“Do you take care of children?!?!” the kind silver-haired woman asked me in the fruit isle of Cost-co today. There were several large bags of bananas, a huge box of diapers and wipes, mongo-box of cheerios, and 4 gallons of milk in the basket, but I think it was the combo of brown and white monkeys hanging on and in my super-sized cart that caught her by surprise. I chuckled, not sure if she thought I ran a day care or was a foster parent, and answered, “No, they’re ALL mine.” ALL mine! I giggled to myself as I heard the words trill off my tongue. All four of these beautiful children are mine…and they are all here. In my cart. At Cost-co where I am now and for the next 18+ years buying everything in bulk!
The poor woman gasped in shock and fumbled with her words for a moment before responding, “WOW! They are…beautiful! You must be very busy with your hands so full.” And then she got it. “But how wonderful,” she reflected softly as she let her fingers trail through Maela’s silky gold curls and then caress the soft dark brown fluff on Naomi’s head. She offered me a most tender smile and silently walked away. I wanted to embrace her and tell her how thankful I was that she understood and then talk her through our entire adoption story, revealing all that God has done over the past 4 years…but squawks from the monkeys below jerked me back to the reality that most of my conversations during daylight hours will be less than 3-5 minutes, so we parted ways and shopped on.
The relief I felt from this interaction was just, well, overwhelming. I won’t repeat many of the other comments we received during our morning adventure to the super-store (they weren’t all offensive, but none worth mentioning quite like this one). I choked back a few tears and dropped a giant box of garbage bags next to Silas, who was perched between the bananas and large cheerio box, loving every minute of our excursion. After the three “walkers” scarged down one of those giant hot dogs each, and Noami sucked on a few pieces of their buns, I trudged through the doors, pushing a cart that must have weighed nearly 250 pounds (over 125 of those being just kids!), where the warm sunlight pierced our eyes (you know that bright-light thing when you leave that giant warehouse with no windows after an hour or more of dilated pupils…gets me everytime!) and made our way to the very close parking spot…another little gift to me from God today!
As I attempted to find a place in my kitchen for the way-too-big boxes and bags of food, which will no doubt be gone in just a few weeks time, I listened to the sounds of a little one crying for milk, another one singing ‘Jesus loves me’, and a strange mix of giggles and cries from the boys as they engaged each other in yet another epic battle of the swords (the soft Nerf kind, although ours are patched with tape in some of the places that are not-so-soft anymore).
My life feels a little bit like Cost-Co today…super-sized in so many ways . . . the variety of sounds, the number of little people, the mountains of laundry, the many colors, the amount we consume in food and drink each day (7 eggs this morning were not enough for just the 4 kids! I know…just wait till they’re older right…don’t remind me! But we are getting chickens soon), the stacks of diapers (both clean and dirty). And the abundant, overflowing, full to the brim, anointed and set apart giant-size cart of blessings! We are so blessed! God has done more than we will every fully know or comprehend, but what we DO comprehend is so far beyond anything we had every imagined.
In Uganda, we were a mess…all of us…a big fat mess, a Cost-Co size mess even. It was terrifying. I saw our family struggling in deep, dark ways we had never faced before, and I was sickened by my own response to it all. We were prepared for a storm to hit our cozy, calm home when everyone finally arrived. I braced myself, with a spotless floor and meals in the freezer, for a wild and crazy ride. And then a miracle struck! It was just about as surprising as that burst of light that slaps your face when you exit the super-store. God did a miracle! Our little boy, with his gorgeous mocha skin and priceless grin, chose to love me. He stepped off the plane and his heart was changed and so was mine. We had battled it out in Uganda and when I left, well, let’s just say we were not each other’s favorite person. But God did a miracle and we fell in love! My son and I!
The last two weeks he has been impossibly obedient, terribly compassionate towards his siblings, and overly eager to help me in every way he can. It’s just amazing, crazy amazing…and something only our God could do. This is not the behavior of an orphan’s first weeks at home, but here he is, our little blessing and we are in awe of our awesome God.
(For those of you reading this who KNOW the typical adoption pattern, you might be thinking, “honeymoon phase”, and you might be right. But remember he was with us for 2 months before even coming home…our “honeymoon” was a nightmare…and we truly believe THIS is the real Silas and God has done a miracle!)
With the risk of making life sound a little too rose-colored, I must say this is all so much easier than I had expected, but then again, I didn’t expect this miracle. And the freedom I am experiencing as the Lord continues to release me from the bondage of my sin, little by little, day by day, is most exhilarating. So as I listen to Silas mimic his sister and brother, singing Our God is an Awesome God, slurring and melding the words he doesn’t know all together, my heart and my mouth echo his praise…
OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!!
(pictures of life at home coming soon...we are missing our camera charger and sadly the battery is dead!)