A year ago I posted the song below on Facebook. I posted it in between nerve-wracking emails that were leaving me an absolute emotional wreck all day.
Those emails led to an outing that evening. The evening one year ago today when we met three of our children for the first time. We drove away from that first visit utterly overwhelmed. The VOLUME and ENERGY level was overwhelming. The obviously high level of needs were overwhelming. The thought of the drastic changes we were contemplating for our family. The weight of the decision that had the potential to change everything. Forever. The sheer insanity of the idea.
We met four strangers that night. Within a matter of weeks, three of those strangers were living in my home and calling me Mom. We could have walked away and said it was too much for us. Because it was. But we both knew. We couldn’t actually walk away. It was too late. We had seen their beautiful faces, heard their anxiously chattering voices, looked into their eyes as they studied us wondering if we might be kind - sure we couldn’t be trusted. That night God was asking of us the impossible. They were not the first children we had met. We had said no before when we were not the right home. That night, however, we knew that walking away would not be an option this time. No matter how crazy it seemed. Because these children were our children.
Last week we went on a wedding anniversary trip for a few days without the kids. Since getting home I have done little beyond managing the self-sabotaging behavior of one of our children who struggled with us being gone and is trying her hardest to prove that she doesn’t really need me by pushing me away. It is exhausting. These past months, particularly since finalization, have been even harder than I dreamed. To be honest, I wondered what to even write about today’s anniversary. What does one say after literally hours of managing a grieving, conflicted child who masks fear as rage, spewing hatred at you, and trying desperately to break you? “One year today! To celebrate, I spent nearly the entire day battling a child. I’m so glad we are here!” Not exactly the feeling that comes to mind.
Yet here we are. A year ago we had two beautiful children. Today we have five. Five little people (one not so little!) who, without hesitation, call me Mama...Mommy, Meemee, Ma, Madre, Moooooom. Who make me get well cards when I am sick and hug me every day and trust me enough to cry their tears. There is a light in their eyes that wasn’t there a year ago. We have watched confidence grow in beautiful ways. I have grown myself in leaps and bounds. They are making me become a better person - albeit slowly and as a result of shining bright spotlights on my weaknesses. We share a name; we share our home; we share our struggles. It might take 20 years for our one daughter to believe we won’t leave and we won’t abandon and we won’t throw her out...but like I told her today, at the end of those 20 years we will still be there. Possibly haggard and worn. Definitely stronger and more patient and with a far greater understanding of our Father’s grace.
A year ago I awkwardly, nervously met anxious strangers. Tonight I kissed my daughters goodnight.
“Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at your feet
Every moment of my wondering
Never changes what you see
I’ve tried to win this war, I confess
My hands are weary, I need your rest
Mighty warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face
You’re by my side
When you don’t move the mountains
I needed you to move
When you don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When you don’t give the answers
As I cry out to you
I will trust, I will trust
I will trust in you.
Truth is you know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead you have not seen
So in all things be my life and breath
I want what you want, Lord,
And nothing less
…I will trust, I will trust,
I will trust in you.”