Sunday, September 6, 2009

You came...


“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

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!”

The sing song story continues on counting down the animals that fall out of the bed until at last the little one sits up in bed all alone and the book reads:
‘There was one in the bed and the little one said, I’m cold… and I miss you!” (showing a sad face and tears in the child's eyes) “So they all came back… and jumped into bed- Hedgehog, Mouse, Nelly Zebra, Ted, the little one, Rabbit, Croc, Bear and Sheep- Ten in the bed, all fast asleep”.

As I softly closed the pages of the book it was then that I saw the look on Mya’s face-and it was then that I noticed the tears.

As she snuggled her little body as close to mine as she could, she whispered to me… “When my birth mom left me at the orphanage I felt like that too mommy… I was alone and I missed her so bad. I kept hoping she would come back just like those animals did … only she never did.” As she lifted hersmall hand to swiped at a tear that was running down her cheek I saw the hint of gratitude in her eyes… and as she looked up at me she said “but you came mommy. You came for me. Thank you."

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

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Mike and Gail said...

I too have felt guilty for worrying about the day to day grind. That I have forgot the heart ache, that my older girls have experienced. I am learning to enjoy the simple things in life. One being my girls.

Thank you for the gentle heart reminder.


natali said...

that was an amazing post - period. tears of sadness and tears of joy.

Donna said...

Thank you for the wonderful post.

I too am amazed at the things that will bring our children back to the place of hurt. But yet it is so healing for them.

No older child adoption is not easy, but it is worth every minute!!

Delight in Him

Kelli said...

Thank you for sharing this moment with us. I have tears in my eyes and you all have been on my mind a lot. Thank you for the difference that you make here in the blog world. You are a blessing.

Kelli said...

P.S. - I'm going to get one of those shirts when my student loan money comes in...should be about 4 weeks.

Karin said...

Precious words from your precious girl...'you came for me.' I hope and pray it rings in the ears of everyone one reading your blog who is considering (or maybe not considering yet!) an adoption. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.

Unknown said...

beautiful! beautiful post!

i have been there with a few of our children too amy! nothing expresses what it feels like to be in those tender moments with our children - where His love takes over!

hugs and so grateful that you are my friend and sister!

love in Christ!

Adeye said...

Oh what a wonderful post. I so understand every word you wrote. Adopting an older child was, for us, such a leap of faith. There were so many unknowns. But--God has been sooooo amazing!
I too weep over those left behind. Who will go for them??? Breaks my heart, friend.

Kim said...

your repost was beautifully timed
thank you dear one,

Cari said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. As my husband and I prayerfully seek God's will for an older child adoption, this brings me encouragement and comfort in many ways. I love the reminder of His promise found in the 2 Corinthians 12:9.

trustandobey said...

So great! Adopted BABIES will be told of thier lives before they were brought home. But they cannot fully appreciate how God has rescued them because they don't remember the past. But older children are fullly aware. They KNOW they are missing a family. They KNOW they are alone in the world. They SIT and PONDER what will happen to them. And maybe they WATCH their friends leave with families.It is heart wrenching! You cannot help but think that the blessing of adoption and the reality of God's love reaching out to these children is elevated. Just like a sinner who comes to Christ later in life is fully aware of what they have been rescued from, so to does the older orphan KNOW how thier life has so greatly changed!
May God bless each and every child who waits and open the hearts of His children to accept them!!! Think about this...the only thing that stands in God's way of bringing children into families is the closed hearts of HIS people.

Molly said...

Ah I have tears flowing on this one. Thank you thank you for sharing. Oh that every Christian was burdened for the fatherless as you are.

Jen said...


Oh, you said it SO well! Our 6 older children are soon coming home and we can't wait to see the story of redemption God writes for their future! I am going to link to this post and I think it would be a GREAT post for Adoption Connect!