Wednesday, May 30, 2012

For the love of a Father

Three nights ago, Hewan lay in bed shaking with tears and an aching sadness.  I begged her to share her pain.  Finally, she confided, “My heart is for daddy.  I love him, but I don’t know him.  I love him, but I don’t have him.  I need him in my arms, mommy.”  I did my best to hold back the tears of happiness as a smile crept onto my face.  I love hearing the work God is doing in my children’s hearts as He creates a desire and a love for their daddy.

I held my sweet girl while she cried and cried for a love she so desires and knows with a familiarity that only God can plant in a heart.  She gripped me with all the strength of her arms.  She held to the love she knows as she ached for the love of which she dreams.  I am more aware today than ever of the desires that God places in the heart of each child to love and be loved by an earthly father.  I whispered in her ears of a love greater than the love of her earthly dad...the love of God and Jesus, the redeemer.  I pray that soon there is an ache birthed  for the love of God (and a desire greater than her love for Josh).  In the meantime, I’ll be rejoicing in the work HE is doing in all of my children. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's My Life...

Check this out...bath time takes us 45 minutes.  Toothbrushing requires a good 15 if everyone cooperates.  Hair brushing and lotion takes another 20 minutes.  In those moments, at times I am tired; but when I see this, it's all gone.  I love my life.

It's My Life...and I LOVE it!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Displaced in Placement

Ann and I have been keeping a journal during our adoption and placement of our trio.  We scribble our thoughts and exchange prayers via papers.  Sometimes that feels much safer.  I’m giving you a peek into some of the most private parts of our relationship only to share a glimpse of God’s work in a variety of areas of our life during the adoption process.  The following is a continual exchange between mother and daughter:

Dear Mom,
Thank you for your love and support.  I’m very confused right now.  I love my sister.  I also feel frustrated that I’ve lost my place as your “little mommy.”  Please, tell me when times are hard, how do I find joy in the little things?  How do I love being a sister when it’s hard?  I know that’s God’s desire.


Dear A,
You are and always will be my “little mommy” no matter how many children God places in our heart and home; you have your very own spot.  But to your question, I need to share with you some truths you will discover on your own as you grow. 

All of life is hard.  It is not easy.   But hard does not imply misery.  The trick is finding joy in the hard.  You asked how.  Well, I look for the smallest of joy despite the trial:  a smile and hug after we disagree, comfort from you when I’m sad, small words you whisper or write that touch my heart when I’m down, small dirty hands on my face, riots of laughter when we should be sleeping, and spontaneous affection… 

You see, it is very easy to find happiness in a gift or wealth or ease, but those are only temporal, not joy.  Being a sister is similar.  It’s not easy.  It’s beautiful (ask my sisters).  It’s rewarding.  In the moments of frustrations we rejoice for the gift of companionship.  In the moments of overbearing personality, we hold tight to the laughter that same personality brings.  In hurt, you remember what has come before and what is to follow.  In everything, we have the great privilege of perspective.  In the hard, we have the promise of hope.  In trials, we have the proof of redemption, salvation, and His faithfulness from our past. 

I think, today, you can count the great joy of knowing Christ centered love and perseverance in the hard of life.  Yesterday, you knew the thrill of something new.  Persevere, little mommy, seek truth and embrace each step of refining, as though is it a badge of love.

Yours Forever,

Dear Mom,
You are right.  I’ve found so much joy in these moments as a sister.  It is not easy, but I do love it.  Sometimes at night I think about all God has done for me.  I will keep loving all the parts of sisterhood.  The good and the hard. 


Friends, not everyday has been easy, but each day has been blessed with joy and hope and truth and redemption.  I could not imagine missing out on this journey.  What a joy it is!  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There Is Such Hope

The children and I hunkered onto the bed as usual for our bedtime routine, but tonight held a special, unexpected treasure of hope. We have been reading through “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Loyd-Jones along with scripture. The trio always listens intently while thoroughly immersed in the stories. Tonight, we read “Get Ready!” from their story book bible. It is a synopsis of the Israelites return to the Lord during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the Israelites’ repentant hearts, and the Lord’s unfailing love and unending promises for them as a nation. In the midst of the story the author inserts a “word” from God to his children, who've been apart from Him for so long:

“I can’t stop loving you.

You are my heart’s treasure.

But I lost you.

Now I am coming back for you.

I am like the sun that gently shines on you, chasing away the darkness and fear and death.

You’ll be so happy-

You’ll be like little calves running free in an open field.

I am going to send my Messenger- The Promised One. They ONE you have been waiting for. The Rescuer.

My middle of the trio caught her breath, and with sheepishly wide eyes, she begged, “Mommy, you and Daddy? You are the Rescuer? You chase dark and fear and dead? You make happy for me and Nigusom and Tsehaye? You and Daddy the ones we waiting for, yes?”

Oh, little one, no. We are only a glimpse, just a glimpse, of the glorious redemption to your story. What sweet words from her heart. How it touched me. My heart ached knowing fear and death have followed her and her brothers; but my joy was far more profound.  I'd yet another opportunity to tell of the truth of real redemption offered to all by the God child, Jesus. She looked with wonder as we discussed Jesus, our Redeemer, God’s sacrifice for all, the promise of true rescue. There is such hope.

