Well, Grace and I have been back from our school field trip for some time now. It was a great week spent with Grace and an awesome bunch of kiddos from her school. I went from taking care of my 7 kiddos to rooming with 7 fifth graders for the week. We learned to use a compass in the woods, built forts to survive in the wilderness, started fires and melted snow for water, threw tomahawks, cross country skied, drilled holes in the lake, studied the stars, had outdoor campfires and much much more. To say we were tired at the end of the week was an understatement!
The little boys did great with their daddy for the week. They had lots of fun and Ryan did an awesome job of managing our home and trying to work from home some at the same time. Not an easy task.
It was very fun to have time with Grace alone. I loved it! I should create those times more often! And at the same time, I missed Ryan and my other kiddos like crazy! Here is one of the many thoughts that have run through my head since my return.
I've said it before, but I am simply amazed at how God creates families. I've always known that I would love any child that God blessed me with. There is something so sweet about the children that God gives us. I love all 7 of my children with all my heart. So much it seems to almost hurt sometimes!
Now, I'm going to speak honestly here. That can be a scary thing, especially when it's out there for everyone to critique. I did have a question in my heart before we brought home Buche and Burka. Does a "mother's love" differ from "adopted" children vs "biological" children? Don't get me wrong, it was not a nagging question that I wrestled with wondering if it was possible. I never once thought I would not love any of my children. I compare it to another time in my life that God blessed us with more children ... while I was pregnant with our second child, Amanda. At this time in life, Zachary was 2 years old and the center of my world. I loved him sooooo much. Still do. I was pregnant with Amanda and I had a question in my heart. It was this. "How can I possibly love another child as much as I love the one that I've cared for the last two years?"
I had a miscarriage right before I got pregnant with Amanda, so it took a few months into my pregnancy with her before I let myself really dream about this new baby without being fearful that I would never get to hold this new miracle. But as things happened like hearing her heartbeat, seeing her fingers and toes in an ultra sound, felt her move inside me, felt her get the "hick-ups" and I started bonding with her. As this pregnancy neared the end of nine months and she was born God had done an amazing work in my heart and as soon as I held my precious baby girl I now loved two little beings more than I knew I had love for. God did the same thing in my heart as he blessed us with Hannah, Grace and Greta. And, today I know that God did the same thing in my heart as he blessed us with Buche and Burka.
I didn't get the special times of pregnancy or get to experience the things that happened in the first years of Buche and Burka's life. If fact, my sons were grew inside their first mommies tummy on the other side of the world from me. They experienced the first years of their life on the other side of the world with family and friends that loved them as much as I do. It hurts my heart beyond words to know the circumstances that lead up to them becoming my sons. But, what I know today is that when God blesses you with children ...however he does that he also puts a love in your heart for your children that is amazing. A love that tugs at your heart and opens your eyes to the needs of your children. A love that puts a band aid on the skinned knee while seeing and feeling the pain behind the obvious injury. A love that checks out the "scary" thing under the bed of the toddler, listens to the young girls dreams, sees the joy in the eyes of the child who is learning independence and yet still crawls in bed and holds the broken-hearted teenager.
Brings me back to the big picture. I believe we are all Children of God. "How great is the love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that we are" 1 John 3:1. God has given me a love for each of my children beyond measure all because he loves me!