Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

If I had a magic wand, which I don't...

I've stayed away from blogging because I didn't want to blog at an extreme. And that seems to be where I stay as of late. On the corner of delight and destruction is where I live. Routine is a mythical figure like Bigfoot or Nessie. It's a dream that has faded to the point of my barely being able to remember its existence, or if I really dreamed it at all. Balance is a beautiful something that the Olympians achieve, but is out of reach for commoners like me. But a guy can hope, right?

Even as I type I'm not sure what I want to say. Several have asked why we haven't blogged so this is in part out of obligation. I've also many times bottled up a yell or screamed into my brain so maybe this is a cathartic vent. A wringing out of my grey matter. And you know the adage "It takes a village...", well, maybe someone has the golden ticket and desires to dispense some wisdom. Anyhow.

Parenting is the most difficult thing I've ever done. I think I can speak that for Jessica too. We (mostly she) get asked one hundred and six questions before 9am. One day we gave them each 10 popsicle sticks and every question they asked they had to give us a stick. When they ran out of sticks, they ran out of questions they could ask. Breakfast was silent. It was nice. The whining is incessant. No matter what's for breakfast someone isn't pleased. Regardless what we have planned for the day there will be discord. It's a repetitive cycle: question, answer, whine, question, answer, whine. Ad infinitum.

If I had a magic wand, which I don't, but if I did I would...I would...ummm...probably give myself more patience and understanding. More wisdom. I mean, sure, I'd love to change their situation and give their biological mom her life back and reorder their family, but let's be real. I need to change me. I can only change me. God help us all.

Overall, we've seen much improvement. They're adjusting quite well. You have to imagine how difficult it would be! New language. Think for a moment of being thrust into a society where you only understood about 20% of what is being said. What if you couldn't communicate well enough to express your needs or feelings? Of course you would learn. And learn they have! But it was certainly grueling for a while. New parents. Jess and I have have carved out "our way" for well over a decade and now we are adding new people to the mix. Hard-headed people who also have their own way. We are all learning what true flexibility feels like. On top of that there's new foods, smells, texture, climate, people, music, rules, times, activities. The list goes on. But we are all adjusting. God is sovereign. God is good.

Parenting is the most joyous thing I've ever done. Before I begin here I want you to realize this is not a contradiction of my previous statement. The harder the work, the greater the reward. If you think about this it's true...

The summer after my senior year I worked for Jessica's dad. He owns an asphalt paving company. Hardest/hottest work ever. I don't know if I was valiantly trying to win his favor or his daughter, maybe I was just foolish. I remember asking if I could have a job. We were standing in their drive way and this question was like the shifted carry-ons in the overhead bin. It just sort of fell out and hit us both. Totally caught us both off guard. He recovered in a few seconds with a smirk and an affirmative. I recovered three months later when classes started. But I digress. The point is this. The work was hot and it was hard. And I'm not a huge fan of canned peaches or ham and cheese or Capri Sun, but after working and sweating for several hours WHAT A REWARD to sit and eat these lunchbox delicacies! And then, at the end of the day to look back over a completed parking lot or driveway. Hard task = sweet reward.

So parenting is also joyous. The youngest two boys from time to time will say "I need love". They crawl into my lap and wrap themselves in my arms and I hum or just speak softly to them. Jessica and I get to teach constantly. How to do all kinds of things! From airing up a bike tire to cooking a meal. There are always teaching opportunities. And learning opportunities for us as well. I am seeing things in my self that I wish wasn't there. It's a constant battle to try to mold and shape our kids into what we know God desires for them to be, while at the same time trying to obliterate the bad things they pick up from us as well. But what a privilege! What an honor God has allowed us! To shape these young vessels into tools He can use! God help us all.

Parenting is also surprise after glorious surprise. We are shocked everyday at new words or phrases they've learned or a new talent they've acquired. Some days their generosity knocks us off our feet and other days they snatch and grab like they have nothing.

  • I am surprised at how strong Solomon is getting. I need to wrestle him to the ground several times while I still can. (wink) Make sure he knows who's in charge! 
  • Rahel can cook! Good! She wouldn't win an award for health in her culinary experiments, but she will hopefully combine what she knew from Ethiopia and learn more from my amazing bride and end up being an amazing creator in the kitchen. 
  • It is crazy how quickly Yoseph picks things up! He seems to be a prodigy of sorts. Piano is his new venture. He just watches and replicates almost anything. 
  • And Eyasu could be Amharic for surprise. He is the culmination of his older siblings actions it seems. He is strong, fast, athletic, smart. And always wants to be the center of attention. And most of the time he is. 
  • Evie's teeth and hair are in a neck-and-neck race to see which will be in first. She is saying ma-ma and da-da. She impresses us continually. 
  • And God in His wisdom has surprised us yet again. If it be His will our sixth child, third daughter, will be arriving in December!
Surprise after glorious surprise. He is good. He is sufficient. He is sovereign. He is worthy. He is peace and joy and love and mercy and grace. He is steadfast and never changing. He is always with us. He is patient. He forgives. He holds all things together and works all things for our ultimate good. He is the center of my worship. And I continually strive to place myself and my family at the center of His will. He is God. And I will serve Him.

Thanks for reading.


  1. "more patience and understanding. More wisdom."

    The magic wand that grants patience and understanding are encountering difficult people. Wisdom comes from facing life situations that make no sense.

    In life, first comes the test, then the lesson.

  2. Nothing shows imperfections like our own children. I have to hang onto the truth that God uses imperfect people!

    Congrats on #6! Must be overwhelming, but wonderful.

  3. I love your writings. I see you often and lots of questions come to me that I know you don't have time to answer, but this helps. I can imagine you could write volumes more on what you have learned and what they have learned. It is incredible how much more you have to go. Here to help in whatever way I can. Just let me know. Praying for all and loving you the whole way.

  4. Yes, parenting is one of the hardest things...ever and yet I can't imagine not being one now. God gives us the grace we need, thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow!! THanks for updating us. I have been wondering how you are doing. It is amazing to me to watch the families that were with the Nepal program and how God is redeeming our past. Praise God!! Keep the updates coming.