May 28, 2012 – the day we held our children for the first time.
One year ago today…..
I look at this picture and I marvel. I marvel at my God who is so big. I marvel at the work He has done in our family. I marvel at the healing He has started in our children. I marvel at the pruning He has done to my heart.
Do you know that Levi was dropped off at the gates of the orphanage when he was only 2 years old? Barely more than a baby. Naomi and Micah talk about trying to take care of him, protect him, help him – and they were just babies themselves.
When we first held Levi, he was stiff in our arms. We would pick him up, and while he allowed this physical contact, he did not know quite what to do with it. His back was straight and strong, not soft and curved into us. His legs hung down listlessly instead of wrapping around our waist. His arms dangled at his sides instead of holding onto our necks.
When Levi was hurt or angry, he did not run to us for comfort.
When we first started tucking Levi in at night, we had to teach him how to hug. I would physically place his arms around my neck and squeeze them together. I would say, “I love you, Levi. Now, Levi, you say it back to Mommy. Say ‘I love you, Mommy.’”
When Levi woke up in the middle of the night, scared or cold or thirsty, he never called out to us. Not once. We would not hear about it until the next morning.
We had to teach Levi what it meant to have a Mommy and a Daddy who touched him to comfort him, a Mommy and Daddy who would always materialize out of the dark night hallway to scare away his bad dreams, a Mommy and Daddy who would discipline without anger and rage.
The other morning I woke up to this sight…..
This was the first time that our boys had come to us in the middle of the night for comfort. They both snuck into our room, in the dark, and climbed between our warm bodies to feel the safety that lay between their Mommy and Daddy.
We have known our children for one year.
We are getting to know them better every day.
There is so much more that I want to know about them.
I want to know where the scars came from. I want to know the stories behind the behaviors. I want to know their family history – all of it.
But, most of all, I want to know that they will be all right. I want to know that they will grow up to feel loved, and special, and beautiful. I want to know that they will love God and love themselves. I want to know that they will accept my love. And, oh, I want to know that they will love me and accept me as their mother.
We sang this song in church last week, and as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I felt every single word in my soul.
Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step You were with us
Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory was Your power in us
Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say Yes, our hearts can say
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful