What Have I Gotten Myself Into: the Final and Ongoing Realizations

3 doodles and 2 honorary doodles at breakfast

On Friday morning we drove away from our church parking lot after saying good bye to our “honorary doodles” and the mackerdoodle asked me when we would see them again.

“We probably won’t meet them again in this life,” I answered, with tears in my throat and the mackerdoodle, corresponding tears reaching her words and eyes simultaneously said, “But I already miss them!”

For three days we were the guardians of two boys. They were almost three times as old as our oldest child. Neither of them spoke English fluently, nor did they speak each other’s native tongue because one was from the Philippines and one was from Nepal. Our house was not the biggest home in which they will stay on their year long tour, and I doubt we will be memorable to them, but I will remember these three days for a long time.

There was the apprehension that eleven year old people can bathe themselves, brush their own teeth and buckle their own seat belts. My life will not look as it does now forever. There was the preview of our potential next year, having to get them to their designated locations by eight a.m. each morning. I also came to the realization that if we are to be serious about going wherever the Lord leads us, I should probably start learning to like rice.

The biggest impact of hosting two boys from developing nations, however, was the sudden recognition that international adoption wouldn’t be as daunting a task as I had once thought and some new ideas of the challenges that such an undertaking would bring. In a lot of ways, once Jonathan and I recovered from the shock of having pre teens instead of children in our home, having them here felt very natural. We struggled to communicate, and failed some times, but succeeded more. We were genuinely proud to see them in their concert Wednesday night, and had so much fun taking them to the zoo on Thursday. All day Friday the house felt a little emptier.

It was natural, but I could see, over the three days, what challenges we would have faced had we been trying to bring these boys into our family permanently, instead of on an honorary basis. These are children raised without the benefit of a family connection. When finished with meals, they politely cleared their plates and asked to be excused, but it was to play outside, or go to their room. They were highly independent boys, for their age, concerned with clean laundry and daily showers, because they have been forced to care for those parts of their lives. Bringing a child with that experience into a functioning family unit would be a unique, but not impossible, challenge.

So while I am still sure I do not want to be pregnant another time, I’m not so sure that the Lord has finished giving us children. Maybe there is another child out there, somewhere, in a developing nation that the Lord has planned for us.

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

2 responses to “What Have I Gotten Myself Into: the Final and Ongoing Realizations

  • Carole

    what sweet faces they have..quite a neat experience for you all

  • Amy Porter Cummings

    What fun you had with your honorary doodles! I bet they carry more with them from their time with you than you think. Your post about bridging the gaps in culture and language reminded me of an aspect of our adoption journey with Xander.

    The Lord brought an adoptive mom of 5 foster kids into my life when we were awaiting Xander’s homecoming. With each day that passed I was getting more and more freaked out about attachment disorders, bonding, and just not being with my son during the first months of his life as the court proceedings drug on and on. When I asked this wise woman how she fostered attachment with her children she looked at me and said “I loved them. I loved them when it was easy and I loved them even more fiercely when it was hard.” Then it dawned on me- I couldn’t BE any more estranged from someone as I was from God before I was redeemed, but when He adopted me through Christ His love attached us to one another in a lasting, eternal bond. If the Lord can fix an “attachment disorder” of that magnitude, he can help our family bond and love unconditionally.

    We are currently praying about and pondering international adoption. Our domestic adoption experience was great, but I long for a daughter, and American birthmoms tend to shy away from couples who only want a girl or only want a boy. My thoughts keep turning to China. Or maybe the Lord will surprise us and fix my uterus again, since it’s apparently back on the blink… who knows? I can tell you that I feel like someone is missing from our family and I can’t wait to see if God thinks so too.

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