We could not have asked for a better week last week. That is not to say that it was completely without some bumps or that these children are robots. They are kids and need to be loved, disciplined and redirected just like any other child. A very wise friend/mentor told me that you do everything with hugs and love and we have found that strategy to work well.
We were taught in our pre-adoption education that these kids go through the stages of grief that someone would go through if they lost a loved one. It is true. The "honeymoon" phase where everyone is on their best behavior and happy ended last Wednesday. My aunt (who stayed with me the first week to help...gotta love her :-) and I looked at each other in the car and said, "Well, the honeymoon phase is officially over!" All five kids were fighting and being loud and silly just like siblings do.
We have now entered more of the sad grief stage. For one child, tears were easy from the beginning. For the other, they have been much slower in coming. Instead of tears we had extreme happiness for days. I think the extreme happiness was a way to "put off" the sadness that was welling up inside. Today for the first time we had real tears. It broke my heart and I cried too; we just sat and cried together. I hope that in that moment it was understood that I grieve for them too. What breaks their heart breaks mine. They are no different than any of my other children. When something is hurting a child it hurts mom's heart too :-)
We have fallen into a great routine..."school" lessons in the morning, then playtime outside, followed by lunch. After lunch we have some more "free" play, then we read and have rest/room time until the other 2 get home from school. I am amazed at how much these kids already know. The know all their letters, numbers, colors etc. They can both write their names (the American names we are using). Rachel can sound out words and is starting to read some easy readers! We have been labeling everything in the house and their English is coming along at a rapid pace. We are learning Amharic at the same time which is fun.
A friend emailed me today and told me she had been lifting me up in prayer. I told her that just today I had thought to myself that someone must be praying for me. In my own strength I would have already lost my temper or ran to my room in tears. In God's strength, however, I feel great. I have yet to lose my temper and am far from despair. I think that when you are walking by faith the road God has for you, He is faithful to supply you with the supernatural strength and patience you need to stay on the path.
I want to close by encouraging anyone who feels the "call" to adopt, but maybe is scared, to step out in faith and go for it. If God is calling you to do it, He WILL supply all your needs to walk through it. I am living proof. Trust me, you will be greatly blessed and forever changed. Don't miss out on possibly the greatest blessing(s) God has for you! I am reminded of a familiar, old hymn:
Trust and Obey
For there is No other way
To be Happy in Jesus
Than to Trust and Obey
That is what it is all about folks...Trust and Obey...and you will be happy in Jesus!