I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Praying today for those of you waiting for word from Rwanda.
My heart aches for you.
My heart aches for the waiting children of Rwanda
I am so sorry.
I know it all seems to be shaky.
There are no words really...there is only Jesus.
Praying today that He would be the firm ground beneath your feet.
He cannot and will not be shaken.
He is the only solid foundation.
He is enough.
He can bear your grief and questions.
He is worthy of our worship...even in this.
"Job arose, rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon his face" (1:20). The sobs of grief and pain are not the sign of unbelief. Job knows nothing of a flippant, insensitive, superficial "Praise God anyhow" response to suffering. The magnificence of his worship is because it was in grief, not because it replaced grief. Let your tears flow freely when your calamity comes. And let the rest of us weep with those who weep." John Piper
Weeping with you today and asking for Him to move the mountains.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Some thoughts on attachment:
1. it is hard work
2. it is tiring work
3. it is extremely humbling
4. it is sin revealing (!)
5. it is worthwhile
6. it is SO REWARDING!
I have not blogged much about our "attachment plan" or what steps we have taken to make sure that Jeb is bonding and adjusting well. As we read/researched before he came home we found that there was not much (relatively) written as compared to information for toddler/ older child adoption. We implemented a few "strategies" that seem to be paying off/ working.
I think the biggest one of these is that we committed that no one except Chase and I would feed/bathe/diaper Jeb for an indefinite period of time. We want him to know that we are his mom and dad. We meet his needs. Maddie has given him the occasional bottle (maybe 4-5 since we have been home in the last 7 weeks). I honestly think this is one of the most important steps we have taken and we are seeing the results in a sweet boy who now prefers mom and dad to any other adult, who will reach out of someone else's arms for us.
The second thing we have done is not let Jeb "cry it out" to sleep. (A big, huge change for us as compared to when our first two kids were infants). I know there are multiple opinions even in the adoption world about this, but it was a not a difficult decision for our hearts to make. Yes, we believe that Jeb was absolutely loved and loved well at Home of Hope. But the sheer worker to child ratio indicated to us that we needed to parent Jeb differently in this area. When we first came home Jeb was a great sleeper- 12 hours straight- no fussing, no waking up. Well...things they are a changing! I would still call him a good sleeper, but he takes longer to go down and wakes up during the night and earlier. We are actually taking these as positive steps. He is learning to let his needs be known. This momma is tired, but I have a sweet boy who KNOWS who his momma is :)
The third thing has been that we are sticking close to home. I think this has been somewhat difficult for our two bigger kids this summer. Not as many days with friends or at the pool, etc. But honestly, what is more important? That my two kids who have been loved and known a "family" since DAY ONE of their lives have the same "summer" experience they always have, or that Jeb make healthy bonds and attachment that will impact the rest of his life? I did not limit enough those first few weeks home. In hindsight, I think Jeb was a bit overwhelmed. I began to notice that on busy days with lots of errands, or lots of people around, or a restaurant, he would not make eye contact as well by the end of the day. We are getting out a little more these days. We go to church on Sundays (Jeb stays with us) and we try to "do something" with friends, etc once a week. Balancing the needs of all three is not easy, but our big kids are learning a great lesson on being selfless!
All of these things have been great for OUR family. That does not mean that they would work for every family. God is big enough to lead each adoptive family on the right path for them! I just wanted to share, because I wish that I had read more opinions/what worked for other people before we came home! And we realize that all of it, every positive step forward in attachment with Jeb is all grace- all a gift from Him!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I am at a place where there is so much to say and none of it will come out in coherent words or sentences (just ask poor Chase!). In an effort to help myself process what the Lord is stirring in my heart, here it goes, an epic brain dump.
I think the first six weeks home are in essence survival. Not that we have had a difficult transition, but life is different now. We have brought a beautiful child into our family who spent his first months in an orphanage. We are learning what he likes, doesn't like, what overwhelms him...I am mourning the missing months that are a complete blank in my mind and heart about his beginning . Family roles are different, we are all finding our place and the new normal. I think we are getting there- slowly, surely- all grace.
And that new normal involves more than adding a family member. It involves all that comes with seeing and smelling and tasting poverty, orphans, and injustice in ways you have only heard or read about. What was a conjured image in your mind is now a photograph in your mind's eye and on your hard drive. The faces are not nameless. They are people, children...just like my children. I am struggling to live here. The grocery store is overwhelming. I am embarrassed to say how many times I have cried there. Choices, excess, the pull of our old normal- many times I have wanted to put beans, rice, and milk in the cart and walk out (after paying of course). The $3500 braces that my daughter will have placed tomorrow morning to have a straight, beautiful smile seem silly and pointless. (and yes, I realize that dental health is important and necessary) As I sat in that orthodontist office last week and was told "the bottom line", all I could see and hear were street children in Ethiopia clamoring for pieces of my cliff bar and stuffing their hungry faces with it. Oh Jesus, have mercy and come quickly. I just feel the overwhelming need to weigh and consider and pray about every moment of my day, every decision made, every dollar spent. (and daily confess that all of my walk with him should have looked like this before) Life feels heavier now. And yet in the midst of it all, I feel him speaking so clearly through His word. Drawing, inviting me into the water that is deeper still. I am finding Him sweet and gentle here. I am learning what breaks his heart and they are deep, dark things. But there is something about walking with Him here that is drawing me closer to His heart, like only a walk through sorrow can do.