|Hello dear friends and family,
As many of you may have heard...we've had a bit of a life changing week! We recieved a call last Thursday that there were two siblings we'd been matched up with for possible adoption, and by late this past monday afternoon...they were here! B and B have been in the System since infancy, and it's been hard for them. B has a kidney disorder called Nephrotic Syndrome. There is daily medication and medical protical, and only 1000 milligrams of sodium daily diet (which we're all living on now), and his asthma has required nebulizor treatments...but it's all quite do-able and amazing. It already feels like something we've been doing for a long time. I say this rather bleery-eyed and exhausted. We are experiencing the luxury of a cup of tea once the children are down for the night...and just soaking up the feeling of a very warm, full house...with exhaustion well earned, and some small triumphs and struggles somehow survived. There is definite euphoria involved here!
There is no way to really do justice to this experience in a mass e-mail, I know. Our phone has been ringing off the hook, and in the midst of the intense change/work/wonder/terror/drama/tears/laughter/trauma that we are dealing with and experiencing here...there is just no time to even answer the phone. I heard it ring 6 seperate times just tonight while we were handling bedtime. I knew that friends and family were thinking of us, rejoicing with us, and calling to send love, support and joy. I'm sorry we haven't been able to call each of you seperately and tell you our news...please keep calling, keep praying for us...and know how grateful we are for each and every one of you in our lives. Bedtime is a time full of acting out, obvious anxiety/fear, many tears, rocking these two children until we can't feel our arms. And it's amazingly wonderful. At one point B opened his eyes and looked up at me (I was rocking him) and said, "Hi Brigid...Hi Mama." He gave me a dimpled smile, and then closed his eyes.
~He'd randomly asked me at dinner tonight what my name was. They'd been calling us Mommy/Mama/Daddy/Papa since they arrived...instant familiarity from years of foster homes. We opted for 'Mama and Papa" to distinguish ourselves from any association with all the other temporary housing they've had because everyone before us was Mommy and Daddy. So...the "Mama" has been heard about 1000 in the last 72 hours...the the "Hi Brigid..." well, that felt like a little reminder of who I am, and that in the midst of these overwelming moments of joy and stress...Jesus is just letting me know he still sees me.
We've had so many moments of utter awe and wonder...our first night with them in our home was full of moments of looking at one another over some domestic task and just crying together in wonder and amazment...I don't think we are nearly finished with THAT yet. It is obvious that they are very wounded, and that brings with it a certain level of fear...the fear that we won't be able to give them enough of what they need, or help them enough, that they won't be able to heal enough...but M and I are feeling so carried by the Lord right now that it's tangible. We are counting on His faithfulness to us, he's not let us down yet, and we don't think he will when it comes to these two precious childrens lives. In three days I've seen more miracles and more of God's face in this house, than I could have ever imagined.
Our first night with the children was incredible on so many levels. Some heartbreaking moments of comforting B and trying to help her feel safe and loved. She is an amazingly strong, brave, precious little girl. I got about 3 hours of sleep that night, and ended up with B in my arms in our bed where he blessedly finally got some sleep. He was so restless and stressed.
I woke this morning at 7:30 with the realization that we'd had a full night of sleep. My first audible though was..."Praise God, from whom all blessings flow..."
About 1.2 seconds later two little just-out-of-bed-sleepy-and warm in their p.j.'s bundles were climbing in bed with us. All I could think was...how is it that in any moment of our lives we might forget how much God cares about our needs, and loves us? He's giving us a little taste of heaven right here to sustain us until we're really there.
Tonight we saw a lot of anxiety...and after our incredibly cozy day of fun and the newfound comfort of our routines, the children were probably feeling a lot of fear about starting to get comfortable here. Getting comfortable isn't safe for them because they always end up having to leave. There was definite hyper-vigilance on B's part...she and I talked about why she was afraid, and about how this house is full of love and angels, and how we are here to keep her safe and to take care of she and B. Again she wanted to know..."Are we really staying?" We all prayed together, and that seemed to really help them settle down.
I've been awed, quite frankly, by this man I'm married to. M has been a tower of tenderness, wisdom, insight, and compassion. It's not that I hadn't seen all those qualities a hundred times over in him over the last 12 years...but this M is like a refined-by-fire version. Amazing.
I know many of you want to come and meet the children and have a visit. We want that too! We will plan a large gathering in the not-too distant future...but right now we are just trying to get the day-to-day into some kind of rythm that will help the children feel safe and secure. If you'd like to visit, a Saturday or Sunday would be best, or if you have any time on a week day during the day. Evenings are like a delicate dance...and so far it's been really beautiful, and hard. Please give us a call and we can spread the visits out a bit... we will try to field as many calls as we can. If you leave a message, please know that we love you...but we might not get to call you back. I will try and check my e-mail once a day, and will more likey respond here because it's just faster. There have been dozens of calls about many of you wanting to bring gifts for the children. They arrived with enough clothing to clothe all the children in our family, and some. And we've had a pretty large quantity of toys here. They also have toys from Christmas in their foster home, and I think what's here is plenty for now. Some of the things aren't even open yet. I'd like to eventually like to go to an Educational store and get some good wooden puzzles, and other floor and table top learning toys appropriate for a 3 yr. old, and for B who is 6. But right now we're just trying to find homes for all the loot we've got to house and make accessable. I stepped on a plastic Sponge Bob today...and had this moment of blinding insight into the 360 degree turn our life has made in just three short days. The best gift these children, or M and I, for that matter, could get would be your prayers. Between all of you, you could probably Novena us on into the teen years...and God only knows we'll need it!
We love you all, and can't wait to talk with each and every one of you. We can't thank you enough for your love and support.
I'm sending pictures soon...I have to figure out how to do it!