This face is the reason I persevered. This face and the joy that I knew lay in wait of security, stability, and unconditional, forever love is the reason I was blessed. After twenty six months of "unknown", the powers that be have made a ruling that will change his life forever!
Karate Kid came to be part of our family in August of 2006. His newborn baby brother, Skishee was adopted in 2004 and his younger sister, Princess had been adopted in 2005. Our whole adoption journey with all of our children has been nothing short of miraculous. Not that every child isn't a blessing, but our family "exploded" exponentially in five years as we went from one biological child in 2001 to seven awesome children by late summer 2006!! Wow......even as I write this, I am totally humbled by it all.
"What will you do if......?", "Will he be returned home?", "Are they going to appeal?", "How will your other children cope if...?", "Won't you be heartbroken when....?", "Could your family continue on with ongoing disruptive weekly visits....?", "How could you go on without him?"...........These questions could have driven me over the edge but I just continued to remind myself to have faith in God's goodness. He has blessed us with all of our children thus far and I was going to continue to believe that Karate Kid was just part of the well constructed path that we have been travelling.
Is this a faith testing or faith building adventure......
Believe me....there were days where I was convinced this had to be a test of my faith , my resolve, me patience, my endurance, my love.....my unconditional love that I promised this child the day he arrived and confirmed every time he came to me frightened by what his future might hold. You see....from the outside looking in, everything was great. He seemed happy and had changed from a physical, "street wise" kid to a compassionate, seemingly well adjusted "changed" young man with a self confidence that could only be attributed to all that he now "had".
Wow.....how deceiving it all can be.......
The stuff no one else sees.....the tears, the questions late at night when I'm tucking him in after an awesome family day, the fears that he came to freely express when he knew I was ALWAYS going to be there for him. When there had been enough consistency in my love towards him that he knew he could speak his heart......when he freely shared all that should not weigh so heavy on such an innocent child......These are the times when my own faith and convictions became vital. I pushed through because I had to....he was counting on me and despite my brief encounters with my own fear and "what if" questions I was the teacher of the peace I wanted so desperately to come for him. Surely God would "allow" it........F A I T H....the lesson I must teach.
We received the news on a Monday but knew Chief and I needed time to collect our thoughts so we could adequately prepare the other six children and most importantly to deliver the information to Karate Kid the best way possible. Quite selfishly I needed the time to prepare myself for his reaction. I wanted to sing from the rooftop.....after all this had been too long coming and we just wanted to become a completely cohesive family. However, I needed to place myself in his shoes and brace myself for a reaction that I knew would tear at my heart. I spent the most of a sleepless night rehearsing the words that would both deliver a blow and yet provide the security and stability that would gird his life from this point on.
The private moments of the next day when Chief gathered the other six and I retreated with Karate Kid to share the "news" went as I expected. It was heart wrenching, but we were well prepared and I was personally strengthened by the knowledge that this privilege of parenting I have is supported by the One who gave it.
Within hours of receiving the news, Karate Kid came to me and hugged me saying....."Mommy.....that place in my heart that you said would understand all of this in time......well......it's OK now Mom......it's all going to be OK...."
M E R C Y and G R A C E
Now, I have been a parent of adopted children for long enough, experienced the many ups and downs of attachment issues, change, fear, victory etc. to know that there will be many more times in all of my children's lives where emotions take over and little moments of fear creep in and manifest in who knows how many ways. I will be prepared....I am partnering with my God....a sovereign God who is all knowing.....who better to light my path?