(I haven’t figured out what this is going to look like every week-- my thanksgiving-- I just know I need to do it. I want to receive his gifts fully, whatever shape or form, pleasing on this side of heaven........or not.)
Waiting: Evenings seem heavy around our home these days. Jeff is heavy with vision, a God-given burden, with Words to obey and together, we aren’t sure how and when the weight will be lifted. So, I wait with him. We’ve been here before but only once when it was I who felt the anguish more intensely than he did. Usually, he carries the load, and it presses on his every waking, and some un-waking moments. As our 18 year marriage has matured, so has my reaction to his visionary “bent”. As a rule, I am not the one who jumps off the couch to do the herky when Jeff shares with me what’s going on in his mind and, to my shame, his heart. I should be, but instead I sit still, listen, and occasionally nod my head while my insides are rearranging themselves. If I could stop there, that probably would have been helpful over our years, but in all that time my insides are re-situating, words have formed and just roll off my tongue---- words that are less than encouraging. I will stop there. You see, I think.
This time my reaction hasn’t been award winning or anything but maybe honorable mention for me. Maybe? Jeff? These “steps” I believe God has asked Jeff to take have proved harder than either of us were expecting-- emotionally, spiritually and relationally. It truly is all good, but waiting on the Light to illuminate the next step takes patience and who likes to exercise that fruit? If I have done anything well, I have listened and I am honored that he wants me to hear. Things may be heavy and there may be some threshold to cross, but I can’t deny the excitement that’s in the foreground. Something’s up ahead. Not sure what but SOMEthing really great is going on and we, at least I, haven’t been filled in on all of the details yet.
Wondering: Kids surprise us all the time with their words. We chuckle. We blush. We smile. We correct. We roll our eyes. We belly laugh. And sometimes, we fight the lump in our throats. We have always talked about adoption openly in our family. We have told each of ours their stories--as much detail as their ages allow at the time of the telling. It comes up often in conversations, but mainly as we are talking with other people. Very rarely do they bring it up but when they do, it is usually at the strangest times when my mind is on, like, the dishes in the sink, the table that needs to be cleared or the laundry that needs switching over.
The night the temperature dropped, my family had our feet under a beautiful table, lit with candle light, set with cloth napkins, silver and even crystal knife rests. As Brighton chewed away on his pb&j and as we devoured homemade chicken soup, he decided to tell our new friends his adoption story. The details aren’t necessary here but he got it all wrong and twisted quite a tale for his audience who sat with arms rested with hungry spoons in hand and eyes wide. In her quest for all things accurate, Julia gave up on correcting him after I quietly placed my hand on her leg under the table. I just figured we’d straighten it all out later. Even in all his rabbit trails of the story, my heart caught and the lump started creeping up my throat. Every time, I hear and see a boy wanting to tell everyone how he was wanted and loved by so many- including his birthmother. He makes sure his listeners know that I, “my Momma”, was there to get him. Those two things are about the only parts of his story he has right at this point, but no matter how he tells it, my heart does flip flops-- the good kind and the kind that causes just a little uncertainty. I have to wonder, what is he thinking? What does his story sound like to him? To Julia? What exactly does Julia think about hers? Oh, I ask from time to time but their words come only when they are ready. Maybe one day I’ll know....when they know, in the fullest, their stories. Personally, I think their journeys from there to here are amazing- a story only God can author.
By His grace, I am grateful and He fills me with joy.
25. digital words from 18 year old nephew
26. a knowing smile shared between B and me
28. a book, once lost, now found
29. son wanting to be cheek to cheek
30. reply all emails among friends
31. the girl upstairs that loves my family
33. common interest found with brother’s youngest
37. vulnerable thoughts shared in the dark
40. sitters that text “ma’am”
41. 5 o’clock sky orange, light, purple all- glowing painted by the One all-knowing
42. park bench conversations
44. husband, out on a limb...willing to be there
49. peace when fear is the natural response
53. cold blowing in
54. hearing son tell his story
55. my infertility
56. compassionate young girls willing to carry my children, birth them and lovingly, yet painfully, place them in my arms
58. hugs around waist
67. the last hour of a fire
71. quiet nights
72. our Golden, curled up sleeping deeply
85. daughter recognizing beauty, trying to find words
86. son’s hat flaps flying
87. daughter asleep under quilt across the room
88. son hard at work with paper, scissors and tape
97. friends who my children don’t burden
98. good doctor’s reports
101. cold day, hot coffee