It's a fact. If we are alive, if we are living- we age- and the time passes, very quickly! Nothing stays the same.
It's been 2 1/2 years since the first two boys came.
Our lives here have changed in every crevice and corner; all because we stepped out in faith to bring 5 orphans home.
Before they came home my house was set up for me. Set up for my future. For our then older kids finishing school, leaving home to their futures. I had everything for what I had hoped to do, when I had extra time, the time of my life right now- if the boys weren't here. I had great cook books, fussy baking pans, crafts, quilting projects, painting. I had slowly stored and stacked things for this time. I relished the thought.
But back then what did I know about orphans? Or the little boys? Lots and lots of little boys left un-wanted. With overwhelmed care givers in poor Countries. So much ignorance on my part.
Tom too was blissfully, selfishly living for his future as well. He was really looking forward to the days of less responsibility. He made a plan, like me he thought he was in control.
And then Isaiah planted the seed. (Isaiah our gift from God when we were 47 and 50.) That was 5 years ago. Isaiah said "Mommy I want you to have another baby."
But I was 52. I couldn't. We both nearly died when I had him.
Right then it hit me. Was it time to adopt?
It was our wake up call.
I called all the agencies we knew or worked with. I was met with curiosity and then rejection.
The same agency that was thrilled to give us this beautiful young man-
told us no.
(My Gabriel, now 19 years old. Oh if only he could slow down! But he's off in the whirl wind of growing, aging with us all now.)
I spent countless hours on the computer, looking searching to adopt.
Surely a child needed us? Few referrals came. Those that did fell through. We were old, we were not the norm.
Our adult kids decided to rebel against us adopting. We were on our own.
Then one day there it was- I found them, we saw beautiful boys like Noah!
He was not the norm either. He was rejected as well. We were a perfect match. I was no longer ignorant. My eyes had seen. Now I knew. It was time to step up and do my part, Lord willing. Tom was now in "mission" mode! There was no looking back.
We dodged the bombs, we bit the bullet. I even almost ruined it for us all in a hasteful post. But God had already WON. Because THAT is who God IS!
Our new life began reluctantly- meaning we wanted/tried to keep the old with the new!! Silly-silly me.
You can't bring two 4 year olds home from nothing and expect them to slip into your life; going along with the flow of your normal. It's too much, too hard, too soon. It's actually not possible. They stood up to us- they let us know- this won't work.
Each boy brings a little suit case full of insecurities, doubts, fears, attention getting behaviors. Each boy gives up everything they've EVER known.
Then add a developmental disability. A disability that had never been nurtured in ways to help them catch up. It was left alone as it dragged them further and further behind.
We had to change. But we still gave staying the same, the old College try! We are stubbornly human after all. And by the way God, didn't I already change my life enough over the years? I mean I was already living a selfless lifestyle before wasn't I?
(nope) live and learn :o) stretch and grow (OUCH!!)
And then 3 more precious boys came home, after 7 1/2 and 9 1/2 years of malnutrition on top of the rest. One could only barely sit, none could walk. One was post-op brain surgery..............yes, again on top of everything else.
Now WE were in the minority and they are the majority.
It's no longer "my" life or anything about "me" or any future "I" thought "I" had.
And that's a GOOD thing! A VERY GOOD thing!
Because the world constantly beckons and woo's us to come along side. And if I don't listen, it NAGS and SCREAMS at me. Sometimes those I love are the painful hurtful accusers. Accusers who say-
"What are you doing? Why are you doing this? What will you or the children here with you "get" from this? You are neglecting your other/real responsibilities! This is wrong"
When God calls you, it's not the way the world calls you in any shape or form. If you answer His call you will receive new eyes, and you will truly (for the first time ever for me) SEE what He is always showing us, but so often we tend to look away.
I watch now as my adult children...........look away.
I've seen, I've heard, I've touched, there's no going back.
Change doesn't excite me- but change I must.
So inside this warm loving home that the Lord graced us with, there was an earth quake. A shift in values. A shift in what is real.
Things shattered, we lost family, we lost friends. Our normal was no more.
The normal God sent was JOYFULLY embraced.
It was a gift!
Eyes opened wide by God.
How could I have been so blindly foolish.
All the "things" the cook books; went to live with friends who love to bake! Now they send me little goodies! Like home made strawberry jam and garlic grown in their gardens! Blessings!! (Thank you Brenda!)
All of the crafts went to those we thought could either use them or pass them on to those who will. Clothes and linens saved for some day went to those who needed them now!
Priorities changed. New priority number 1 = is planning how those with the greatest needs will live the rest of their lives here. How they can grow independently living here. How can their therapists teach them here. What are their basic needs here to care for themselves.
Crafts were replaced by stacks of diapers, pre-school homeschool workbooks replaced by Ipads and electronic speaking devices. Five large dressers filled with clean clothes for boys. Boys who are growing super rapidly and need to change their shirts 2x minimum a day! ;o) I donated every saved hand me down that does not "fit" these boys future needs. Elastic waist pants are a must! ;o) Jeans not so.
