My boys are cackling in laughter right now...
I really didn't know if that would ever happen.
There has been so much competition for a "place" in the last 6 months, that it has been difficult to know if the kids would ever get to the point where they could let down their guards and enjoy one another. We have a long way to go, but I am beyond thankful to be seeing God's faithfulness to begin to bind us together as a family. So, while I am really enjoying this moment, I know that tomorrow we will deal with new regular things like jealousy, resentment, and competition over just about anything you could possibly imagine.
Jason and I do not have to be on high alert at every moment of the day anymore... we have begun to earn the trust of our new children, and our consistency is finally believed. If we say there will be consequences for certain things, there will be. If we say that we will bless obedience, we do. We have established ourselves as the authority figures... and I know that all the adoption books say that the kids feel more safe as they start to trust that they do not have to take care of everything themselves anymore.
Yada, yada, yada.
It's all true, and it's all good stuff to work toward... but you know what? It's crazy hard. It's hard to watch your bio kids struggle as they feel small in importance when everybody centers the attention on the new arrivals, and they get left out of entire conversations while they are standing right there. It's hard to experience my newest children compete for attention, compete to be heard, compete to be loved... all because they are desperate for it, never really having felt those things solidly beneath them. It's hard to feel like an utter failure as a mother at times because I function to keep order right now... to run out of compassion... to run out of patience. I miss the days when I could just love on my kids because their hearts were already mine in full. It's hard to see my selfishness and yuck exposed.
The really neat thing is, that if I choose to see all the hard stuff from a different perspective (namely, NOT from my selfish one), I realize that this is an incredible opportunity to be refined. I am certainly more aware of my need to depend on the Lord. I need him to give me wisdom and insight every day. I need him to fill me with his Spirit so that I don't act om my own, but as He desires. I need him to show me how to forgive, when I don't think I can. I need him to pour patience, kindness, gentleness, and love all over me, every day, so that I can pour it back out again.
I fail so often. So very often. But He is faithful to show me where I fall short, and where he is strong... and he uses me despite myself. I love that about my God... he's so good. My weakness just shows off his strength.
I don't know how long it will be until my family feels totally settled and normal to me. We're certainly not there yet. But, I do have confidence that we'll get there one day. And it won't be because Jason and I are good parents (although, of course, we desire to be that)... it will be because God, who has called my family together from the ends of this earth, is faithful to complete was he has begun. He will refine each of us, he will use this for his unimaginable good... because that's what he does. He heals, he binds up, he forgives, he renews and refreshes. He overcomes.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!" John 16:33