Friday, July 12, 2013

Three Years Later

Three years ago this weekend our family of five became a family of seven. We did not understand on July 14, 2010 how profound the decision to foster Emma and Jordon would be to our lives. On that day, when I received the call about a little boy and girl who had just been removed from their home, my heart was not prepared for what it was about to face. In walking down the stairs to where the children were being kept, I thought I had all the answers. I was fully trained after all--a seasoned mother of 11 years with 11 weeks special training. I was rich in naivete and zealous with good intentions. When I think on myself in those days, I laugh at the innocence of my thinking. It is similar to looking back on my pregnancy with Noah when I felt that reading all the books and taking all the right classes would result in me being a perfect mother, with a perfect baby, living a perfect life. I was foolish enough to think such a thing existed. In my foolishness, I thought that in taking in Emma and Jordon, we would have all the answers. I did not realize I could not even begin to imagine all the questions. In contemplating the three years since, I am moved by the times I have failed. To share the times I have wronged not only Emma and Jordon, but Noah, Macy and Molly--might as well throw Nathan and our dog Lucy in there too, would require volumes. This process of being a mother is a magnifying glass to my weaknesses. It is humbling. It is the thing reality is made of. In looking at all the things we could have done differently, I am made aware that this is the thing that makes a family. It is the failings mixed with the subsequent grace and mercy which glues imperfect people together into a perfect unit. I don't love my family because we have it all love would be very limited by such nonsense, but instead because we together are figuring it all out. Three years ago, our family was challenged. Not by the addition of two beautiful children, but instead we were tested by the lie of perfection. My children misbehave, my marriage is not perfect, I hate to clean the house, and we eat out way too often because I don't want to cook. Those things are not because we have five children; it is because we are human. But in the midst of the mess, I see God creating and transforming us, making us new. And that is why this journey of faith continues on. Three years ago, Emma and Jordon moved from a broken home into a family of broken people. Broken people who still fall prey to the illusion of having all the answers. But the only answers I know for sure are that these people I love and call family are a treasure and that the God who gave them to me is good, all of the time.