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Mature Love

The day I recognized that this pushing me away was normal was the day I quit trying to create the cord of love.  It was the day I accepted this pushing away a normal part of this process.  It was the day I became the servant – and let God be the creator.

God is the healer of broken hearts – of broken lives – of broken families.  I am not.

God did ask me to be His servant – His ambassador of love.  I am called as an adoptive mother to be the hands and feet of creator God.

I am called to speak words of life and beauty to my children.

I am called to offer loving touches – whether that is massaging lotion onto the back of their hands or feet or a hug.

I am called to meet the child’s physical needs.

I am called to be here and present every day.

I am called to guide and protect.

When the child opens their heart to receive and invites God into their heart – Thus the cord of love begins to become stronger.

Hosea 11:4

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.

Eccesiates 4:12

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

God must be invited to bring healing to our hurting hearts – to bring beauty out of ashes.  When He is allowed to be on the throne of our hearts – the cord of love is not easily broken and there we find true healing.

Cord of Love

The bond between a mother and child begins at conception.  An umbilical cord connects the growing baby with their mother.  Through this cord, the baby is fed and nourished.  Needs are met.  The womb is warm and safe.  As the baby grows and moves, the mother connects more and more emotionally with her baby, thus the bond begins.

This is powerful.  It is tragic when this bond is strained, damaged, or severed for whatever reasons.  God is there in this pain and I believe He grieves with us.

As an adoptive mother, I am clearly at a disadvantage.  I can never replace the biological mother.  I am not her – and never will be her.  Grieving this is perhaps the first step towards healing.

It is through what I call the cord of love that I bond and attach with each of my adopted children.  It takes time for this attachment cord to grow.  Just as God, creator of heaven and earth, was present in the womb creating this beautiful child – so He is now present in the creation of this cord of love.

Every morning I get up (more honestly many mornings) – I claim Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

And then I ask the Lord to make me an instrument of His peace and His love  – more clear and more evident to my children today.  I invite the Creator of the universe to make me a reflection of Him more today.  More of Him and less of me.

Thus the cord of love begins…

 

Extended Family Blessings

A bit more on expectancy…

It is difficult for extended family to know how best to nurture and care for this new family coming together through adoption.  There is no baby bump, no due date, no bonding through a pregnancy.

We brought home babes in older skins and this further complicated the matter of family bonding.  Just how do you bond with an older child?    You can look at this precious child and regularly call out the beauty in them.  Tell the child and the child’s parents regularly – that this child is a blessing, that this child does this or that well.  Show them how much you appreciate them and celebrate them. Take time to bake them cookies, read books together, play games, or go for a nature hike.

Here are a few more ideas on nurturing this new family:

  • Read about the process of adoption, attachment and bonding.  The more you know the more equipped you are to understand this new family and their needs.
  • Offer to host a new family shower or take the new family shopping or offer to help decorate the new child’s room.
  • Encourage, Encourage, – oh did I say encourage?  Words of blessing.  Prayers.  These are the things that bless the new family as they sometimes struggle to connect to each other.  Help them each see their strengths.  They are already acutely aware of the weaknesses.
  • Take a PS-MAPP class to learn tools on caring for kids from hard places and offer to provide regular respite for this new family
  • Offer meals.
  • Be sensitive to the new family’s needs.  Not everything on this list may be what they need, they may have other needs.
  • Be interested and ask questions.
  • It’s okay for the new family to take time – lots of time – to build their family unit.  This may include time away from extended family for a time.  As this new family bonds, regularly pray God’s blessing over them.

Next up…The Cord of Love.

 

 

 

 

Expectancy

Expectancy: A mother waiting with expectation for her new child through the gift of adoption.

 

For years, I grew up attending family baby showers.  All the while, dreaming of my own and the new bundle of joy that I would hold in my arms and nurture.

An infant God did not bring, but babes in older skins.  First a 4 year-old and soon a 9 year old.

Co-workers held a Hot Wheels shower for our first son, and friends threw a party and gave toys and clothes.  Still other friends, gifted tubs of clothes.

Though to me it seems family traditions were missing in these celebrations, God was there and is here.

For this adoptive momma, books and therapists and observing other mommas would become the tools through which she would learn the art of motherhood.

Above all, It is God’s word and His blessing that sustains, guides, and cheers me. Apart from Him I can do nothing.  He is the One I can depend on.

In this season of expectancy, I was so delighted when I felt my heart leap for joy as I anticipate the arrival of our second son.  When I think of our new son, my heart actually swells.  Only God can bring a mother and a child together through the cord of love.

More on this cord of love later….Stay tuned.

Children=Blessing

My eyes have been opened to a lie that blind-sided us.  It began long before Roe vs Wade in 1973.  Likely it began long before the first contraceptive pill was used in 1960 in USA.  The Lie?  Children are not a blessing.  Very unbiblical don’t you think?

The Baby-boomer generation and their younger siblings have told me they wanted more children, but couldn’t afford them.  This explanation for controlling family size has never made sense to me…and recently the mystery of this has been uncovered to me.

You see, my great-grandparents and grandparents had free love long before the term was coined.  Free love of the 1960’s seems like such an oxymoron to me.  What’s free about making love  – all the while on a mission to avoid a pregnancy?  More over, my great-grandparents had 11 children to feed during the years of the great depression.  Talk about not having much money….whoa – these folks had to walk for 5 miles to get 1 chicken to feed all 13 people in their family.  Christmas, well that was an orange or an apple – and in good times you might get one of each.

