Tonight as I was getting ready to tuck Mya and Aleigha into bed I found them eagerly searching their bookshelves looking for a bedtime story they loved.
We have a regular routine that we follow every night before bed- books, potty, brush our teeth and then bed time prayers. These moments at the end of the day with my children are priceless. It’s often in these times, in the quietness of the evening when the busyness of the day has come to an end- that I get to really look inside of their heads and their hearts. It is this time when I get to glimpse of who they really are and where they have been.
Tonight as they dressed in their matching purple Dora nightgowns, grabbed their books and jumped on the bed I had no idea… no clue the memories that would come flooding back to my precious 6 year old Mya just from reading a childhood story.
Aleigha had chosen the book “Ten In The Bed” by Penny Dale, one of her all time favorite tales. I know we have read it a hundred times before, but for some reason tonight it was different. For some reason tonight Mya would be reminded of a time where fear consumed her and a time when she felt hopeless- alone.
The story takes place in a cozy cabin in the woods where a small child is ready for bed, all snuggled up in a fluffy double bed, covered by a thick quilt, surrounded by tons of stuffed animals. When it’s time for bed the little one is trying to get comfortable and so the story begins…
“There were ten in the bed and the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over!’ So they all rolled over and Hedgehog fell out… BUMP! There were nine if the bed and the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over?’ So they all rolled over and Zebra fell out… OUCH!”
Pulling her even closer into my chest, I held this sweet, spunky girl for the longest time, whispering in her ear and promising her that I would always be here for her and that never again would she be left alone.
Tonight, as I walked out of their bedroom, something inside of me changed. There was a time when I was afraid of an ‘older child adoption’. A time where I didn’t think I could ‘handle’ the unknowns… a time where I felt incapable, afraid. I realized all of those fears, all of those concerns- are valid. I alone, in my own strength, cannot. But with God’s grace and strength I can. When you adopt an 'older child' they come with a past and they come with loss always. I cananot deny that. And yet at the same time they come with a future of hope- and that is the most precious gift of all.
Holding Mya close I knew that no matter what the cost, no matter how scary, how uncertain, how BIG the storms of life become- I would never again be afraid to love another.
There are times in my life where I have been guilty of feeling sorry for myself. Guilty of letting myself get overwhelmed by the small things in life that in all honesty are really not a big deal at all... a broken lawn mower, burned dinner, a traffic light that turned red too quickly. There are times when I haven’t been able to see past my own wants that I have ignored the pain of others. And times where I have heard God, yet ignored Him, because I was too busy making my own plans.
I have no guarantee how many days I have left on this earth, no guarantees that my life will be easy. The only thing I am guaranteed of is Christ’s love and I will give all that I have and all that I am to share that love with others.
People will inevitably come into our lives and then out… but in the time God has given me- I will love them. Regardless of the unknown, regardless of the possibility of being hurt, regardless of the possibility of not being loved back, regardless of our differences I will love no longer holding back.
As I kissed Mya and tucked her into bed, I couldn't help but wonder though... what about the ones still waiting? What if no one ever comes for them? Perhaps you will? Perhaps God is calling you now to be the one?
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9