The tossing/donating is easy. The re-configuring is slow and go. We have to wait, watch and learn what the boys truly "need". Not what we think they may need. We learned the hard way with clothes. They prefer long sleeve shirts in all weather. Not all elastic waist pants go around a diaper!! They blew threw size 4 faster than fast. some of the new clothes were not needed. Mosie will wear/need only a few of the 4s. The bathroom is set up for continual potty training- 2 potty chairs- one over toilet commode with scattered step stools and a huge supply of Clorox wipes!! Not so pretty- but I warned you- we've gone "functional/adaptive" here now! LOL!!
Four of our current at home blessings (kids) will grow up and fly away.
But 7 will not.
Four of our blessings will take what they need from here.
The other 7 need things tailored and streamlined here to their future.
Things like baking bars, instead of baking lots of cookies. Because square pans go into the oven much easier than multiple sheets of cookies! Little boys can mix- pour and bake. Cookies are fussy, time consuming.
No more "serving dishes", food goes from pan to plate. Minimum steps to save time until they can help out more along side us.
Dishes must be microwave-able, durable. Each boy's dish is color coordinated- Mosie knows he's blue, Pauly is orange- each boy has their own color.
We donated box after box to the Salvation Army. And we've only completed one floor. We have the main floor and basement to finish. We carried away things that we pray will bless others. After all these were "things" and they NEVER were mine. They always were His. Everything is His! (Even my precious blessings- only by His Grace are they here with me.) And any foolish purchase I made, He will make good, He will use it to bless another. Our hearts are happy to give. It is a gift to give in any capacity.
(I have a few reminders from my Grandma- things she never touched or wore- she saved them for a day that never came. I now use them. :o)
One day I was looking at a book that I had never found time to read, I remembered a friend sharing that she had always wanted that book. So I realized- I hadn't bought that book for me! I bought it for her, and she is thrilled to have it now! Thank You God!
We learned through our pain of almost losing MA last June, that these are the days of the most delightful gifts of JOY! Days to hug and hold and LOVE! Spreading our JOY!
Maybe you might think if the boys hadn't come here, our world would not have turned so completely upside down. But God knew something had to change. I think God would have used other means to reach us. Because the inevitable happens. We have no control. He is in control. :o)
I briefly wondered myself, what would I be doing here right now at 57, with Isaiah 10, Kitty 10 1/2, Lysa 11 1/2, Faith 13 and Samson 18. What would my life be like if the boys weren't here?
My health has been the biggest determining factor for many things. No one plans on failing health, but for many of us as we age, it is fact of life. I know God speaks volumes to me through my health. I need Him MORE than ever as each thing causes hardship. And that happens with or without little boys. My neurological struggles continue regardless- so standing/walking back and forth baking cookies is out for me too. My vision is near legal blindness, so the crafts I truly loved are no longer in my future. My energy was being drained by the upkeep of hanging on to things I hoped to do, or used to do. I once saved my energy for those things. Things that were fun, but not fulfilling. I don't think I'd be able to do those things if the boys were not here now.
I understand why now. I would not be doing what I absolutely LOVE! What I should be doing. Teaching 8 little boys/girl adaptive living skills!
My cup is OVERFLOWING!!
We never planned for this little one to be deprived as much if not more- here in America, than our boys from far away.
She came with nothing- not even correct medical information.
Yes, even here children suffer rejection and neglect.
When I first heard about the under-ground movement to "re-home" children like her. I shudder. My baby?? My daughter shipped who knows where with who knows who. Frightening!!!!- and it happens even here. http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1
This young man is now in charge of vacuuming the main floor. It was once MA's job, but her health prevents her from doing any house hold helping now. This young man is a wonderful role model to 5 little brothers. He does so with such loving kindness. He will learn bathroom cleaning next! ;o)
Our Service dog Sassy, teaches responsibility, companionship, and abstract thinking to boys who like everything concrete! LOL! Jacob hates change, hates doing anything he doesn't like or want to do!! Sassy teaches him patience! This picture is from September, she's 8 months now and 55 pounds now. You know what they say about little boys and puppy dog tails- It's 100% true! LOL!
In fact this girl is such a huge part of nurturing the boys we have a new girl coming on the 23rd. Her name is Cuppa and she is chocolate. Same breeder, same kennel. Sassy is mainly my mobility girl. Cuppa will be all the boy's pup. Unless the girls (Sassy and Cuppa) choose differently. Maybe Cuppa will prefer helping me and then Sassy would be the boy's. We shall see. Only God knows!
This new life makes so much sense now.
I "see" more clearly than I've ever seen.
It's not any easy life. But it's a fulfilling life. This life makes no sense to the world. But it makes perfect sense to God and now us!
PRAISE God that we stepped out in faith into our new life, a gift from God. When God comes and calls me home I can't wait to tell Him all about it!! *wink*