Friday, September 20, 2013

Before and After

I used to be different.  Really, I was.  I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

Just kidding.  In the grand scheme of things, it's good.  But sometimes it doesn't seem like it.

The journey was a difficult one.  It's a little hard to describe.  But it might be a help to those of you who are on a similar journey.

See, I thought I knew what I was doing.  I thought I knew what was coming.  I thought I had this adoption thing all wrapped up.  I didn't.  At all.

But that's okay.  It didn't seem okay then, but I can see it now.

What am I talking about?  Can we get this train back on the track?  Probably not, but I'll try...

In the beginning of my adoption journey I struggled with not knowing what tomorrow would bring.  I didn't know what was around the next bend.  I was not in control.  

It's exactly where I needed to be.  I just didn't like it at the time.

You know what?  That's still where I am.  I still don't know what tomorrow holds.  I never really did.  God holds my tomorrows.  I couldn't be in better hands.

But it was tough letting go of what I thought I was doing.  

I thought I was ordering my days.  I thought I was making the progress.  I thought I was calling the shots.

I wasn't.  

One day I woke up and understood.  It was like I had been blinded and scales had fallen away.  It was as if I was seeing the sunlight for the very first time.  It was the day after our house burned down.

Every single aspect of my life was out of control.  I was left holding nothing but His hand.  What a precious place to be.  I would do it all over again just to wake up that next morning completely trusting Him for what the day held.

I've tried to live every day like that ever since.

Some days I fail.  Thankfully, after I've exhausted myself trying to do it my way, His hand is still there.  Waiting to take hold of mine.

So what does all this look like fleshed out in real life?  What did my transformation look like to my children, friends and family?  

It actually looked different to different people.

To my children it was a welcome change.  I was able to shake the anger I had allowed to creep back into my life.  Realizing that whatever my day held would work out for my good as long as I was looking to Him, was an instant anger reliever.  Can't get mad with an outlook like that.  We focused on being thankful, on not complaining, on not allowing bitterness to take root.  Just taking the day as it came with whatever gifts it held.  Even if they weren't what we thought we wanted.

To my friends I seemed more relaxed.  I was less "my way or the highway" and better able to handle things that didn't look exactly how I thought they should.  Things that would have sent me over the edge with Hannah didn't evoke such a drastic response with Amy.

Poor Hannah.

To my family, well, we're still working to smooth it all out.  There's a lot that they don't understand.  We've only been living near them full time for four months.  They weren't there to experience the beginning with a new one, or the changes we made after the fire.  We try to cut them some slack and hope they do the same with us.  

Older child adoption issues can be hard to handle.  They can wear you out.  They can take you to extremes.  They can show you who you really are and then God can show you who He created you to be. 

I wouldn't be who I am today without the adoption road I travelled.  I wouldn't be who I am today without the wildfire that left us with nothing but that which was most important anyway.  I'm so thankful God did that for me.  So thankful.

This morning I woke up to find His hand waiting.  I can't wait to see where He takes us today.

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