So, our adoption journey has reached a major milestone. I think that the shock of adopting a 9 year old and a 6 year old took it’s toll on my social media capabilities. I have stopped blogging for several reasons, but want to press reset and begin again.
My last post on adoption was when we were starting out paperwork. Then – silence. It has been a crazy journey, but I’m so grateful to be on it. I have learned more about God and myself (and the differences bewteen us) in the last three years than I ever thought possible.
Here is my post on Facebook from tonight, before I figured out how to log on to my blog again after such a long absence.
On April 16, 2012, God brought two children into our lives. We had been hoping to adopt one, but then all the pieces just feel into place for us to provide a home for this 9 year old brother and 6 year old sister who needed a family.
Tomorrow, on April 16, 2013, we go to see the judge who will sign the papers and make Jakeob and Brooklyn officially a part of the Minor Family!
Right now, my family is all asleep, the house is quiet, the clothes for the morning are all laid out, and I am sitting by myself just thinking and praying. I have learned so much over the last year. I thought it might be interesting to share some of the lessons that I have learned about myself. Please don’t feel like you have to read. This is therapy.
#1 – I am a great dad.
Going from a family of four with two teenagers to a family of six with two littler ones has given me lots of opportunities to be creative, to broker deals, to try to consider how and when to get time with each one of my kids who all have different needs. I have surprised myself with my ability to juggle it all and keep it all moving. I have learned how to enjoy shooting baskets and playing catch, which my older son was never in to, and how to enjoy ballet classes, which my older daughter was never really in to. I’m having lots and lots of talks with my older kids and doing my best to stay connected with them. I’m figuring stuff out.
#2 – I am a terrible dad.
The reality of expanding our family has shown me just how messed up I can really be. I have completely surprised myself by my lack of love, by my selfish responses, and by my rising temper which has mysteriously appeared, seemingly from out of nowhere over the last year. I have problems keeping up with all of the needs that each of my kids have. I forget when I have promised to spend time with one, and spend time with another. I forget when I have promised electronic time for one when it would encroach on another’s time with a friend. I spend too much time thinking about myself and not enough about my kids. Sometimes I am shocked at my level of selfishness. Other times, I don’t care.
#3 – I am extremely patient.
Seriously. You should see me sometimes. I’m amazing. I can handle that horrible time from 5:00pm – bedtime with amazing wisdom, grace and patience, keeping everyone from killing each other and getting everything done, laundry folded, baths taken, stories read and bedtime song sung. I am that awesome.
#4 – I have no patience.
It’s ridiculous. Every heard of a “hair trigger”? That’s me. I can and will go off at a moment’s notice about things that in retrospect are so small. Sometimes I’m watching me from outside my body, trying to get my attention to stop talking. Or yelling. It doesn’t work.
#5 – I have a great, deep, abiding relationship with God.
I have learned so much this year. My prayer life has been deeper, more intimate, and been more consistent than ever before. I have been on my knees so often begging God for His presence and His guidance, and He has walked with me through some scary times and brought me out the other side with faith and hope.
#6 – I am not sure I believe in God sometimes.
Yes, I realize I am a minister and that should be a given. However, the fear and anxiety sometimes have risen to a fever pitch, and my grasping for comfort from other places than my relationship with God lead me to deduce that I must not really believe in the scriptures that I so often preach about to others. The second guessing and doubting can so quickly and effectively obscure the call of God that was so clear three years ago when we started this process.
#7 – I am really excited about this adoption tomorrow.
It really is amazing when I take a step back and think about it. These two wonderful, loving, funny, talented, gifted, special, loved-by-God kids had no one to take care of them. They have suffered so much loss in their short lives and were living in fear and hopelessness, sentenced to a life of abandonment, rejection and grief. God saved them from that. He gave them to us – flawed, broken, but faithful and willing. They are saved from that life and given the hope of a new life with us, where they will find love, support and acceptance, as well as the hope of seeing God for who He is, given that we can be that reflection of His love for them. Their life is forever changed for the better.
For the four of us original Minors, it is also filled with hope about who God is going to help us to become. I have never understood self-denial like I do now. I have never understood about how to love when it is not convenient, about deciding to love when my feelings don’t provide the motivation, and about how much Jesus did for us. Jesus died for us “while we were still sinners.” Unbelievable. Before we asked for it, before we were mature enough or spiritual enough to understand it or say thank you, He still loved us. To know that kind of love, to be refined so that all of the ugliness of my heart gets burned away, to learn how to choose to give when I don’t feel like it – what a great privilege. If we had not gone through this past year, I shudder to think of the lessons about God that we would not have learned. I am so grateful for every difficult day, for every conflict I have refereed, for all of the therapy appointments I have driven to, for every meeting with a social worker, for everything that I have NOT been able to do that I used to do. Even as we grieve the loss of what our life used to be, I am excited about what God is going to turn our life into now.
I have glimpses of the way that God is going to continue to meld the hearts of our six Minors into an amazing, God-centered family. I’m so excited to see it come to be.
#8 – I’m scared to death about this adoption tomorrow.
It’s true. I am. Just like I was scared to death about my first two kids coming out of the womb. But I’m also full of faith. I feel like God is holding out His hand, asking me to walk through this door, promising that He will be with me in this new phase of our lives. I’m choosing to believe. I’m choosing to face the fear, yet still trust that God can and will do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine.
My new kids are amazing. We haven’t been allowed to post pictures of them until now, so get ready, because you’re about to be bombarded with them.
We could not have made it through the last year without the love and support of our friends. So many of you have come alongside us and made our lives possible. I can’t tell you how humbled we are by your help, by the times you have taken the kids, brought us meals, or just listened to us. The Turning Point Church has been so gracious and understanding as we figure out our new normal. We are blessed beyond belief with a support system that is far beyond anything that we deserve. For each one of you, and you know who you are, thank you.
If you are still reading, thank you. But, you need to do something better with your time. Go adopt some kids. That will keep you busy… 😉