Yep, that's me, the real deal, nothing super, nothing special. Just the sleep-deprived, older mommy who is blessed beyond my wildest imagination. There's a lot going on in the world of adoption right now, and it causes me to reflect, and reflection causes me to share my heart. With the seemingly never-ending referral wait in the China program, the rigorous regulations, the closing of some IA programs and the corruption in others, I stand in awe that I have been so blessed. Four years ago God instantaneously and miraculously invited Clayton and I to join Him where His heart is at: adoption. We were totally clueless about the process, the cost, the heartache and the extent of the blessings! We proceeded on blind faith, only pausing occasionally when our own doubts and weaknesses crept in. In one weak moment I asked myself many questions, questions which I now realize may be typical, but have proven totally irrelevant! I wondered if I could love a child not born of myself, a child that didn't "look like" me, how I would survive not knowing his/her exact birth date, the circumstances of his/her "fatherless" state, his/her biology, siblings or not ... and on and on. These are all questions worth pondering but can also be traps of the enemy, lies he wants us to buy into, tapping into our own weaknesses and fears rather than relying on the strength of God Almighty.
My four year old daughter knows she is a victor, not a victim, but only because of Jesus! If you have a minute, she'll tell you all about Him :) I'm not so naive to think my children won't someday have questions about their birth family or find themselves wondering who they are and how they fit in. I can't fabricate the missing pieces, and just as I have learned to accept them, perhaps they too will find some comfort in knowing I am their "real" mommy and they are "real" siblings because they have been adopted by their "real" Heavenly Father. And that is my charge: to love, nurture, provide for and guide them. I take that very seriously. The rest is icing on the cake!
I've been kissing boo-boos, potty training, soothing after countless night terrors, teaching to tie shoes, praying for and with, and loving on my beautiful kiddos for 19 years now, so if you ask me if they are "real brothers and sisters," or I'm their "real mommy," I'll say a resounding, "Yes!" Additionally, three of them have birth parents I pray for. And to those birth parents, I say, "Thank you for choosing life and giving me the privilege of being their forever Mommy."
To think that God would give our family this short four-year time span to add three beautiful children to our family is amazing to me. Thank you, God!