Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Second Time Around

The first time we adopted, we learned many lessons. It was a VERY dark time for me and our family....that is a post for another day. I'm just now ready to talk about that year in our lives. Needless to say, what everyone saw was not what was going on in our home. It was a different picture altogether.

But, now that we've learned those lessons, things are a bit different the second time around. Here's what we have been impressed by God to do:

1. Stay home as much as possible! While JT will be leading mission teams this summer (we have dropped the number of trips to only 5 intend of 8 or 9), I will be managing the home front. The kids and I will not be on any trips this summer. While I may lead one this fall, one of us as parents will always be home with the kids.
2. Do not leave our children (the two youngest ones) overnight anywhere for at least 6 months. They need this time to bond with us as parents and with our family. They need to know that we will always be here for them. (On a side note, Zeke STILL comes downstairs everyday and gasps when he sees us. He runs to one of us with open arms and gives the biggest hug. It's like he's still surprised we are here after almost 5 months.)
3. Delay going to any medical facility until necessary. We have taken Zeke to the doctor (malaria and giardia) but have only taken some parasite testing for Elly. Our kids have been poked and prodded enough, and they are both fearful of the doctor. We're going to spend some time reading all of our doctor books and talking about how wonderful doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc. are first. Preparation is key!
4. We will avoid large, unstructured events to the extent possible (concerts, baseball games, etc) as these tend to overwhelm the children. They don't meet a stranger, and we need to curb that..... Plus, the chaos of these events tends to initiate something chaotic in them too.
5. We will hug and kiss and hold a LOT. Lately (after Kaitlyn's surgery), Zeke has been VERY clingy. He was scared to an extent that none of us predicted. He wanted me to hold him often. He would just lay his head over on me many times a day. This is welcomed. Just yesterday, Elly followed me to the bathroom. As a brushed my teeth, she put her arms around my leg and laid her head on my thigh. Nothing like brushing your teeth with company.
6. We will seek support from other adoptive parents who have already traveled this road. We did this the first time around too, but we realized that we had not fully communicated our needs to our support group. We were desperate and drowning, and we didn't know where to turn.
7. Most importantly, we will PRAY daily for God to heal their hearts and minds of past pain. We pray that He will use their lives in Uganda to deepen their knowledge of His glory. We pray that He will make Himself known to them and call them to Himself. We pray that He will receive all of the glory and honor and praise.

This is nothing new to most of you. But, to our family, who tends to travel most of the summer, this is huge. We are staying put. We even have a garden (which produced its first bumper crop last evening - 4 cucumbers, 1 jalapeƱo pepper, 2 peppers, and 1 tomato) that we all work in weekly. Our pool is a source of daily exercise and entertainment. We even have a clothesline for drying our clothes. Now, if that doesn't say "Stay home!"....well, I don't know what does.

This will definitely be a different summer for me. As I told my brother David yesterday, we all are concerned (on some level) about what others think. I am. Often, I am more interested in that than what Jesus thinks. I don't like it. I abhor it. I fight it. This summer, as we avoid large crowds and stick close to home, I will not be concerned with the thoughts or words of others. I will seek Him and remember His calling on our lives to do this. I will invest every moment in what He has called us to do. And, I will relish in our mission field here at home.

For those of you with young children, soak up your time together. You may not be able to be involved in every single event at church or go on a mission trip or even visit your neighbors. This time will fade away quickly. Cherish every moment, and raise your family to the glory of God!


Matt said...

praying for you guys, loving you guys from here! thx for sharing. I know how it is to stay home with a bunch of children when the husband needs to travel. I'm going to experience that again this summer and have been leary about it but your words have encouraged me! thx!

Matt said...

that was me not Matt :)

Susan Lindsey said...

The different seasons we are in require different responses. Don't think twice about staying home and not traveling during this season of your life, and certainly don't worry about what others might think of that decision. You will probably be in a "traveling season" again one day if that's the way God leads! Love you all!

Amy said...

I think you are doing a great job! SO thankful for your wisdom. Thinking about you and praying for you all so much.

Allison Lewis said...

this post was such an encouragement for me as we're walking through some of the same uncertainties and are unsure how to respond. thank you, thank you, thank you friend!!

The Taylors said...

Can't tell you how thankful I am to have you as a friend and sister in Christ. What a blessing you are to me. God is teaching us a lot of the same things for different reasons and I am greatly encouraged by your thoughts. Thank you for sharing this.

The Raudenbush Family said...

Great post -- would you be interested in editing some to fit and allowing me to repost it there? Let me know - we'd need a bio and a picture to go with the bio.