Bracelets for Our Brothers
Help Us Bring Our Brothers Home
Are you sure you can handle this?
Posted on December 5th, 2016

I'm tired today.  Physically and emotionally exhausted from everything our family is experiencing right now.  Late nights, no down time lately, knee deep in adoption paperwork that was very difficult before having kids, now compounded by divided attention.  My fingers hurt from all these rubber bands.  My brain is fried from shipping labels, spreadsheets, Winter concerts, lunches to pack, papers to sign, lessons to plan, house to clean and decorate, adoption paperwork to complete (this is the worst phase of the paperwork), and the many other demands we have on our family right now.  My husband's work schedule this time of year doesn't help, nor does the fact that his football team keeps winning, so this is the marching band season that just. won't. end.  But, I'm not saying any of this to complain.  I am saying this to affirm my belief that God is providing our family a lot of strength right now.  With every challenge, we are made stronger, and our faith increases.

If I had a dollar for every time someone has questioned our ability to parent two more children, I'd have enough to pay for the rest of this adoption, I think.  Sometimes the questioning is rude, and not appreciated.  More often, the words are not said, it's just a look you get from someone.  Or maybe the comment is a well-intentioned  "good luck raising four kids" or "how big is your house" or "you only have two bathrooms, how is everyone going to get dressed?" or "but you both work full time" or "aren't your two girls a big enough challenge?".  And, sometimes the question is direct-- "Are you sure you can handle this?".  Sometimes the question comes from my own children, or my husband (he says "we", not "you"), and sometimes it comes from myself.

I am notorious for biting off more than I can chew.  I am driven, I am ambitious, and I am typically confident in my ability to do things.  I like to be busy.  I enjoy hard work.  And, sometimes I get myself in trouble this way.  So, I have had to pause several times throughout this process and do some pretty heavy soul searching.  Especially before we committed to the boys, I had to have a lot of long talks with myself.  Our decision was not hasty-- it was not without prayerful consideration for what was best for our family.

After lots of self-questioning, I have come to this conclusion: NO, I am not sure I can do this.  In fact, I am quite certain that, without the grace and mercy of God, I won't even get through the paperwork process.  Through our broken weakness, it is possible that we can be renewed and made stronger.  Through challenges, it is possible for our faith to become what we rely on to allow us to preserver through those difficulties.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.​

While our challenges are many, and our mistakes are even more in number, God's grace, mercy, and strength has allowed for amazing transformations daily in our home.  Today, the most recent standardized testing Evvie took revealed that, in 8 months, she is now reading and comprehending in English at a 2nd grade level.  Stella, who had no ability to play creatively or imaginatively when we picked her up, created a replica of our neighborhood with legos and toys yesterday-- complete with streets, cars, houses, and trees.  Praise GOD for his answered prayers for our girls.  We have no doubt he will continue to transform their lives, our lives, and the lives of these boys through the power of adoption.  

And, here's the latest visual proof:

LEFT: MARCH 2016, Pick up Trip
​RIGHT: November 2016

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