One year. Here we are. One year since the dream. Once year from the leap. One year of life being turned upside down ’til upside down seems right sided. We’re still standing. Who would have ever thought?
I sit here listening to You Make Me Brave on repeat. Again. Just as I did one year ago. No fear can hinder now the love that made the way. … You make me brave. … You’ve called me out beyond the shore into the waves…. Because your love, wave after wave, crashing over me… You are for us. You are not against us. Champion of Heaven, You’ve made a way… for all to enter in.
I remember. I was scared to death. Literally unable to speak, sometimes even breathe. But He truly made a way. These lyrics are no longer just words but anthem cries. Testimonies of faithfulness. Truth that I can cling to. There are days I’m still clinging, claiming, even when I don’t feel it – You Make Me Brave.
Friends, we would not be here without you. Please hear the love and gratitude I have for each one of you. You have fought in the heavenlies, you’ve given me courage in the battle, you’ve walked with us and loved us deeply. You’ve been here through it all and God has used you to increase my faith and given me strength to hang on when things seemed too hard.
One day I’m gonna write something, How to go from zero to three in the blink of an eye and live to tell about it. I feel like I have to make it longer than one year before I can claim “living to tell about it” – nonetheless, you will be in that story. You are a vital part of this story of our lives, the story of this girl, the story of our girls. Thank you for stepping in with us.
Oh man, I’ve learned so much! Did you know that those diapers that say “keeps you dry for 12 hours” – that’s an exaggeration. They do not keep a child dry for 12 hours. I’ve tested it.
There are many other products that make false claims similar to that. I’ve tested just about everything you can imagine in the past year.
I’ve learned so much about children from hard places, the paths that trauma has created in the brain, the intentionality it takes to create new paths, the patience it takes to love through pain, to fight for peace and perseverance because no child should have to live defined by trauma. I am learning to no longer call them post-traumatic but to see them as restored and redeemed, fought for, loved deeply, worth every breath.
I try my best to anticipate triggers, to think through strategies and how to help maintain stability, security and safety. We just returned from an outpatient procedure that required anesthesia. I knew that going there, being in a hospital, being taken back with people they didn’t know to breathe sedation and fall into sleep would be challenging. We prepped, we prayed, we strategized… it was beautiful… but I never imagined the “waking up” would be more traumatic. Geeze Louise! I didn’t know it would take the strength of a daddy to hold the weight of his own body on that of a three year old so she could see, feel and know that she is safe. The fear of a child coming back, disoriented and in the midst of strangers – not comprehending what was going on but seeing lines hooked to machines, hooked to their arm, all those things that remind of past events that never should have happened… dear Lord how did I not think of this?
Now I know. Waking up is hard to do. I realize it’s hard for any child under anesthesia, but I saw the fight or flight that was triggered in my sweet one that I never anticipated. It’s heart-breaking but God is faithful. Eventually it wears off and our sweet girls returned to normal. Mommy will never be the same.
I was tempted to be embarrassed by the extent of work needed to repair their mouths. I have to remember, I wasn’t there the first 3 years, those things aren’t my fault. It’s ok, there’s grace. Now, I am responsible for this next set of teeth, so buddy, you better believe we are gonna be on top of that!
I’ve learned that the tooth-fairy isn’t quite as appealing to a 3 year old as it is to a 5 or 6 year old. Or maybe it’s just my girls. Somehow, the idea of a little lady that comes in while you sleep, takes your teeth and leaves a quarter ended up being a bit scary. I can see where they’re coming from.
After going to bed with the teeth on the nightstand, Prissy called me into her room… “mommy, how about you tell the tooth fairy not to come. I don’t want her to come. how about you just give me quarters instead and I’ll buy gum.” – deal sweet girl. I’ll give you quarters; you keep your teeth. Who needs a little fairy to come in while you sleep? You just rest peacefully. After all, that is what we work for, right? According to the twins, we work for money to buy gum. That’s what makes the world go ’round.
I wish I could say we are reaching our one-year point and adoption is here. But it isn’t. We’ve been delayed, in a big way. Of all the things I’ve learned in this past year, the one thing that stands out most is, God’s timing and God’s purposes are perfect. I may not ever understand them. I might not even agree with them; but I can trust them.
This year has been a crash course in what it means to be a mommy. It has also been a journey of discovering what it means to walk in obedience, as a daughter of the One who writes our story, who loves me deeply and invites me into the waves, because His faithfulness, His goodness, His grace – they make me brave.