This morning Christi and I had a hold-each-other-cry-together-it'll-all-be-ok moment. Or few moments. Cali is doing almost unbelievably well. She seems to not only feel very comfortable with our family but genuinely seems to love us. And we love her. She is a delightful little person. She deals with her disabilities with dignity and capability. So much is going well. And yet it still overwhelming. We have nine children. Compressed between the ages of 14 and 4. Most of them with moderate to very severe special needs. Between last night and this morning, Christi and I were not sure we were going to make it. But God always seems to know what we need and when we need it. Three particular things really felt like tender mercies today.
1. As I lay pondering this morning (at about 4am-I'm still not quite off of China time), I was impressed with Paul's words regarding faith, hope and charity. I hadn't read this passage lately, so I really felt as though this was a message from the Lord. The message was simple. Have hope. Although it sometimes feels as though there is no way we can meet all of the needs of all of our kids, we must have hope. I know-really KNOW-that each of our children is meant to be in our family. And if it is right to have each of them, then I really can have hope that the Lord will help us and we will be able to lead and love this family of ours. And once we have hope, we need to have faith to do what we need to do. Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to do something as simple as get up off the couch and face the rigors of getting the littles to bed. But it can be done. And when I do it with the right mindset, it is really quite a joy. So this morning as we were having our "moment," I was able to tell Christi about this communication I had had from the spirit and it left both of us feeling reassured.
2. Immediately after we were finished talking, I received a text message from a long-time friend. This friend understands the challenges of the first few weeks following an adoption, as he and his wife have adopted several children themselves. They understand the jet lag and the language barriers and the bonding issues and the joy wrapped in exhaustion surrounded by love. The text was very simple, just thanking us for what we were doing with our family. But it came at such an opportune time. It reminded us that the things we are doing go beyond just the impact they have on our own family. It reminded us of how people are touched by our children and what an impact for good these little ones have just by living the way they do.
3. Tonight, as we were getting ready for bed, I received a call from another friend of almost 20 years. This is one of those friends you don't talk to often, but when you do, it's like you never missed a beat. He called me out of the blue and told me about a Christmas tradition his family has. They work together, kids included, to help another family. This year they chose our family. (They were going to leave something for us anonymously, but my buddy forgot to bring our address along when they left:) So they called to get our address. I'm so glad they let us know who was giving the gift, because it gave us the opportunity to talk and catch up a bit. Great family. Anyway, after they left, we looked inside the gift bag they gave us. First there was a book with a beautiful inscription, once again thanking us for what we are doing with our family. Secondly, there was a jar with an incredibly generous donation towards our house. It included lots of paper money, but also a lot of coins, which I imagine were from their kids. What sweet, wonderful people.
I just want to express my thanks to people who listen to the promptings of the Spirit and reach out to other people. You were our angels today. You were the messengers that provided tender mercies that helped us remember that we really can make it and that Heavenly Father really is there and looking out for us.