a lesson on love

In all of my thinking lately and some of the ups and downs, it was Saturday night that it really struck me on how unconditionally loving my children have been toward Miss since she’s come home. You just don’t know what to expect. I mean you have the shiny new penny effect where everyone is just fawning over your newest addition. Over time that dies down and personalities emerge and everyone has ceased behaving as though there was a camera on them filming for TLC. It’s during that real, raw time that we see true love shine through.

We’ve had a really good several week stretch, we’ve had moments and they’ve been resolved and bounced back from with ease, coping skills are being developed. Battles that we are choosing seem to be the right ones to choose. A few hard balls have had to be played, but it’s also been a chance for grace and forgiveness. Saturday began as a wonderful day, Miss’ outgoing personality was shining, she was happy, genuinely happy, which of course makes all of us happy to see. The day deteriorated and it was clear something was a miss. We surmised it was a “missing Ethiopia” moment and we gave her space. The trouble is that she’s never been taught to address her feelings or feel her feelings or convey her feelings. So it’s possible what may start as a simple homesick melancholy can advance into full blown grief about things that have happened over the course of her short life. This was one of those days.

I wish I could say that Ryan and I handle all these moments with grace and patience. Well all I can say is that you win some and you lose some – this was definitely one of my less than stellar mom moments…initially. After some time, the root of pain was revealed. Apologies and forgiveness were applied and we were able to rally for some family time for the remainder of the night.

Our other three know that when something is going down it is just best to stay away. After we rejoined the family all three, independently and with no prompting from Ryan and I came to their sister, hugged her, kissed her and told her that they loved her very much. It hit me at this moment that at no point have my kids ever not loved her. There have been fights, teasing, wrestling and some anger, but like siblings it is resolved and we move on. From the time we picked up Miss from the Transition Home in Ethiopia to now, each of our children have embraced and loved her as though she has always been here. What a lesson of unconditional love that is to behold! I am blown away by their love and grace and I believe those emotions are starting to take deep hold of Miss as well. She’s still a bit guarded, ┬ábut I can she shows her love to them by sharing, thinking of them, feeling sad when they get in trouble and being affectionate. Saturday evening when it was time for bed all she wanted was to sleep in the boys room with Penny and Drew (Jon had a sleep over). She wanted to circle the wagons up around her for protection. It was an awesome sight to see.

All the books, devotionals, prayers, pale in comparison to the lessons one can learn from innocence and life that isn’t tainted by the ugly in this broken world. I am grateful to have the clarity to stop and look at it and take it in. I can learn a lot from these chickens of mine!


1 comment

Annemarie - January 21, 2014 - 8:19 am

You have amazing kids. And give yourself some credit too. They learn how to love from you and Ryan. You’re a pretty amazing mommy.

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