Friday, January 15, 2010
Forgive me for not having much time this week to blog. I'm trying to catch up on life after two and a half years of adoption mess and trying to catch up on nine years missed being Daniel's mom. (NOTE: Although I'm posting this close to midnight, I actually wrote this one this afternoon at an inflatable play place.)
The boys earn Monkey Joe’s points during the week for doing their schoolwork and household chores. When they reach their goal, their reward is an afternoon of jumping. (And my reward is an afternoon to sit with my laptop between squeals of “mom take my picture.”) It’s been a great way for the boys to get all that energy out on these cold days.
I guess the word that sums me up this week is “overwhelmed.” It’s not always bad to be overwhelmed. I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude that I finally have my whole family together under one roof. It’s such a relief to have the paperwork, the traveling, and the tearful good-byes behind us and so much wonderful ahead of us.
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by how well Daniel is doing. I had prepared myself for early adoption boot camp, and so far it’s been more like summer camp. We have the occasional “poison ivy”(mild irritation followed by a generous application of ointment), but otherwise it’s been singing around the campfire kinds of fun.
I must confess I have days that I’m overwhelmed with the pile of laundry or dishes or bills. Or the number of times four children have yelled “mom." Or that I was too busy to sit down yet did not scratch one item off my to-do list. But lately I’ve felt overwhelmed over other things. Primarily that there are still approximately 147 million orphans in the world.
Since Daniel's homecoming, I've become consumed by the thought that there are other children just as precious who are still waiting for a family. And with the earthquake this week in Haiti, my heart breaks for a nation who has gone from extreme poverty to extreme devastation. For parents who have lost children and children who are now orphans. For those in the process of adopting children from Haiti who now must wait for news about their child and know that if he or she is still alive, this tragedy will only delay their child's homecoming by months or years.
And that's when "overwhelmed" really takes hold. When the problem seems so big that I feel too small to make a difference. To stand on the sidelines with feet of concrete watching it all happen and not know what to do.
I remember a time that I would see a World Vision commercial and change the channel as quickly as my fingers could grab the remote. I wanted to shout at the TV, "We already sponsor children, we already support ministries. We've done our part. Now leave us alone so we can pretend this doesn't exist!"
But I can't do that anymore. The past few years have redefined what "doing my part" really is. I've held children that could have been in those commercials. I have one that I tuck in bed every night. It is overwhelming.
I guess that's why it seems strange to sit in a place where children play without a care in the world while a TV hangs from the ceiling reporting of the devastation in Haiti. It's the same network that just days ago had nothing better to talk about than Kate Gosselin's new hairdo and the premiere of "American Idol". Why does the earth have to tremble to get our attention that there is great need?
So here I am with a heavy heart wondering what I can do. Mother Teresa once said, "We can do no great things. Only small things with great love." I need to remember that we have a Savior who carried not only our sin, but our burdens and our sorrows. I am only to be the servant in the image of His great love. And there is overwhelming freedom to know we have a God much bigger than earthquakes, famine, poverty, and disease.
I look at Daniel and his face right now is dripping with sweat from hours of jumping in inflatable heaven. He’s making sure his brother is okay after taking a tumble down the slide. He’s calling, “Mama, watch this” and his heart rejoices when I belt out a “whoooo hoooooo.” He’s gone from being a child who needed a sponsor to a child who has a family.
And so for a moment I forget about the overwhelming brokenness of the world we live in and thank God for the gift of His overwhelming grace.