Monday, September 10, 2012

Staying Focused

 After being startled awake VERY, VERY early this morning by a little hand patting me and letting me know that she had wet the bed again (do they make Huggies that don't leak?), I am tired.   Kaichen ran into a sweet baby she knows from New Day at the Consulate. (Luke)  Apparently that was very upsetting because we then endured new-to-us battles over using a toilet and washing hands.  She even refused to get on the escalator when she normally wants to ride it over and over.  She suddenly started naming all her friends and wanting to know if they were going to America.

I'm tired  Did I say that already?   At Starbucks, where her Daddy decided to corrupt her early as a celebration of our swearing in at the Consulate, she managed to crumble muffin all over herself and the floor.  Part of what she chewed came back out of her mouth with long strings of drool.  (Haven't figured out why she is fine sometimes and goes slack mouth and drooly at others.)

Then we came back to the hotel and Kelly went to take a nap.  I've been coloring and cutting and doing puzzles while answering a constant stream of questions a thousand times each:  Where is Daddy?  What is Daddy doing? Where is Mommy?  What is Mommy doing?  Where is Wendy?  Where is Luke?    This is America?   Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then the airplane?  This is Guangzhou?  

It is all lovely conversation, but it makes me tired after about the 100th time.  Have I mentioned how tired I am?  
Anyway, she is currently sitting at the desk next to me doing puzzles.  I've memorized this conversation, so I can carry it on while typing...please be forgiving if I make typing mistakes.  I was probably naming the weeks--again--and talking about airplanes on Thursday.  

I decided to check email.  I have signed up for the Empowered to Connect Resource updates and today's post was just too good not to share.    Notice that line that says,
 I'm so not perfect at any time, but when I'm tired (have you noticed this theme  yet) I really start messing up.  Just ask Kelly how quickly I am offended when tired, or how fast I can run out of patience.  It isn't pretty.  
And this road isn't easy.  Kaichen is wonderful.  We love her.  But together we have many challenges to overcome.  We have lots to learn about each other in order to become a family.  Pray for us, if you think of it.   God has given us a big job to do.

Posted: 10 Sep 2012 06:08 AM PDT

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1
As adoptive parents walking a journey of healing with our children, we have an opportunity to enter into their world with empathy and compassion in a way that points them to the hope of the Savior. God has given us the divine honor of being mom or dad. We have the privilege of nurturing our children’s hopes and dreams, giving them goodnight kisses, wiping away their tears, teaching them as they grow and mature, and being the ones they look to for acceptance, security, and love. Parenting is holy ground, and we are allowed a front row seat as we watch their stories unfold and God does His work in and through them.
But as amazing and wonderful as being a parent can be, it can also be exhausting and at times terrifying. Our children have been touched by loss and grief, neglect and abuse, abandonment and rejection. Many of them have physical limitations both in body and mind that make typical daily tasks difficult and engaging in relationship overwhelming. And far too many of our children live under the fog of palpable fear and pervasive anxiety. Even so, they are our children, the dear ones the Lord of the universe, in His infinite wisdom and goodness, has placed in our care.
The daily demands of parenting coupled with the temptation to believe the lie that we have to be perfect in all that we say and do often leaves us defeated, weary, and running on empty. In these moments, we must remember that THE God that knit our families together is the same God who is our OUR strength and refuge. He will, as scripture promised, give us strength by His grace. “You then, my child be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). We can stand confident that as His children, covered by the grace and forgiveness of Christ, He will give us the strength we need. We are treasured by Him, we are loved by Him, and we are valued by Him. If we abide and rest in Him, He “will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
Lord, I thank you for the promise that you will be my strength every morning. May I sense your presence as you strengthen me through the power of your Spirit (Ephesians 3:16). Amen.
Tona Ottinger has been married to Mark for 15 years and they live in Tennessee, where Mark serves as the Pastor to Families at Fellowship Memphis. They have four children through adoption and regularly train other adoptive and foster families through the Empowered To Connect Parent Training.  Tona blogs at Delighting in Dirty Carpet.
*Adapted from …And They Lived Faithfully Ever After: Devotionals for Adoptive & Foster Families, due out by December 2012 from Empowered To Connect.

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