Joyous Beginnings

A new season is upon us.

It’s been almost a month and a half since we all walked through the doors of the orphanage, unceremoniously picked up Djou, and began our journey together as a family of five.

Everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed. If that even makes sense. It’s so difficult to find the words to describe the last month and a half. It’s taken a while to realize that HE’S HERE! He’s home, we are DONE with the adoption (well, other than the social worker update visits and the readoption process, but whatever.)  He is OURS. Can this be real? Something we’ve prayed and longed for for so long, and here we are, living the days we’ve longed for and dreamed about.

I have had to remember what it’s like being the mom of a busy toddler. We’ve all had to adjust to having a new member of the family, and Djou has had to adjust “being” a member of the family. There have certainly been challenges and I realized that over the years I’ve become very comfortable in my “me” time since the other two kids are older now. It’s been challenging to find time to read my Bible (read anything for that matter), take a shower at normal times, take naps, make dinner, go shopping, flip through instagram, put on makeup, do my hair…and even now at this moment, I managed a shower but my hair will air dry all wonky and I’ll end the day without makeup. I am putting a lot of energy and thought into parenting, as parenting an internationally adopted child is somewhat of a different ball game. I have to be intentional and conscious of every decision I make to parent him. And that’s just kinda exhausting.

But here’s the thing: I love it. God’s given me a real joy and love for my son and I delight in him. I was terrified….terrified….that he would come home and be a holy terror and I would not love him, or I would greatly struggle to love him like a mother needs to love her child. That’s the real deal, and it’s not out of the ordinary for many adoptive mothers.  I prayed, begged, petitioned, and pestered God over and over for one thing: give me YOUR love. I don’t have the amount of love it will take…I need God’s love. I knew that the seeds of this love were sown the day I walked away from my son while in Haiti. We had to leave and I didn’t know when we were going to see him again. I felt God’s love fill me that day, and I knew it was going to be ok. But, I wavered and lost trust that God would really help me. I feared I would fail, I feared I wouldn’t be enough, I feared God would abandon me to be a mother to a child I didn’t know how to raise.

Day after day, as I learn my son and delight in his infectious smile and sweet laugh, I hear God whisper, “See? See, I told you. Now, enjoy your son, raise him up in My ways, and wait for the plans I have set before him.”

So, even though I’d love to go take a nap or read a novel for pleasure, I am simply living these days in awe and delight. My son…oh, how I love him. I love, love, love this boy. I keep thinking, “it feels like he was always meant to be mine.” I know that statement comes with loss. One mother lost and one mother gained. I know that in a perfect world, Djou was not meant for me but meant for the mother who carried him in her womb. But I also know that God saw the brokenness before time began and made a plan. One thing I know for certain: God has a plan for my son. I feel it, I sense it. He is unique; special. And, I get to be his mommy. I get to be the one to talk to him about Jesus, I get to see him grow and mature, I get to be the one to kiss his scrapes and see him lose his first tooth. I don’t take that privilege lightly.

So this is what it looks like: day after day, I continue to learn more of him. I continue to grow in my love for him and I pray he continues to grow in his love for us. What a kid God has created, what a kid.

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