Saturday, November 14, 2009

Home Four Months Today













It was four months ago today that we came home as a family of seven, greeted by family and friends at the airport. I will never forget the relief of seeing so many of those who had supported us every step of the way and how it felt to fall into the arms and embrace those we love. We were coming off the most emotional week of our lives and were so glad to be home. I remember stepping out through the front doors of the airport into the very hot and steamy night, almost like walking into a furnace. It was such a change from the beautiful and temperate weather we enjoyed while in Ethiopia.

I remember being afraid that Hailab Turner would not like riding in a carseat. We had help while in ET to translate and prepare Hailab for sitting in a car seat once we came to America. When we were loading up in the van to leave the airport, he got in and saw his carseat. He called it his special seat and got in and buckled up with great pride. Preparing him in ET really helped.

Funny how when we were waiting and preparing, it was hard to look to the future and imagine what life was going to be like. We did our adoption training and read books, but like most things in life, most of our learning has come by experience. We have made many mistakes in these first months home and wish I could re-do some of my responses to my children's behavior. Even when I knew not to take things personally, I did and sometimes still do if I am not careful. It's a good thing we get to wake up each day and start over. I thank Jesus for the opportunity to start fresh each morning and for the strength that only He provides in the midst of struggles and strife. I pray over all of our kids for Jesus to fill in the cracks that I leave behind when I lose my patience and don't parent the way that I want. I pray for protection for all of our children, that the enemy would not have any strongholds on them because of adoption. I pray especially that our adopted children know they are special and so dearly loved and that God has a beautiful plan for bringing them to us to be our children. Sometimes that plan seems a little confusing when they are grieving and missing their birth mom and Ethiopia in general. They really miss Ethiopia and that isn't something that I can fix. Time heals and we'll walk through our adjustment for as long as needed. It reminds me of this post from last September about God's timing. I think what I wrote in that post is still so fitting in this different season we are in now:

"So we wait. And we pray.

Thank you, God, for this time of waiting. Some days will be difficult, we know... Help us make the most out of this time and place a peace in a little person's heart in Ethiopia tonight. Help him or her to know that they will be a part of a family again. We trust you, knowing that you are working your perfect timing into this situation. We pray that it is you who is glorified and praised in the midst of our planning and preparation. Please don't let us ever forget that we, too, are orphans given a place in your family because of Jesus' amazing act of love and grace on a nasty, ugly cross. Amen"

Even as it is starting to get dark this evening, I hear the sounds of kids playing outside. We live on a farm and have a refuse pile of old, broken pallets. What a treasure to children with wonderful imaginations! All five of the kids have worked together to build a little house for themselves. It is made from all kinds of scraps and pieces of just 'stuff' they have found around the farm. There may even be a tool or two of Dustin's that he'll have to go and reclaim! It has a door and a window and I think they were painting it this afternoon. As soon as they have it finished, I'll take a picture and share it.


I wonder where we will be in four months from now. No matter what the situation or season, we'll be held safe in the Father's arms. And that's a good place to be.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This quote Nikki should be published in the book you could write one day!!! Awesome! (Keep writing down your thoughts and memories and then one day when you have nothing more to do than sit around and eat bon bon's - you can get started on your book!)

"No matter what the situation or season, we'll be held safe in the Father's arms. And that's a good place to be."

I loved reading your last blogs and catching up!!! A rush of emotion goes from my head to my toes as I vividly remember the evening ya'll stepped onto Oklahoma soil! Praise the Lord!

Keep on falling into the arms of Jesus! "It's a good place to be!"

Shelley - Blessed to call you my sister-in-law!

Lindsey said...

Thank you so much for this post. I needed to be reminded of the wait during this time. I know it is all a part of his timing.

Craig and Phyllis said...

Loved seeing the pictures and reading what these past four months have been like for you.

Too add to your hectic life, I am passing an an award to you that I received from Barb. I wanted other people to be able to read some of your experience with adopting older siblings, too. I would like to sit and talk to you about your life these past 4 months and compare notes! : )

Barb said...

I seem to have experienced some of the exact feelings you write about . . . I loved how you put it: pray for Jesus to fill in the cracks I left behind when I didn't parent how I should have. I, too, felt I made so many mistakes. Thanks for sharing your heart and congratulations on 4 months together!!

Amy Bottomly said...

Sweet post Nikki... We haven't seen you guys in forever! Maybe this weekend?? :)

Robin said...

Nikki: I love this post...so many truths in it for me too. Sooo many mistakes, so hard not to take it personally.....so many things I would do-over if given the chance...but like you said, each day is a new beginning.....with Jesus filling in the cracks we've missed. How thankful I am that I'm not doing this alone, with Jesus by my side, we'll be OK.

J Studio said...

I really enjoyed your post today... so authentic and full of love for your children....

Sparkz said...

It is so good to see the pictures and you guys home. Brought happy tears to my eyes! Thanks for the update!

Deeann said...

I am blessed and honored to watch your family moving and falling into the "place to be." You and your family are an inspiration. Thank you so much for this post.
Deeann

Jessica said...

Nik- That as an amazing night that I will never forget. Love the picture of Wayne and Turner's hand. So sweet. Love you, hope to see you all on Christmas.