On Thursday, the girls and I were in our playroom/schoolroom, immersed in math and history. Mia Grace had crawled over to the bookshelves across the room, picked herself out a book, and made herself comfortable against one of the chairs. All of a sudden, we heard this:
I quietly sushed the girls and we listened to MG “read” to herself for a good minute. When she looked up and saw that she had an audience, she, of course, stopped, and getting her to do it again was difficult. But to say we were tickled was an understatement! We could not stop laughing! That little thing is always in the middle of her sisters’ business, wanting to do exactly what they are doing. And if reading a book about Abraham Lincoln upside down is part of acting like a big girl, by golly, she is going to find a way to do it!
More and more, Mia Grace is fitting in to our family rhythms, while still tenaciously holding her own. For such a little thing (I think we are up to weighing 20 pounds by now), she has a will of iron, and it always tickles us to see her determination. Well, let me take that back. Sometimes it tickles us. Other times, like when she’s in the high chair, and wants to eat soup with a fork and a spoon ALL BY HERSELF, we all sigh and say, “MIA GRACE…DON’T BE SO STUBBORN!” But most the time, we just smile.
Please keep praying for Jason and I as we learn, usually by our failures, how to parent Mia Grace in all of her uniqueness. Daily I ask for wisdom from the Lord to know when to factor in her history of being an orphan for the first 17 months of her life and when to just treat her (or her stubbornness) as an ordinary, normal almost two-year-old. And the truth is, the answer always lies somewhere in the middle. Yes, factor in her history, and yes, treat her like a normal toddler. Work my hardest at helping her bond and attach and learn how to have two parents, and also work my hardest on my ability to let her go and maintain some illusion of control – with a fork and spoon in the high chair or with a book in the rocking chair. Orphan habits die hard, and she needs as much grace as I do at learning to have a mom and a dad as I do in learning how to parent a twenty-month old I had never laid eyes on until three months ago.
Every day is a search for grace, and every day, I have to believe I have found it, whether I feel like it or not. I am just thankful I am parented by a Father who never lets me go, who knows my own orphan habits die hard, and parents me patiently as I want to parent Mia Grace.
Honestly, this journey of adoption is harder than I expected, but it’s also sweeter than I expected. While my failures are big, the grace that holds all of us is big too, and I am learning to accept that grace in a way I have never needed to accept it before.
Last week I taught our Sunday School class again, and the lesson was on Luke 7:36-50, the story of the sinful woman who anoints Jesus and the parable He tells of the Two Debtors. While I expecting to find myself in the Pharisee, I wasn’t so much expecting to find myself in the woman. But there, in her tears, in her gratitude, and in the grace that was offered, I surprisingly found myself at the feet of Jesus and was strengthened and nourished for the next phase of the adoption journey.
I have never done this before, but at the risk of seeming self-promoting, I am going to include the link to the lesson if you want to listen to it.
In no way am I suggesting that I think I have words that you need to hear; but I wanted to give you access to a text that changed the way I looked at grace and the Jesus that I follow. All Luke 7 did was make me love Him more.
So here is the link to the lesson: Just go to www.hfbctheoaks.com, and the password is “theoaks” (all one word, all in lowercase letters). You will see the link to the lesson under “Podcast” in the middle of the page.
And here is the outline I had to go with it – The Parable of the Two Debtors
I am so thankful for the many of you who are on this same journey of grace, on this same journey of learning to follow a grace-giving God wherever He beckons us to follow.
May God give you grace for all of your journeys this week, and may the reality of your own adoption absolutely delight and overwhelm your soul.
The Baker Six