Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No regrets...

I'm never quite sure what is going to come out of Lucy's mouth these days, but it's always sure to melt my heart, put a smile on my face, or really make me think...and some times it's all of those things combined! The other day she was loving on Gabriel and said, "I don't want to be 4 anymore. I miss being a baby. I want to be a baby again like baby Gabriel." I stopped and thought for a second then held her close to me and said, "You know what? I miss you being a baby, too. BUT, if you were still a baby, I wouldn't get to talk with you and do all of the things with you that I get to now, so we just always have to enjoy life as it comes and then we can always look back and be thankful for those moments we enjoyed."

I was instantly brought back to the morning of Lucy's c-section. (My determined little girl was just as strong-willed in my womb and decided she didn't want to flip head down!) You may have heard me share this before... I remember getting up before anyone else that morning (goodness knows I couldn't sleep!) and as I was getting ready I was praying, and one of the things I prayed was this, "Lord, please help me not to ever take any moment for granted with Lucy--the good, the bad, the me to enjoy every moment to its fullest." So from the moment she was born, that's what I've strived to do. I try my best not to say, "I can't wait until she gets to such and such stage," because I know I can never get the present moment back. This way of thinking proved to be most difficult for me when we were in the midst of potty-training, but even then I tried to remind myself that the present was a gift, and I wanted to embrace it, because once we moved past it, it would be gone forever. Sure, there are days that I do miss cradling Lucy close to me and rocking her to sleep every night, but I remember those moments so vividly because I tried my best to soak everything I could up from them, so now, I look back at those moments fondly, rather than with regret from wishing them away. Of course, I certainly have failed MANY times at trying to embrace every moment, but it really is something I strive for. I just don't ever want to take for granted what a gift my children are, and what an honor it is that God has chosen DH and me to guide them and direct them.

All of that being said, the Lord really convicted me tonight that He doesn't want me to just embrace every moment of parenting...He wants me to fully embrace every moment of my LIFE--the good, the bad, the difficult...ALL of it, because with everything that God allows in my life, He gives me the opportunity to draw closer to Him by hearing from Him, experiencing Him, leaning on Him, trusting Him... He doesnt want us to look back on our lives in regret, but instead He desires for us to live victoriously. So, yes little Lucy, sometimes I do wish I could go back to the past, too, but Oh how beautiful the view is right from here in the present when we learn to fully embrace all God has for us in the here and now!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Real Family...

I'm always amazed at the things that come out of Lucy's mouth. She lives with such purpose-there's always a reason behind what she does and says, and that brain of hers must be in constant motion because she always seems to be processing everything, even when I don't think she's watching or listening. At just 4 years old, she really has surprised me with how well she has understood and adjusted to our family adopting, but I also have to remember that, again, she's just 4, so there are going to be certain things she just doesn't grasp, and that's where our conversation this week comes in...

It was the other morning, and I had just finished giving Gabriel his bottle. Lucy was showering him with kisses and happily proclaimed, "I'm so glad his birthmommy picked us and that we get to keep him!" and then her demeanor changed all of a sudden as if she was in deep thought as she said, "But I think baby brother is sad." I asked her, "why?" but I think I knew where the conversation was heading. She said, "I think he misses his real family."

Ahh:/ Knife to the heart!

I just looked at her very lovingly and patiently and said, "Oh honey, WE are his real family. Remember, his birthmommy picked us to be his family." She then said, "Well, I just mean his OTHER family then." Sweet thoughtful and sensitive. I love how she recognized our happiness but also the pain that his birth family must be experiencing. I love how she so carefully tries to process everything...but I also hated hearing that term of "real family," because I know it's just the first of many remarks like that. Yes, it's not the typical family makeup, but nothing could feel any more real than Gabriel being ours. I even received the sweetest text from his birthmother this week saying how natural we looked as a family in our pictures. It made me so happy to hear she felt that way. (I'm so thankful for her and the wonderful relationship we have with her!)

...I think back in the day, people tried to hide the fact they had adopted because they wanted to protect the child from those types of remarks. I love getting to tell people we are adopting Gabriel though because it's such an amazing story of God's control, His perfect path, and His direction. It's also a story filled with so much love for this amazing little baby boy. As I search through the scriptures, I see over and over again how our purpose in life is to bring God glory, and I feel like Gabriel's adoption story has Jesus written all over it! So yes, I want to embrace the fact that our family dynamic is a bit different, but I don't ever want it to be mistaken as second-best or not "real." but I think it's just a matter of educating people on the beauty of adoption and the truth behind what it really is. I know my eyes have certainly been opened through this whole process!

One more Lucy story for the day...I love how when people say, "Can I just take your baby brother home with me?" Lucy is very quick to tell them "NO!" Even today when DH was going back to work from lunch, Lucy quickly reminded him he couldn't take Gabriel with him. I know a lot of times children ask for their parents to take their siblings back to the hospital, but she wants him to stay put right where he's at! Me, too, Lucy. Me, too:)

My heart seriously melts when I watch the two of them. I see the bond they already have with one another, and I know that will only continue to strengthen and grow with time. What a blessing to be their mommy!