Curiously, enter the 1960’s – the big baby boomer generation.  Contraception is promoted as the means to avoiding pregnancy and limiting family size, because who can afford big families.  Wow – children are expensive.  No generation preached that louder.  Womens’ Lib movement entered following WWII and now you see many women holding jobs outside the home – because you know it’s expensive to raise 2.5 children per family unit.

Truth time:  Did Children really get more expensive?  Or was it all the stuff we thought they needed?  What happened between 1920 and 1960?

Enter 1973 and the shock of Roe vs Wade.  Abortion.  Many of us readily and loudly denounce the horrors of abortion.  Yet – have any of us considered how it got this far down the slippery slope?

The lie:  Children are in our way — they are to be avoided –they are expensive.

How God’s heart has been grieving for generations.  His Words are clear how He feels about children.

Mark 10: 14

Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Psalm 127: 3

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him….Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

Sadly, I bought into the lie myself.  Years went by in which I didn’t think we were financially ready.  And then God brought us our first son.  I cut way back on career and chose to make our home a priority.  It has been worth it – and God provides for all our needs.  He really does.  That is truth.  God provides for His children.  We’re not living in a mansion – nor driving new cars – nor taking big vacations – but we are together under one roof.  We are eating well.  We are clothed.  We are making memories and growing together.

Maybe it’s time to align our heart with his.  I’m seeing hope.  So many in my own generation reclaiming the family.  We’re not just protesting abortion – we are standing up for children in so many beautiful ways.  (Big families are making a comeback – the Big 15 passenger van really is cool!  I know several big family mamas – that do earn a small supplemental income – but not at the expense of raising their family.  Woa…what happened – did children suddenly become more affordable?)

Children are a blessing!  They are worth our time and our money.  They are worth it!  Let’s repent of the sins we have committed against God and His children…and let’s put our time and money where it matters.

So many beautiful ways to support children:

Mentor a child

Offer childcare for a single mom

Volunteer in the church nursery, teach sunday school or Wednesday program

Provide respite for special needs kids

Sponsor a child in a 3rd world country

Foster kids

Adopt kids

Hey and if you are so blessed as to have babies come from your free love ….celebrate that!  (Real free love really should make a comeback.  Let’s celebrate the gifts God has given us.)

Truth = Children are a blessing – a Gift from God.  He provides for His kids!

Let’s get out there and tell this next generation how much God wants them and loves them!   Get out there and show them!

 

Giving

A friend posted this on her Facebook wall this morning:

Acts 2:44-46

All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

God is very clear in His Word how we are to spend His money.  He is very clear that He owns everything.  (Psalm 24:1)A new year is soon upon us, and many of us take time to re-evaluate our life.  This is a great time to re-evaluate our money – our budget- our time: does the spending of time and money honor God?  It’s His money and His time – is our stewardship of it pleasing to Him?In these verses in Acts we see that  daily people were being saved for eternity – this came as the believers sold their stuff – and gave to anyone as he had need.  These believers didn’t die with money and property and possessions – but they did leave a legacy of faith for their children and their neighbors.  They did die with peace in their hearts that they had honored God with His money.  What a proud Daddy God must have been with these believers in Acts.

Trends Part 2

This is a difficult post to write.

Our children and our elders are lonely – growing more lonely every day. I’ve met more than one elderly person recently that are either unable to recall the names of loved ones or unable to tell what day or time it is….and yet they are living alone. No one to protect them from predatory phone calls or visitors. No one to protect them from accidental harm. No one to be there if they fall or suddenly have a heart attack.

This grey-haired and wrinkled person that we love so much – is living alone, vulnerably alone.

Oh but wait, you say the neighbor checks on ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ every three days and the bills are getting paid. To this I say, ‘but what about the two days neither you nor the neighbor is there. ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ was there every day and night to care for you – but you leave them alone when they need you? I don’t understand this. God tells us to respect our elders; to treat others as we’d want to be treated; and to think of others more than ourselves. I ask ‘Why are we neglecting the needs of our elders? Why?’

Our children are suffering too. All the hurry and stress are ingredients to overstimulated and under-rested children. There are children without parents – either the result of abuse, neglect, poverty, or trauma. Now there are children displaced – refugees in a foreign land. God calls us to love the orphan and the widow. God commands us to give to those in need. There are many ways to care for the orphan and the widow. I see families living in large and luxurious homes – enough bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage to welcome in a football team…and yet, tragically no orphan is living there.

Communities are being asked to provide shelter for refugee children. I’m seeing communities saying ‘no’ and closing their town to ‘the least of these’. Yet, God commands us to give – to welcome the orphan.

Why are those – who profess to be Christ-followers – not following in His steps? James admonishes Christians not to be hearers of the Word only – but doers. Put feet to your faith. Let your walk match your talk.

Disturbing trends around us. Let us who profess to follow Christ be found faithful to care for the orphan and the widow – and the elder. We are to tend to His sheep. There are lonely people all around us that need to see and touch and hear the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’. The time is now. We can not afford to wait – or think someone else will do what He has called us to do. The time is now. What will you do?

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