner of my eye and I started sobbing. Yes, Palm Sunday was one of those days I've always looked forward to...watching MY children waving their palms and learning about the King. And they weren't there. I cried and cried and finally was able to calm down.

This next weekend, we're going to NW OH. Thankfully if I start to cry during Easter mass, I'll have a nephew to cuddle. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010


I've spent many days feeling very confused. Confused about things that have happened, confused about how to proceed in life, and feeling very confused at these emotions I experience. Here is one example.

I haven't written anything about Colombia, but I want to share one of the most intensely happy moments I have ever felt in my life. It was a moment that I will cherish forever. The kids had seen previews for Aladdin on tv. They were so excited it was on, so we planned to watch it together when it came on at 7 pm. We got all ready for bed and made up the beds on the floor. H turned on the tv, and could hardly wait. E had his bottle and lay on his pillow. I sat down on the floor next to him, and at the same moment, H and S plopped into my lap; S with his head on my lap, and H on my knee. I think we sat like this for almost an hour. My feet were asleep, my legs were asleep, my butt was asleep and quite sore from the hard floor, my back ached, but I was full of joy. This was a moment I'd waited for for so long and I cherished it. I felt like I was doing what every fiber of my being was made to do: be a mother.

And here I am confused. My whole life, I have been learning to make the Lord my source of happiness, and find my joy in Him. So why did that moment make me so happy? For a long while, before the adoption, and once we started it, I prayed that I"d seek the Lord first and find my content in Him. So why do I now feel like that happiness is missing?

We went to eat the other night with our close friends and their baby, W. I love W. I'm able to give him kisses and cuddle him, and cry and heal. This didn't happen suddenly on coming home. It was really hard at first. Bt that night I was holding W with his face against mine, cuddling him, when out of nowhere, that feeling hit me. The feeling of being so happy. And I was confused, very confused. W's not my child. I love him, but he's not my son. And why oh why, did I feel so happy? And why do I feel so sad when he then leaves? or when my neighbors leave? or when we say goodbye to our niece and nephews? It sometimes feels like we're saying goodbye to the kids all over again.

Friday, February 19, 2010


It's seeming to really be heavy lately. It's a different sadness than before; the sadness earlier was an angry-sad.

While I know we are healing, it's still hard to look into the future and know this sadness will be with me for the rest of my life. To different degrees of course, but I am forever changed by it.

When we were doing our homestudy and thinking about the "how have you resolved your infertility" question, I remember thinking that my struggle initially started with not being able to be pregnant and give birth, but then became an issue of just being childless.

So not only do I grieve the loss of the 4 children and having them in our life, I'm also dealing with the sadness of being still childless.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trusting the Lord with open hands

The stories of Abraham and Hannah have been on my mind many times. So too have been the last days of Jesus. And Job. And the disciples leaving their lives and following Jesus.

When I first began reading Attaching in Adoption, the acknowledgments Deborah D. Gray wrote got my attention. Her last line is:

"I have come to acknowledge myself as am attachment-disordered child of a loving God, slow to trust and confused between life and God, in spite of evidence of love."

As I read the book, and her subsequent book Nurturing Adoptions, that stuck with me. I would pause and reflect on a situation she was describing and think about how it mirrored my relationship with the Lord.

And then, when it was our time to be parents, my eyes were opened in a way I never thought possible. I saw God's mighty power and love and mercy poured out on us those 11 days. It was miraculous. I realized that I responded to God the same way the children responded to us. I loved them; I desperately wanted them to see that was why we intervened. Their agony pierced me to the very depths. And I saw my own life reflected in them, played out before my eyes. Me, pushing God away, not able to trust. Not able to surrender. Not able to relinquish control to a Perfect Lord.

Never in all my thoughts did I think I would be in the same situation as Hannah. Here she was, a woman longing to have children. Her distress was evident. And then she made a promise to God to give her child to Him. He allowed her to conceive, she was a mother to her child for a time, and then she took him to Eli to honor her promise. She surrendered him. She held him with open hands. She knew that, though she cared for him as a mother, he was the Lord's. Through Samuel, David was anointed. And through the line of David, our Savior came.

The Savior that has held me in all my days of bitter anger crying out to Him, my contemplating turning my back on Him because I just couldn't stand the pain of following Him anymore. And through it all, He is Lord. Through it all, His glory and mercy and power have proven to be true. He has the words of eternal life.

2No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no dRock like our God....
8He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s,
and he has set the world in order.
1 Samuel 2:2,8

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My sweet neighbor

When we came back from Colombia, it was REALLY hard to play with our neighbor kids. On our little extended cul-de-sac, there are 11 kids under 12. They all knew we were going to Colombia to adopt 4 children, and were quite intrigued by it. So when we came back and pulled into the driveway, we'd occasionally see their little heads tilting sideways trying to get a look at our children...that they didn't know weren't there. My sister had told them all that we were coming back, but had been unable to adopt the carinitos.

But as kids are, they still came over to knock on our door, showed up when the garage door was open, ran over when we'd get home from somewhere; they pretty much wouldn't let up on us. Sometimes it was brutal, sometimes it made me cry when I thought "there should have been 4 more little ones in my front yard." Sometimes we just had to send the kids home. Some days I was downright mad at God that these kids were around...all the time.

So the weeks went by, the months went by, and it got colder. Most of the kids play inside during the winter; except our next door neighbors. Niña comes over quite often. Sometimes we make cookies, sometimes we play Candyland. On Saturday, she wanted to make a snowman.

We were in our front hall putting on gloves and scarves and hats and mittens and boots and coats, and as I was tying her scarf she said, "It's sad that your daughter couldn't be here, cause she'd be really having lots of fun with us."

There's something about addressing the hurt head on, wrapped in tenderness, that does something for my heart. I struggle with knowing that I was a mother, not in the way I thought I'd be, but for a time. But since most people don't want to bring up the carinitos for fear of causing us pain, it actually does the opposite; I feel like they've been forgotten. Now I know that's not true, but every time Nina says something about the carinitos, I am grateful. Very sad, but grateful. Thankful that the Lord, in is Wisdom, had brought Niña into our lives.