Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Falling in Love

When I met my husband, I definitely was quite taken with him and attracted to him  However, my analytical brain knew that feelings, while nice and important, could not always be trusted ... so I made a decision to choose to love him ... based on his character, shared values, dreams, etc.  Why share this? .... besides giving you a glimpse into my non-emotion driven brain?  

One of my biggest fears when beginning this adoption process was that I would not be able to connect the decision we were making to love this child with my emotions ... with my heart.  Without going into too much detail ... the first 3 1/2 months home with Kenan have been incredibly difficult.  And the love that I have for him has been decision based love ... not emotion based.  This is because living with him has been like being in an extremely unhealthy relationship where you never know which thing you do is going to set him off.  So I've been walking on eggshells ... dreading the next explosion ... counting the hours till bedtime ... trying to survive another day so that I can wake up and do it again.  Yes, there've been laughs, and when he is happy, his smile can light up the room ... but the hard moments followed so closely on the heels of the good ones, that my heart has not had time to open up.

All this to say ... I think we've turned a corner in the last few weeks .... he is learning to trust us more, he's not as combative and explosive ...  tantrums are fewer and smiles and peace are gaining ground.   And the other night as I was tucking him in ... I thought to myself

.... I think I may be falling in love ......

Photo courtesy of Katie Campbell Photography

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monuments of Thankfulness #3

Those Who’ve Gone Before

This one surprises me a bit, but I am seriously so thankful for the internet and the “blogosphere”. I’ve never been much of a trailblazer … I’m more of a “play it safe kind of person”. The families that I have followed on their journeys to their own children have inspired me more than I can describe. They shared their hearts for the orphans in our world, they shared their own fears, and they shared their personal journeys … including homecoming videos that brought me to tears. They gave me a vision of ordinary families stepping out in faith to do an extraordinary thing … to give a loving mother and father to a child who needed a family. So in honor of these people – most of whom I’ve never met – I’ve updated my blogroll with many more blogs that I love and that continue to inspire me. Check some of them out. You will be amazed at the brave, courageous families who are stepping WAY out of their comfort zone to bring a child home to his or her forever family.

I’m also so thankful for my friends who have already adopted that were here locally or who were in the process of adopting at the same time. It helped to be able to sit across the table and hear their stories … the joys and the struggles. What a blessing to continue to have these dear friends in my life as a source of encouragement and wisdom. So thank you to Dana and Eric; Ray and Theresa; Rick and Laurie; Julie; Heather and Aaron; Bonnie; and Clint and Laura for your support.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monuments of Thankfulness #2

Our Church

The original seeds of “maybe we’ll adopt someday” were planted by our church family and specifically by our pastor for the last 13 years, Ron Kincaid and his courageous family who have adopted 5 children, 4 of those internationally, in addition to their 4 bio kids. Each year, as we would sit through Orphan Sunday presentations…. Tears would roll down my face … seeing the faces of children in need … children who would love to have a family … and knowing in my heart, that we needed to be one of those families to reach out and give a home to one of those kids. We have also been privileged to see so many adoptive families in our church family … that it became somewhat commonplace to see transracial families. This was such an encouragement as we pondered whether we would ever have the courage to take this step. Our church is going through a difficult time right now, so it feels good to be grateful for the blessing of our Sunset family and to Ron and Jorie for being faithful to the call to care for the widow and orphan.  In this way they have modeled and lived out what true religion is.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monuments of Thankfulness #1

I had the thought of doing a blog post each day of November for something I’m thankful for , but quickly realized the likelihood of me getting on the computer and having some quiet moments to think every day was slim … so I’ve adjusted my plan.

In the Old Testament, God often asks His followers to build monuments after great victories so that they would remember what happened and primarily so that they would remember God’s faithfulness to them. While I realize that I have often spoken and written of how grateful our family is for all of the blessings we have received this past year as we have gone on this journey to bring Kenen home, I thought I would post a few blogs to be very specific in who I’m thanking … not because I want to call people out, but because I want to remember, and I want all of my children, but especially Kenen, to know the many people who were a part of this journey. No individual reached out to our family or helped us in order to get recognition, but rather because they wanted to be a part of what God was doing. Without a doubt, all the glory goes to Him.

Our Family

David and I have amazing families on both sides. From the moment we told them that we were going to adopt another child, we have received nothing but encouragement, enthusiasm and prayers. Each of our parents has prayed for us diligently, and Dave’s folks, since they are close by, have been amazing since we’ve been home. To see them love on Kenen … it is clear that they love him as if they had known him his whole life ... Such a blessing! Our siblings have all been incredibly supportive, as well. Each of Dave’s siblings now has an adopted child, which is pretty cool … including one from Ethiopia. My brother and sister have been so supportive as well. And this support has come from our uncles and aunts and cousins, as well. We are so grateful to God for the extended Elder and Klassen families who have embraced our new son completely. We are so blessed!  

Nana and Kenen