Each morning when I take my son to school I walk him to his locker and help him get his backpack put away, get his coat off, and get into the classroom. This is after a 40 minute drive (yes, we have quite the commute) that always begins with prayer together and then proceeds with a rousing game of “Tractor Jeep”, seeing who can spot the most tractors and Jeeps on the way to school. (I have to give a shout out to my dear Uncle Rick, since he introduced me to the Tractor Bus version of this several years ago during a road trip to Canada. My son now holds this game as dear, and he is very competitive!) Our morning drives are time to pray, talk a bit, and compete. This is a boy-mama’s morning.
Yesterday morning, I finished closing the locker as Jude headed into his classroom. He’s been delighted to be 10-12 minutes early this last week…a new thing for us! I peeked into the classroom, caught his attention, and said with enthusiasm in a quiet voice, “Have a great day, son!” and headed out.
I was just past the lockers when I heard, “Mama!” I turned around to see my son smiling and running after me with arms outstretched. He wrapped himself around me (which I happily reciprocated) in a sweet little-boy embrace, saying, “You have a good day, too, Mama,” and then turned his little face up for a kiss.
Blessings! We are not people of means, but I am a very wealthy woman. This is what adoption has done for our family. As I think of the heartache of my friends which I wrote about yesterday, I write this to move you. Of course this is part of sharing my life and experience with you and yes, this is a story of God at work. He continues to bless us through my son day after day. I want you to experience the same kinds of blessings. Would you be a father to the fatherless? Would you answer God’s call to “visit the orphan and widow in their distress”? May I submit to you that ANY child without a stable home is in distress? Is it a neighbor child? Is it a child in your church? Could you be a mentor to a child, or even a parent to a child? Maybe you’re needed as a mentor to a parent, so he or she can learn to create stability for their children. Could you wrap around a family who is adopting? Surely the answer to at least one of these is yes. Pray. Be open to what God might have you do. Un-sanitize your world and get involved, walking beside those in hard places. I can’t tell you it’s been all roses with our son. He came home with sleep issues and food issues and abandonment issues. My son went through a short period of heart rending grief and loss. I can tell you that it took about nine months for my son to realize that he would always have enough to eat in his home. In transparency I can tell you that for two years (quite literally) my husband and I didn’t get more than three consecutive hours of sleep. I can tell you that it took about two and a half years before my son was convinced fully that we would always come back when we left him with someone. (More recently, of course, we’ve parented through the “I’m-too-cool-to-speak-to-my-parents-and-I’m-really-cool-if-I’m-even-a-little-rude-to-them-at-school” stage…and I’m not naive enough to think it will be the last time we parent through that one!)
I can also tell you that walking with my son through all of these things allows my husband and me to know him better than anyone else in the world does. I can tell you that I grew spiritually through those difficult times. Lastly, I can tell you that God has showered us with riches untold. He has used us to reshape racial perceptions and views on adoption, and He has used us to encourage others both in the adoption journey and in the fight for orphans worldwide. We are not well-known. We are not widely connected. We are part of a wonderful network of people, and we do have a ministry to adoptive families around us. We are deeply and richly blessed moment by moment. This all is God at work. I want a little piece of that for you.