Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Why are these Arms So Empty?

For a while now, this wait has been excruciating. Yes, it has always been hard. There are those quiet moments I can almost see Grace and Alex at my side, it is as if I can just about touch them or hear their laughter. It used to be those moments made me smile. Then, all at once, they did not. They made me angry. Angry the children were not here, angry I could not see them, just angry. I have spent some time trying to figure out why the change. Why all the sudden, did these arms seem SO empty. In the last few days, I have figured it out. It is not just Grace and Alex's absence or lack of adoption information. It is my children here. On Friday, my daughter will graduate from high school. It has been a very long road with her with many valleys and steep mountains to climb as we fought long and hard against her emotional issues stemming from her first few years that were not with us. Soon, she will leave this home. She has signed with the Air Force. Although she is the right age to go, she has fought so many demons I just maybe am not quite ready to let loose of her. Somehow the mama bear in me wants to shield her from a world that was so unkind to her in the beginning, but how? How is this mama bear any stronger than a young lady in a starched blue uniform standing tall? I no sooner wrestle with this, that I realize Jack, my 16 year old is within days of getting his driver's license. His increasing absence has already started. He is flying on his own, out with friends and talking about college. Our oldest still does not drive and was more of a home body, so this is new for me too. Somehow he must have sensed this, although I try so hard to hide it, as he texted me to pick him up last night to spend some time with me. Nonetheless, I see the end for him too. As I thought through all of this, I realized this Mama's arms don't just ache for my little Grace and Alex but for my Katya and Jack. The good news is, through my time spent in prayer and working through all of this I was reminded of lots of things. I remember bringing Katya and Jack home for the first time. She was three and he was 7 months. She worked so hard to learn English and I remember her trying so desperately to talk to me. "Bert and Ernie?" she would say so I would put on Sesame Street. Then there was her trying to teach me Russian. My favorite story was her teaching me her name. We thought it would be easier to call her Katie. We tried when she first came home, then one day it was,"No, mama, KATYA (pronounced Katcha).". She then indicated I was to repeat after her. Lol! There was my first mother's day when Tim taught her to say happy mother's day in her thick Russian accent. Somehow, through all of that our steep mountain climbs didn't seem so bad. Then, I also began to see, it is almost time to do all this again. Two new babies, a new language, first "I love you's", first tantrums, first fears, first joys. Now, all the sudden, I can enjoy my quiet moments again. Although the last few weeks have been hard, God has blessed me with my special little Zachary. He seems to be that happy constant. He is happy in my arms and has soothed that achy arms syndrome that hit so hard. Somehow, I think that is his gift. He is preparing for his new siblings' arrival by talking about all the things he will teach them. Most importantly yesterday he told me that he would teach them about Jesus. Somehow, I think he just might.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Wow. Mother's Day. Where do I even begin? The flurry of emotions surrounding this day is just amazing. I guess I could start at the oldest kid and work my way down. My oldest is now 18. She has been a challenge. We have had many steep mountains and many deep valleys to quote Steven Curtis Chapman. The reality is she is graduating in a couple weeks and has signed with the Air Force, so chances are this is her last mothers day here for a while. Then, there is Jack. It is his birthday today. He is 16. It seems like he was just 6. Today, he was driving my car. I was really touched by him this weekend. On Friday, I was shocked to find out he had no plans. No movie, no friend's house to go to. We went to frappuccino happy hour at Starbucks and I asked him what was up? No plans? It was then he shared over a cookie crumble mocha frappuccino, he did have plans, but he just wanted to be home a night...with me. We watched tv and popped some corn and I felt quite blessed to have him. I must admit, it was a bit bitter sweet as I realized college was racing toward us like a freight train and he too would soon leave. Then there is Zachary. Six year old Zachary. He presented me with a framed work of art where he carefully drew me a palm tree and a dolphin and further sea scape, "Love Zachary". It said. He sat on my lap at the restaurant and told me "today is a perfect day.". He started making summer plans with me like the pool. He excitedly told me he could not wait to be in the deep end this year. Ah yes, he will be here a while, and for that I am grateful. Through my happiness over this six year old who sees the sun rising and setting over his mama, I couldn't help but miss my Grace and Alex. I wondered if they even knew what their life will be or if they know how much this mama misses them. That thought was also, a bit rough to wrestle with. However, god, being God, sent me the one person who could bring me the message I needed. It was Tim. Our church generally plays contemporary Christian music for worship. Tim plays keyboards, and through communion he plays something a bit more subdued for that important time of reflection. Today he played a hymn I knew so well. "Ask and it shall be granted unto you....Allelulia". My first thought with this was how much I missed my mother-in-law. When she was alive we all went to church together. During this song Tim, his mom, his brother, and his aunt would sing harmony. Even though my mother -in-law and his aunt are now gone, I could hear their singing and it somehow felt comforting. As I heard the singing in my mind, it dawned on me the words...ask, it shall be granted. It reminded me through the difficult waiting, I just needed to be faithful and it will come. I still miss my babies, but am grateful for a husband who gave me what I needed today. Oh yeah...he got me amazing flowers too! Here we go, off to another week of waiting, hoping for good news.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I realize I have been a little lax in my blogging lately. I guess I just like to blog when I have some inspiring thought or something amazing in this journey happens. The reality is the journey is not always that amazing. In fact it is downright frustrating and heartbreaking at times. So, I guess at times I just don't want to say,"yep it's Monday. No I don't have any news, and yes it is making crazy." Ah, but alas, God steps in at what always seems to be the very last minute. Just when I am done with the frustration, just when I want to give in, and think how is it I can put one foot in front of the other? Yesterday was one of those rough mornings. I had dreamt Grace and I were in a drug store. She was wandering down the aisles in the make up section oohing and ahhing at the colors. We carefully picked out the right shade of nail polish and I remember thinking to myself how fun it would be sitting at her toddler table giving my girl a manicure. Then...I woke up. In my bed, my girl many miles away with my baby boy. Wow, awful reality check. I drove to work, praise music blasting, hoping to put my mind in a different place. When I arrived at work, I checked my email and there it was. The message from the mama who brought her baby home yesterday. She emailed to say that she had kissed all the babies in the orphanage from their Mama's. I can see her doling out kisses, intentionally, one by one, baby by baby. She said Alex smiled the biggest with his mama kiss. Somehow he knew the kiss was from me. Then, there was the Facebook comment on my newest picture of Grace. The look on Grace's face I must admit was that of a diva. She had a new hairdo and seemed a little annoyed with the camera. The other mama laughed at how our girls there, who are buddies, are both such diva's. I thought of my dream then and the nail polish. Suddenly, it was no longer the disappointment it started out to be. My disappointment turned to excitement as I thought about Alex's reaction to his mama kiss, and how my dream was right on with this beautiful little girl. I was able to put one foot in front of the other by thinking about manicures, pedicures, hairdo's and Grace's future in the world of shopping and high fashion. I flat out smiled as I pictured my 5 ft 10 husband wit his 50 inch chest crammed into a toddler table playing tea party with her and calling himself Mrs. Nesbit. As I began to see the light it dawned on me...we need a toddler table. I better get busy.