Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting for life to get back to...

... what it was before we left for China. Wait a minute... was that thought in my head?

before we left for China
1/3 2013
Unfortunately, yes it was. And it's been in my head every morning about 1:30 am when my body alarm clock wakes up my brain alarm clock and I stare at the ceiling and wonder when it will all be "normal" again.
Gotcha Day 1/7/2013

It won't be. There is a new normal and God has orchestrated that for me. He obviously has more confidence in me than I have in myself and since He is the one who created me I need to trust that He knows me better than I know myself. So, OK, I'll follow His lead and try to figure all of this out.

On Erik and Nicki's balcony in Haikou City, Hainan Province
Just down the street from Elli's orphanage
Since I'm supposed to be the parent here, most of any given day, I have to figure out how I'm going to accomplish all of this without staring at myself in the mirror and being incredibly disappointed. That was always my dad's job - to look at me with disappointment and when that didn't seem to work, flat out tell me he was. Not sure how he feels about me today but I had vowed I'd never do that to my kids and I certainly don't need to do that to myself, still, after all these years.

You never really know how baths are
going to go. In Elli's case each
bath must last at least an hour.
Josh would let her
play all the time.

So, I have some figuring out to do. The best way to do that, I think, is to allow myself some time, alone, with Him. More than the usual chaotic conversations. I hear His voice pretty well. Tragedy does that to a person; it can if you let it. I let it, I let it big time and it's results were joy in the "mourning" just like He promised.

There's a bit of mourning here, back home. I have had to bury the life that I'd been used to. The life that had allowed me some bit of the selfishness that I struggle with every day. There is no longer, really, one minute of my waking day that I can claim as mine. There is a little person that lives in my house now that doesn't understand one thing that I say to her - mostly. I can give our dog more freedom than I can give to her. I am in preschool bondage - again.

Saying goodbye from the only home she's ever known.
It's not easy, it's not supposed to be.
She is a little too good on the
electronics if you ask me
I have to be careful, though. When I get like this I tend to think in terms of years. At my age years go by quickly and I have this habit of saying "this time next year...". Then it is "next year" and there's barely anything to show for the year, in memories I mean. I allow one whole stinkin' year to pass by me without taking the time to breath it in, to smell the roses, to even take pictures to commemorate the year's accomplishments. That realization usually leads to the requisite head  beating against the wall. Then the slump onto the floor with great disappointment... in myself.
At the Safari Zoo

No one has a better big sister.
I can't do that this year. This year is huge. This year I'm gonna watch a little 5 year old girl become someone she never, in her wildest dreams thought she'd become. A typical American girl with a forever family with opportunities for her future that are as wide as they are long. I am going to see her meet Jesus, and learn about who He is and who His father is in a way that she would not have been able to understand otherwise. I am going to watch more firsts for a little girl in one year than most moms get in 5 years. I cannot afford to miss this. Those firsts may very well be the blessings God has for me for the obedience that I give to Him.

River cruise cuddling
I will have to force myself to look, slow down, take it all in. I may even need a sticky note or two placed in strategic places to remind myself to look up and to look around. I may have to remind myself what I so often remind my kids, to take it like a man, just so I don't miss something big coming out of something little.

The guy who speaks her language
This year is gonna be big. This year is gonna establish our "new normal". I really hate that phrase but it's the one that describes what will happen this year the best. Our adventure in China was only a drop in the adventure bucket. I cannot miss what is coming next.

 This time next year none of us will be the same.

what will next year bring?


  1. Excited for you as you realize your new normal!

    Even though this was our 4th adoption I confess to having those same thoughts. A toddler in the house has sure ruffled things up a bit around here. Normal redefined!

  2. Well said, Karen!!! So excited for you guys. Love you all!!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing and letting us see this ride with you- just truly amazing my friend! LOVE all the pictures =)