I meant to post last week and never seemed to catch up after a long couple weeks with trips to Dallas and San Diego. After getting reasonably caught up and finishing up some tests tonight, I figured I would give this post a chance. Sort of feeling down tonight after a super tough day capped off by my failing of my first test (by 1 point) at LRU since the beginning of this degree program. Keeping my 4.0 GPA right now seems a distant hope. We shall see.
So last week was an unusual week in our adoption process for me specifically. We did our travel planning call with Emily and then I headed out to San Diego in the following days. Emily mentioned a seminar at her church on Facebook and I got in the conversation. We spoke the following day she mentioned a book to me entitled “Before You Were Mine” by Susan Tebos and Carissa Woodwyk. Typically my undiagnosed ADD keeps me from long and sustained periods of reading, which is pretty disappointing. However, my new Kindle Fire has given me hope. Long story short, I read the entire book that Emily recommended in 4 hours on the flight out and 3 hours on the flight back. That has never happened before. So what was it that was so amazing about this book? In a nutshell it is about Lifebook’s. These are basically the story of your adopted child prior to you bringing them into your life. As I read the first few chapters, I was pretty frustrated hearing about other families who told their child’s story pre-adoption with great detail including birth parents, stories, etc. What exactly would we write about Kate given her history. She had no history, right? Well, then it happened and I can feel it all over again just telling the story. The authors use an example of a Chinese girl who was abandoned from the very beginning… Wow – who knew there were almost identical stories out there to that of Kate’s. So as the flight attendants passed repeatedly, I just kept asking for more drinks because they would give me more napkins with each serving. I was in the middle seat with 2 guys on either side and I was a total wreck crying on a plane reading my Kindle about Lifebook’s. The constant revelations about this process just continue to come to both Candace and I. What was initially a seemingly simple process of bringing an at risk little girl to a stable home environment has opened up to be a life changing event. I find myself constantly getting new revelations routinely about this process. At one time I found myself last week wishing I could go back to the boys early days to make them better, realizing I am infinitely more informed these days about what my kids need from me. This book was teaching me things I never had even considered. How do we teach our children to honor their birth parents regardless of the circumstances? What is our role as God’s hand’s extended to our children? How do we best exemplify that model? How do we come alongside our children every step of the way through their life? How do we put ourselves in the position of the birth parents and go through the struggle they must have agonized about? Amazing questions that I had to admit were considered very little if any in my parental past.
The book was amazing and just reading about the amazing stories of these children worldwide prior to their adoption experiences was pretty tough. Realizing that God found a way to rescue so many of them while still giving them an identity right in the middle of all that horrible stuff was amazing. I had to tell friends of ours last week in San Diego repeatedly that for every blessing we might be pouring out on Kate, we truly feel like we get 100 blessings in return. To date, there are few things in my life that have affected me to this level. I sincerely hope this is only the beginning of the transformation and I look forward to shepherding both Kate as well as Jordan and Nathan in ways I never imagined. What an amazing privilege we have as parents if we could just ever wake up and realize how important the process really is.