Before we left America a wonderful group of ladies invited me over for a night of prayer and fellowship. This group consisted of adoptive moms who have walked this road before me. They offered wisdom and advice and prayer and grace. There were a few things especially from that evening that have stuck with me and have proved invaluable already.
#1 – Let my husband parent in the way that he feels is best.
I am such a Type A personality. I really enjoy being in charge. I am pretty sure my way is always the right way. I thought that I have always viewed my marriage as a partnership. My husband and I are a team! But when it comes to the homefront, I realized I pretty much view myself as the coach of that team. He just better be a good player and take instruction well. The ladies of this group encouraged me to step back and let him make parenting decisions. His decisions may not always be the same decision I would make in every situation, but who am I to say he is wrong? Let him parent his way.
#2 – Leave all my expectations at the door.
If I enter into our “new family” situation with expectations, I will be disappointed when they are not met. If, however, I just enjoy every moment as it comes, I can always find the joy in the journey.
#3 – My family will make beautiful music together once again.
This is something I think about over and over again. One of the ladies made this analogy. Our family is like an orchestra. We each play our own instrument and we each have our own piece of music to play. After so much time practicing, our family makes beautiful music together. Now all of a sudden I have these new members who play different instruments. In fact, they are reading from completely different sheet music than the rest of us. For a while it sounds like a mess. What happened to that beautiful music my family used to make? It will happen once again. It just takes time. Our family needs to practice together. We need to re-learn the music that we thought we knew so well. And soon, we will be harmonizing together once again.
It is this last analogy that has been on my heart this week. There are moments in every day that I hear the dischord. When my little Levi lashes out and kicks or hits when he is upset because this is how he survived in the orphanage. When Micah cried for 30 minutes because he had to learn how to share and take turns with a toy. When we gave Naomi a picture of her family and she spent the next 2 hours clutching that picture and sobbing from her soul.
And then, there are moments in every day where I can hear snippets of beautiful music. When I see Hannah and Naomi playing cards together and laughing. When I see Joel giving up his gameboy so his brother can have a chance to play something he has never had the chance to play before. When we sat down for dinner tonight. It was rainy and cold outside. We had hot soup. We had African music playing in the background. And for just a moment, as I looked around the table and everyone was eating and talking and enjoying dinner together as a family, I heard something beautiful.
*Abigail’s paperwork and speedy adoption
*Our embassy paperwork
*Our family’s beautiful music