Dear friends and family,
Well, it has been a week since we have been home…where do I even begin relating to you what this week has been like?
I have to begin with the homecoming we received at the airport. Many of you were able to greet us at the airport! If the words are out there, I don’t have them to express what it meant to Rob and I to see you all there. We had been traveling for 30 hours with 5 kids, one of who is 4 (ugh!), after a long week in a guest house in a country that was not our own. To see the faces of those who love us, support us, and know us, was the greatest gift. Even though the greetings were a little overwhelming for Sahye, I hope and pray that the new kids will remember the day they arrived in America and were greeted so warmly by the wonderful people God has placed in our (and their!) lives.
I will not lie, or be brave, or sugar coat this first week experience. It has been hard!! The language barrier has been more troubling than I had anticipated, as it not only interferes with the day to day logistics of functioning as a family, but it also prevents us from getting to know one another. At one point I took the two boys with me on an errand, and by the time I got home I realized it had been a lonely experience! I didn’t have the freedom of being alone, but I also didn’t have the company of being with someone. I know this phase won’t last long. Other friends who have adopted from other countries have reassured me that when they look back on this part of their experience, they remember it as a short blip on the radar of hard things they encountered. Really, I’m not sure if that’s encouraging or not!
Several people have texted or emailed and asked how I am feeling. Frankly, I’m doing my best to discount my feelings, to even suspend them, if possible, for the foreseeable future. My feelings are all over the map, anyways—they are so irregular and often irrational, that they have lost all relevance to even me. Today, tomorrow, the next week….this is the time for obedience, not feelings. Love is a verb, first and foremost, right? Another friend reminded me this is a marathon, not a sprint. One step at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. Only problem with that is, I’m a sprinter at heart! Can we just hurry up and get through the hard time of transition? This is where my beautiful husband comes in. He IS a marathon runner, both in reality and in biblical reference. He has kept us all laughing, even when his humor has that “I’m about to go stark raving mad” edge to it. He keeps me talking and serves me in the smallest ways, ways that remind me we are in this together. (The man puts toothpaste on my toothbrush for me when were getting ready for bed! What a keeper!!) He is a gift to me and to these five kids. Give him a hug and high five when you see him…he needs both from his “people”.
Okay, enough about feelings! I’ll share a few glimpses of our new life…
We keep forgetting Saminas! We were all outside playing and everyone came in but him. We hear a timid knock at the door, and there he is, with that little impish smile on his face! We’re pathetic.
I was awakened at 4:30 in the am (curse you, jet lag!) by Emilie, who was up withBersisa and Sahye. Apparently, a glow stick broke and was flung into every nook and cranny of the kitchen. The good news is, if you turn off all the lights, its easy to see for clean up purposes. The bad news is, it was 4:30 in the am. If you want to see me in my sin nature glory, just wake me up with a mess at 4:30 in the am….poor Em was just trying to help, but I had to ask her to please stop talking. I can’t listen to chatter that early!
Saminas is a hoot and a holler. :) He terrorizes his sister (Sahye) with squirt guns. He could care less how little he is when it comes to hanging with the big kids. He’s a walking disaster when it comes eating, peeing, or keeping his room clean. He’s SO four! But he also will crawl in bed with me in the morning and go back to sleep cuddled in my arms. So truly, all is forgiven.
Bersisa has taught himself how to ride a bike. Rob and I have been impressed with his determination and persistence! He’s a sweet boy who tries very hard to do the “right” thing. He is starting to, slowly, relax and loosen up. My heart breaks for him the most. He was the top dog at the orphanage, confident and sure of his place in his world there. Now he has two older siblings constantly, and not all that gently, telling him what to do. This has probably been our greatest struggle thus far, teaching the bios what their place is in regards to their new siblings. Their lack of compassion and grace and mercy for them has been a heartache and a disappoint I didn’t expect. I get that its normal and part of the process…I just didn’t want to see that kind of ugliness from my kids, you know? I’m guessing this is also how our Father feels about me when I disappoint Him with my ugly heart. Pray that we can respond to all our children in a way that glorifies Him. Its hard to know when to talk our bios through their sin, and when to just beat them. I’m kidding!! Mostly.
I could write and write, but I should really feed the kiddos—-again! (We have discovered Sayhe is our picky eater, nixing pizza and burgers. She just might starve here in America, the land of the free and the home of the junk food. Saminas won’t eat chocolate–weird!) We are so thankful too for your notes and calls and texts and prayers—especially and most importantly, your prayers. We are surviving on the backs of your prayers, and I’m not even exaggerating. Thank you, again and again.