Monday, May 14, 2012

VISAs, Baby!

VISAS… Here in Ethiopia, habesha people consider VISAs a greater win than the lottery. Our kids have caught on and couldn’t wait for the moment they, too, could claim theirs.

On my birthday, we trekked to the US Embassy for our VISA interview appointment. When the children caught glimpse of the American flag, they all screamed, “Ameri-ka!” I found it hard to break through their delight, squeals, and laughter to deliver the news this was just a piece of America abroad.

The trio proudly marched into the Embassy, up to the interview window, and delivered their personal request for VISAs at that moment. My smallest habesha with bowed chest and gleaming eyes demanded the clerk recognize his last name as Knight for his pride’s sake. (Insert TEARS as I saw his joy in belonging.) Our appointment ended in only moments and the children and I celebrated their ability to join our family in “Ameri-ka.” HAPPY VISAs day to you, trio of mine.

"V-I-S-A" spells VISA!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's Jungle Over Here

You've heard it's a jungle out there.  The truth is it's a jungle in here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

They Were the Best of Times, They Were the Worst of Times

They were the best of times. They were the worst of times. That old phrase used to baffle me. No longer. These are the best of times in so many ways… seeing six of our children together, laughing, loving, and playing; but, DARN, it’s also hard. I miss my other half more than words can express, and, wow, being loved is a lot of work, people. Like, imagine the needs of a newborn baby times 3. They need sensory, emotional, and physical support AND THEY NEED TO KNOW THEY ARE LOVED; but that newborn is actually a 10, or 8, or 12, or 6, or whatever year old child, who by the look of things should NOT need this much. But they do. And it’s okay. Necessity rears it head and the committed wipe away the expectations and longings and remember regardless the age or size, this child/children’s needs are needs. They aren’t figments. They are needs. At times, I swear these 6 new eyes are staring into mine begging “love me” but also asking “what does this love mean? I’m not sure I understand. I just know I want it.” It breaks me!  Year of a deficit.  YEARS.

Our sweet Nigusom is so tender and soft but unsure of himself. You can just see him searching for the place where he again feels safe. I am sure he remembers that place from long ago. He doesn’t say much. He only holds me close. He looks deep and watches even when I’m not supposed to know. Hewan, is the walking model of darling. She loves her sister and mommy more than I can describe to you. Every moment awake is filled with touching and talking and laughing and holding and wondering and sharing. When I hold Hewan, I KNOW the reality of God supernaturally filling a child with His love when none exists in the world around them. She exudes the love she desires. Words. Touch. Action. Then, there's Tsehaye, our pistol. Too funny. Too strong. Just a PISTOL. I see him softening, and I look for any moment to bond. He’s only known a world without family. I’m not sure he knows, like his siblings, he’s supposed to want me. However…there is NO doubt he wants his Tiger brother. I basked in their giggles and gibberish all afternoon.

The sweetest moment of my day: There was a differing of opinion regarding which movie to watch whilst mommy cooked dinner. Tiger left in tears. Hewan ran after him to comfort him. Nigusom remained unsure of his place in the mix. Tsehaye and Mez stayed on the couch waiting (touche). I went to Tiger. Hewe-ye (Hewan’s nickname) demanded to give Tiger his way because “Mammy, he broke heart.” I sent her along assured I would love Tiger’s tears away. After Hewe-ye left, Tiger whispered, “Mom, I’m just so disappointed in my selfishness. I thought this left when Jesus came in. I don’t like the selfish part of me.” My heart melted. What a treasure and how sweet. Tiger's words were really a lesson.  Yes, the selfishness.  When it comes down to it, most of these struggles, my struggles, are just that..SELFISHNESS. I want.  I need.  I deserve.  Thank you, Lord, for the reminder from the mouth of a child.  So the worst of these times are still the best!  Tomorrow come on!  We are ready.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Placement and Fatigue.

Words and fatigue just cannot do our placement justice. I can only say all of my fear and concern fell to the wayside the moment our children jumped into my arms. Immediately, we picked up as though we had been together only hours before. The kids have all meshed beautifully. There are hard moments, like when Tiger desperately desires to engage with Tsehaye, whose English skills match my Japanese. Tiger in true tiger style compensates with what he calls “new Amharic.” Consider 6 year old jibber jabber/banter with Asian-African melded sounds at warp speed which he is sure Tsehaye translates on cue. Well, if that’s hard, I’ll take it! Hard, hum, well… Hewan’s sing-song “mommy” surfaces at least once every 2 minutes when we are in separate rooms and every 25 seconds when together, but really I’m LOVING that! There’s been the jumping on furniture and beds, “what the heck do you want me to do with a flosser”, and shrill squeals of excitement when one little girl realizes SHE gets to walk into the supermarket and hold the hand of her mommy, but again… BLESSED!!! No. It’s not the end of the story. I’m sure there is much hard in store; but I will take today. Blissfully wonderful and ordained!

Sleep has been sparse. I’m fighting jet lag, a toddler on Texas time, and taking a boy or two to tee-tee in the middle of the night. Camp Knight sans rest managed today. So with eyes crossing, I bid you adieu. HOPING to post pics tomorrow night.