Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would grow up to be the mother of "other people's children". Not even one of them is a biological child. They were all gifts. They were all born in my heart, not under it. The other day Hae Young and I were reflecting upon how much we enjoy our God given children and how very much their birth parent/s are missing because of extremely poor decisions. There is so much blessing in being their Moms. On most days there is much laughter and the joy of watching God do the impossible in their lives is just beyond price. But there are certainly challenges in bringing up children whose early years were filled with uncertainty, rejection, degradation, abuse and abandonment among other things. Issues like:
1. when something like chicken pox hits, you don't have any idea who will get it! Like last month when one little boy at school came down with the pox and we just kind of had to wait and see on a weekly basis who would spout the little pustules next.
2. they have scars, major ones, emotional and physical and I don't know how they got them, for the most part. Like my one son who has cigarette burns on his body and it is still too painful for him to tell me about their origin. I hate it that I don't know all of their stories and I hate it that they were so abused. Sometimes I just want to shake their parents and give them a piece of my mind instead of smiling at them on visiting day. But I don't because I know that they abused because they were abused. And they need love too. Sometimes I discover the scars of my children when I least expect it because, although the visible scars have healed, many of the underlying causes haven't, which is why there are....
3. frequent meltdowns. Like the time Helen burst into tears the first time she was served spaghetti at our home. The rest of my children all kind of looked at each other with eyebrows raised in wonder. We found out later that she had been served spaghetti everyday at the horrendous government home she had been in before coming to us. It seemed to her that she had come to the same old same old and her hope for a new life seemed dashed by a plate of spaghetti. It took her a month of Sundays to to finally be able to eat the Italian dish without associating it with her former life and to realize that it was not daily fare at our home.
4. they have more aches and pains than I can keep track of. I thank God that I am a nurse because it has become very important to discern between what is doctor worthy and what is just "needs some time with Mama".
5. it takes time for the children to believe that they are truly loved. They test at every turn to see if this divinely patched together family is the real deal. So here we are in all our glory.......on Mother's Day
Front row: Helen (12) Jency (7) Valerie (7) Middle row: Juan Carlos (15) Isabella (3) Betsy (getting up there)
Back row: Noe (19) Marlyn (she doesn't like me to say) Julio (13) Susana (10)
thanking Him for truly He sets the lonely in families and brings forth the prisoners with singing!