Sorry for not posting much this week. Just busy with life.
My girls have just one more week of school left (they attend a fabulous classical Christian school) and my boys are wrapping things up, too (they attend a fabulous school in our home with a teacher who looks just like their mom).
I don't know about you but by May I'm nauseated by the smell of dry erase markers, have nightmares involving bibliography cards, and can feel a panic attack coming on by simply purchasing poster board. (I think my eldest daughter's science fair project required more planning and money than my wedding.) The only words I dread more than "I don't understand the Pythagorean Theorem" (my thoughts about math are here) would be "Mom, I have a test on the Periodic Table of Elements tomorrow." Let's just say few folks are happier about the end of the school year than this mom.
It has been almost 5 months since our sweet Daniel arrived home on Christmas Eve. He has made such remarkable progress. Things that used to make him scared or anxious no longer do. When he first came home, things as simple as riding in the car or going to a place he'd never been before would cause meltdowns. Bad habits and behaviors are quickly being replaced with wise choices. He looks healthier and is growing like a weed.
He can speak and understand English as if he was born in the US. There's even a bit of a Southern twang mixed with his Spanish accent. (It's very cute.)
He's learning to trust us and respect us. He now understands that his home is a safe place, he will always have plenty to eat, and his family loves him no matter what.
Occasionally, we will see flashbacks of old behaviors. Evidence of old fears. Re-injury of old wounds. Those moments are heartbreaking to watch . . . often hard to handle.
But the remarkable thing is that he sees it as "the old Daniel", too. He realizes it as soon as the words of anger come out of his mouth, or the pouting lips and furrowed brow wrinkle his face, or the fear and anxiety make his little body tremble. Often all it takes is a gentle reminder from Mom and Dad and he is able to pull it together--sometimes more quickly than others--and understand that he isn't that boy anymore.
It makes me think of our adoption as sons and daughters by our Heavenly Father. Our hearts, minds, and actions reflect our new Father. We seek to honor Him, we seek to resemble Him.
Things that used to cause us to be fearful no longer do. Bad habits and behaviors are quickly replaced with wise choices. We learn we can trust Him to provide, protect, and love us. We begin to understand His language and His Word. We become able to share things of our Father with others.
But occasionally, we forget we are the child of a King. Old fears return. Old temptations beckon. Old lies convince us that we are beyond help and unworthy of love. And we act as if we're ungrateful for the gift of grace and loving sacrifice that paid our ransom.
But then our Father reminds us that we are forgiven . . . that we have been chosen . . . that we are forever changed.
And on those days it is hard to parent an adopted child, I remember I'm an adopted child, too.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the miracle of adoption.