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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's Not About Luck {27 of 40 Stories}

When people learn Andy and I adopted most of our children when they were older, there's always a story. I hear stories that start like this...

My neighbor's daughter adopted a 12 year old.
My sister's husband's best friend adopted a 5 year old and 6 year old sibling group.
My aunt decided to adopt some foster kids after her kids went to college.
These people at my brother's church adopted an 8 year old.

I used to get excited. I love story. I love story inspired by my story. I love story inspired by my story that is one of love and family.

Perhaps that's why these stories always sting. Because after these opening lines told by a seatmate on an airplane, a woman in the waiting room at a doctor's office, a guest teacher at school, and sometimes a friend, they are followed with something like...

And it was a disaster.

I've learned to say nothing. The storyteller feels uncomfortable, as if they just realized in a single breath they undermined my family, and then mumble something like, It's a really nice thing you're doing for those kinds of kids. They are lucky.

It's the lucky line I wait for, because I know I can say something back that isn't going to get me the Wicked Witch award for eternity.

I usually begin with, "Let me tell you about luck..."

My kids teach me how to be a survivor and not a victim.
My kids teach me how to overcome difficult circumstances.
My kids teach me it is possible to choose happy.
My kids teach me to stand up for yourself.
My kids teach me change is a choice.
My kids teach me resiellence.
My kids teach me grace.
My kids teach me free will.
My kids teach me love.

Above all, my kids teach me the healing power of the One who made them.

God does not make mistakes.

 It's not about luck at all.

Andy and I understand it's not about our comfort and easy life style. Parenting is hard, no matter the history of your kids. So, we face the challenges that come with raising kids, and we face some other challenges that come with raising kids who have been hurt before, and we face some more challenges that come with raising kids who have to cycle through the attachment process at an older age.

We pray they remember only what they need in order to know how big God is. We pray they remember they were made for a purpose. We pray they allow healing to happen and they cling to love.

They will be healed in childhood. The healing process is anything but puppies and butterflies. It is downright ugly. For them to be healed in childhood, it means we are going to walk straight through the thick of it.

We live Psalm 23. It is the guidebook for anyone who is raising kids. I cling to its promises.

This is why adopting older kids is not disaster. Rather, it is a beautiful picture of unending love and true family.