Reflecting on Contentment, 4 years later. Content a 7 Letter Word that I do not like so well. On October 14, 2015…..I remember sitting on the pot (yes, my revelations come in the bathroom) and contemplating life. I have always yearned to have more children. Big Daddy and I took that matter into our own hands and chose to “get him fixed” when Noah was about 2 maybe 3….at the time, he was 14. I was looking up at a picture that my kids had made. Each one had done their handprint in yellow and decorated it. My frame was full….literally and figuratively. We even traded in our suburban that, easily, fit 9 people for a smaller minivan. Yep. My life was complete. Next up: Grandchildren.
Been There, Done That with Adoption Avenues
Ethiopia was closing. Foster system…..yep…..did that. We couldn’t really afford any other type of adoption, so I just sat there, praising God for the children that I have and I uttered the words “Lord, I choose to be content. I am content. My kids are getting bigger. I have more freedoms. Life is good, and I’m thankful.” I am thinking He was sitting on His heavenly throne, eating popcorn, and laughing hysterically at me.
The very next day.
THE. VERY. NEXT. DAY. Bart was home, and it was the tail end of fall break. I was on cloud nine. I felt like a thousand elephants had jumped off my chest and I was excited about letting go of a dream and moving forward. In moving forward, we decided to throw caution to the wind and take 5 of our 6 kids to the movie. Our oldest daughter was working.
Surprising our Kids with a Movie and Lunch
We were all getting dressed and almost out the door when the phone rang. Normally, since most of us were in the van, I would ignore the phone and go on…I didn’t for some reason (or a God reason), and I looked at the caller ID, and it was my oldest sister. A little mini back story about my sister and I. We come from a very close-knit family, and when one of us is hurt or threatened, we surround that person and become a barrier of protection and love.
Yet…my sister and I were never really close. She is close to my oldest brother, and I’m was super close to my sister 2 yrs older than me. K is 6 yrs older, and my brother is 10 yrs older. We loved each other….that has always held true, but that was about it.
A Little Backstory
About a year before this event, I had an appt with my number 6 child. That trip took me close to where my sister worked. I ran by there to say hi. Also to get an update on her kids/grandkids. Lastly, I wanted to give her an update on my family. I suggested that we go to lunch together. To get to know each other and to figure out who we are, as adults. To my surprise, she said yes.
Faithfully, for a year, we met for lunch once a month. It came to be a time that we both loved, and we didn’t want to miss it. We started calling each other….texting each other….having jokes…solving the world’s problems. I would now consider her one of my best friends. My sisters are my strength, and they hold me up with love, consistency, prayers, devotion, honesty, and fussing at me when I need it. When we told our other sister what all had transpired between us, she just cried. She said that is what she had been praying about for years.
Always Answer Your Phone
So when I saw her name, I picked up the phone. I knew she and her husband were out of town, so my first line was “what is wrong.” I heard the panic in her voice…..she kept saying “can you go and get the babies. Go and get them. Mom is out of town. I’m out of town. Daddy is with them but can you get them.” Uhm…..YES, I can. We all loaded up and headed to town and when we pulled up tears and chaos surrounded us. I will not go into detail because first, I do not have my sister’s permission….second, it is her and the babies stories….not mine to share.
Adding 2 Kids for the Weekend
We kept the babies that weekend (by babies they were 5 and 2), and she picked them up on Sunday. I remember thinking “God, I have helped the least of these…may You bless them and protect them during this journey they are walking on.” Then, I went to bed cause I was tired LOL. I have not had a little one here since Daniel, and he was 2 1/2 when he moved in. Jude was 5 when he came home. To thrust me into little people clothes and diapers…..no thank you…I am good LOL.
Oops, We Missed One
Fast forward just a little bit to November 2015. See, K and J had a little brother, Hunter. He was living with, whom we thought was his father, but in reality, he was not. His mom, my niece, was living in the streets wheeling and dealing and drugging. Broke our hearts. My heart broke for this little dude. I knew my sister and her husband were working full time and had a toddler and a 5 yr old who are both dealing with PTSD and severe trauma from their beginnings. Could she take on a baby who was 21 mths old? Yep….would she go bald and run down the road naked screaming at the top of her lungs? Yep.
I talked to Big Daddy, my kids. Also, I spoke to my other sister and my mama. Then, and only then, did I talked to Kim. One of the rawest, difficult, blessed events that have occurred between us. We cried. She agreed. Niece agreed. Judge agreed.
What On Earth Am I Thinking
So here I am, just turning 43 yrs old. One out of the house, one almost in college, one in high school, one in middle school, two in grade school and a baby…..a baby who wasn’t rocked that often. My life consisted of standing in the baby aisle crying because I didn’t know what he needed. Sippy cups. Diapers. Baby toys. Diaper bags. Smooshed up foods. Car seats. My van didn’t accommodate everyone. Oh. My. Stars. What have I freaking done! I have a BABY!
So Much More to this Inter-Family Adoption
There is SO much more to this story. Sadly, there is still so much fighting and many days in court. There have been many tears. So many “thank yous” from my sister and her husband. Also, so much therapy and so many hospital stays. So. Very. Much. You can read, from my sister’s perspective here on her blog Mom By Proxy….and God’s Grace. We “officially” adopted him right before Christmas, last year.
Through It All…His Eyes Were On You
Through it all…..God knew what He was doing since before He created the Earth. He knew how my family would be shaped. That my relationship with my sister would be healed. Also, He knew that I would be in my 40s still raising babies.
Straight Up Joy
This boy……..this baby………he has bound my crew together. He has changed one of my daughters. My little dude has his biggest brother wrapped around his little finger. He is loved so deeply and completely. His laugh, smile, and “I love you, mom.” The fact that he says “daddy you are my favorite.” Also, that “Mamaw is my girlfriend.” His imagination, drive, and determination is to behold.
He is my joy, the calm in the storm. That little dude is my baby and he melts me. Am I finished with babies? I don’t know. Grandkids are in my future…one day….but so may a little one who needs a family. We shall see what God wants. Till then, I will NEVER utter the phrase again “Lord, I am content.”
This is my journey of faith, adoption, cooking, and living life to the fullest. It also documents our journey with our son who was diagnosed with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. Welcome to my corner of the world.
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