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Monday, January 30, 2012

Filling in the gaps...

Before I start, I have to tell y'all something:

I'm a guest blogger today!

How cool is that??  Okay, if you've been reading for awhile, you know I'm a total nerd and it really doesn't take much to make me happy.  So today what is making me over-the-moon excited is that I'm a guest blogger over at JourneyChic! My little post is not at all adoption related, just a tutorial for making a custom t-shirt for your kiddo, but it sure does make my day that I get to guest-blog on a cool blog like that! :)  Special thanks to Laura, who I've known for about forever, for inviting me to participate! Her blog is way cool... much more sophisticated than mine! :) Go check it out:
http://journeychic.com/2012/01/30/custom-t-shirt-tutorial/


So anyway....

I was at the playground after school today (apparently NC is going to skip winter this year) and one of the other moms asked me an interesting question. She said, "Do you feel like God has filled in the gaps for you since he's not your biological child?"  I hadn't really thought about that.

And she's right. He has done just that - filled in the gaps. I've mentioned this before, but I was a little nervous when I went to Ethiopia to bring Amani home. I'd met him before, but only for three very short one-hour visits when we traveled there for court.  Picking him up at the orphanage two months later and bringing him home with me forever wasn't exactly a nice & easy, slow transition into our family.  And I was not only nervous about how he would feel; I was nervous about how I would feel.

I wondered if it would feel like babysitting.  I have an awesome network of mamas here and we often keep each other's kids so it's not unusual for me to have an extra kiddo around here every once in awhile. And I love my friends' children. I really do.  But it's not in the same way I love my kids.  So I wondered how I would love Amani at first.

To be honest, the entire time during the adoption process, I used to look at my friends' kids, especially the ones who are Amani's age, and imagine what it would be like to adopt them that minute, to bring them home and have them be mine for the rest of forever.  It was like practicing for the day I'd get to bring my son home. But it never worked. I could never quite figure out what it would feel like.

And let me also be honest - I wasn't that mom who loved her biological children the instant they were born.  I mean, I did love them... but I needed a few months to really fall in love with them as I got to know them.  I have heard moms say they instantly bonded with their newborns. I think that's wonderful. It just didn't happen that way with me, and I think that's okay.

So the answer to my friend's question today: did God fill in the gaps? He sure did. But He filled them in in the exact same way He did for my first two kiddos. I have loved all three of my children the first moment I laid eyes on them: ultrasound picture, referral picture, whatever. I knew in my heart that I loved them and I knew they were mine that same moment.   But, for me, I really fell in love with them over the first few months of living with them. And God filled in the gaps in the meantime.

So I am currently in the process of falling in love with Amani. And boy am I falling in love. That boy has eyes brighter than the stars.  His smile melts my heart.  And I still can't for the life of me figure out how I get to be the lucky one to be his mama.

And I praise God for filling in the gaps...


tiny side note: A big ole giant THANK YOU to all of you sweet souls who have been praying for me and encouraging me since my last post.  We've had some good days this past week - we took Amani out of town and he did amazingly well and right now, really the only major flip-outs he has had have been over washing his hands (weird, I know). Remind me to describe this for you... it's actually probably quite funny if it weren't for all his screaming.  And my dad was, unfortunately, moved to the ICU over the night last night but they have since stabilized him and I was able to speak with him today. AND I got to go with the youth group at church on their ski trip (yes, I packed up three small children to join a bunch of teenagers for the weekend... my idea of a great time!!).  I love those kids, they are awesome.

God is good. In the midst of all my crazy drama, He has shown himself bigger than all my mess. Thanks to those of you who have allowed Him to use you in my life. I love y'all :)

3 comments:

  1. I love this post! I freak out when I think of raising kids one day. Seeing the way you handle it makes it so much easier. You allow God to take over in ever aspect of it & it turns out wonderful in the end (even if you feel like you lost control).

    Hand washing? Poor baby. Do you need me to mail you our patient education on the importance of hand washing so you can go over it with him? :)

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  2. Thanks for your post today!! Amani has such a megawatt smile. All the girls will be falling over themselves for him in another 13 years. :-)

    My thoughts are with your dad!

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  3. God IS good - and you are a wonderful reflection to remind us all...
    I love the visual from Kaelyn of sending you 'patient ed about washing hands' for Amani - that made me LOL.
    I love your blogg and I love you!
    -auntie-

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