How did we spend our anniversary?
Grocery shopping, practicing the alphabet, lunching with daddy, and driving through town with the windows down singing to the tip-tops of our lungs. Just another ordinary day full of messes, tantrums, games, and laughter. And I cannot imagine it any other way, nor would I trade it.
What is the biggest lesson learned these past six months?
That the soul’s capacity to love is larger and more encompassing than I ever imagined. This adoption has helped me see beyond myself in very specific ways. It has acquainted me with the darkest parts of this world. My mind now houses real images that were previously only viewed from an armchair. Images that remind me of exactly what my children have risen from. Images that, although I wish didn’t exist, have increased my ability to love. Images that have increased my capacity for compassion and mercy.
Just as I have seen the cruelties of man hard at work, however, I have also seen the magnificence of the heavens right along side. Our children are living miracles! Each of their ability to love and forgive is incredible. Danny’s gentleness, Ezzy’s sureness, Nikki’s sweetness, and Juan P.’s–well he’s just Juan P.–assures me that tender mercies still abound. There is beauty to be found, and there is joy to be had!!!
Over the past five years, there have been many many days when I have felt as though my beating heart was literally being ripped from my chest. Moments when I could not breath for the feelings of emptiness and loss were so great. Even now, I can picture vividly those tumultuous times, and feel the despair that engulfed me. But those feeling cannot and never will compare to the feelings that my oldest son felt as a toddler when he was expected to beg for drug money on the streets, or when he was bounced from home to home finally ending up in an orphanage with his siblings. My experience will never hold a candle to my youngest son’s experience of being taken at two days old and never having a mother to bond with until now.
Can you imagine?
Can you imagine never knowing from day to day, especially as a young child, if you will be fed or bathed or clothed or safe? Although I have seen it, I still cannot fathom experiencing it. And yet, my children are valiant little spirits. They have keen minds, and they try to do good (except when it comes to toothpaste–don’t ask:). In six short months, I have felt more love for and from them than I ever expected. Even in my best of the best case scenarios I am still blown away by our Colombian Sunshines, and our overall adoption experience. I know not everyone has the same sort of experience, and I know that we have a very very long road ahead. Our home runs far from perfectly! But we trudge along each day…finding joy in the journey.
Six months seems like six days, but also like six years! And I think that is the way it is supposed to be.