Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, January 05, 2015


I'd love to write this breathtaking post about the awe and hope and inspiration found within the calendar pages of a fresh year. I'd like to talk of beauty residing amid new beginnings and tender mercies that arise at the dawn of each burgeoning day but are most keenly experienced when one year draws to a close and another one begins. I'd like to speak of gently emerging freedom and long awaited promises unfolding around the corners of our expanding horizons as the clean month of January is ushered into our lives.

But I won't.

As I reflect on 2014 and consider what lies ahead in 2015, my sincerest, most overarching feeling is one of discouragement - at least when I think about my adopted kids. And I am always, always thinking of my adopted kids. Always.

As it turns out, the beginning of each new year calendar happens to coincide with the anniversary of their years with us - 5 in 2015. That fact does me no favors when what I really want to do is make a tidy little resolution or two and be done with it but my mind won't cooperate. Our journey thus far with these kids keeps cropping up, invading all my senses.

As I think back pre-adoption, I can't help but remember my lofty notions of the apparently noble voyage on which we were about to embark.

Little did I know how significantly it all would change me, the wounds their wounds would impose on me, the trauma their trauma would inflict on me, the way their grief and sorrow and pain and undesirable patterns of behavior wrought in the clutches of childhood survival would reverberate through our family, often ensnaring me in its grasp.

I didn't realize how different I could become, how two small people could have such a monumental impact on my every single day and night and month and hour and year for the rest of my time on this earth. I didn't understand the way I would come to bear their burdens as my own, that they would indeed become mine in their very own right. I couldn't have known the boundless will I would summon to try and try and try again to reach further, higher, faster, to get through by any means at all. I didn't fathom the toll it would take, the extraordinary patience it would require, the energy it would necessitate, the tremendous futility I would feel deep in my bones. I didn't recognize that such mourning could be derived from a perpetual lack of perceivable progress.

Dwelling on it can be a total fear-of-the-future inducing drag.

So, looking forward to the year before me, I must simply focus on what I can do.

The word that keeps coming to mind is nourish.

I can work to nourish them all, each of the children within the reach of my sphere. Physically, mentally, emotionally, academically, spiritually - nourish. With little expectation of what the results will be.

My job is to provide the best of what I have to offer, their job is to take what they need to grow. I can't make them, I can only set before them a choice to accept what is given. I've made it crystal clear to all of us that if I could do their part for them, I would. Goodness, I would. I really would. But I have to accept that I can't. And they can't do mine.

Perhaps the best thing I can do is supply nourishment and let them grow as they will.

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