Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Family

I realized long ago that family was not just with the people you were related to by birth. It is also the friends God brings into your life. It is the people who choose to live life with you that make the world bearable.

I’ve mentioned The Sister, from another mother, on here before and her husband, our favorite police officer. They are truly family we have acquired along the way. We have laughed, fought, loved, and cried together as a family over the years. They have loved our Luke as if he was their own.

Last July two boys came to their house to live. I will never forget that day—walking into the house seeing a one year old and a three year old running around like crazy, yelling at the top of their lungs. It was crazy. I remember sitting down to dinner with them. Both boys began to dig into their food the moment they sat down, not waiting for everyone else, and not knowing what a prayer even was. I remember the look of confusion on their faces when they were told you wait for everyone to sit down.

I remember the oldest calling me Mommy at times. I remember the younger one did not talk and did not like women. He would not come near me. I remember standing there thinking, these boys need love, stability, a family. I remember praying that these boys would one day be the Sister’s children, forever.

In a few short days, the older one had claimed Luke to be his best friend—that was his name, My Best Friend Luke. In a few more short weeks, I realized they were more like brothers. They had undying love one minute, and were fighting the next, but always wanted to be together.

Very quickly, the older one took a liking to me. Always running up to me for hugs and kisses; always wanting to sit by me or to be in my lap. He so desperately needed to be loved. I watched as he learned to speak in complete sentences. I watched as he learned to pray for his food before eating. I watched as he learned how to play with kids, how to say he was sorry if he hurt someone, how he learned to be aware of his surroundings. How he learned who his Mommy and Daddy were.

I watched the younger one take a liking to Josh that I cannot even explain to you. He is truly the President of Josh’s fan club. I watched as he learned to talk, speak complete sentences, tell everyone at the table it was time to pray, and learned his colors and to count. I cannot tell you how my heart leapt the first time he ran to me, yelling my name, with open arms for hugs and kisses. I watched him and Luke become buddies.

These boys were blending into the Sister's family. I did not see them as anyone’s children but their’s. I loved watching them snuggle up with their Dad on the couch, or run to their Mommy for hugs. In no time at all, it was if they had always been there. The only reminders were the conversations with the Sister and her husband –to listen to her explain their background, listen as she talked about the paperwork they saw, behaviors they were dealing with. At times, it was all I could do to sit and listen and honestly, there were times I would say I could not handle it anymore.

I continued to pray these children would remain with them……forever.

While I did see these two boys as their children, a part of me was always scared something would happen and they would be taken back. A part of my heart was worried. That is who I am, a worrier. With each hurddle that was overcome, I would be happy for them, but never did I let myself get too happy.

I remember being told that parental rights were terminated; I was happy, but still cautious. I remember being told they were being transferred to the adoption unit, again, happy, but still cautious. I remember being told the final court date, happier, but still cautious. I watched as the Sister and her husband felt the same way.

Then, the day before court, I began to fully be excited for them. I began to thank God for allowing me to be a part of this family’s journey to becoming parents. The road for them was not easy; it was not only difficult, but confusing as to why God would allow certain things to happen.

As we sat outside the court room waiting for their turn, I watched these boys play and interact with everyone who was there to support them. They have a family – a Mommy, a Daddy, Grandparents, and friends who were and are there to love them-forever. Excitement grew like crazy when they were called in. The judge let everyone (and we were a big crowd) up front for the proceedings. I was allowed to go up and stand where the court reporter would normally sit to take pictures. As I stood there looking back on everyone, there was not a dry eye. Tears for this family were flowing by all as these boys were made officially members of a family -- a family they had already been a part of for over a year.

God is good. He had a plan -- a plan for this family, a plan for these boys.

He also had a plan for us, the Stewarts. These boys have changed our lives as well. I’ve watched Joshua change with these boys. I’ve watched him as he began to love them, to open up his heart to these boys. To treat them as his own—loving them and disciplining them when needed. They have reminded me that God has a plan, it might not be our plan, but His is better. They have reminded me that all things are possible with Him. They have taught me that you can overcome the obstacles in your life. They have reminded me that family is not determined by to whom or where you were born.

I had never watched from the beginning when foster children were brought into a home to then being adopted. But as I was there, watching this from the inside, I was reminded of God’s love for us, taking us, broken sinful people, loving us and making us His.

A week ago, I told the Sister, “You know, I do not even know your boys birth last names. They’ve always been yours in my mind since the day they came.” How wonderful that we are the same with God, He does not remember who were before coming to Him.  But once we do, we are His forever. Forever in His family.

Sister—You will never ever know how much you and your family have changed me and our family. I can never thank you enough for allowing me to love on your boys and to be a part of their lives. You are one of the strongest women I know. I can honestly say that I think I would have given up a long time ago.  Not you. You have withstood far more than I ever could. You are an amazing Mother and I’ve learned so much from watching you.

Your boys are who they are today by the grace of God and because of you and your husband. They are two of the luckiest boys in the world and I feel certain they know it.

I love living life with you.

And I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for your boys and your family.

I will never, ever, forget the day your oldest boy proudly told us all he was officially in your family.

2 comments:

  1. That is the sweetest thing I have ever read! What wonderful news for your dear friend.

    Kathy Brown

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  2. I have finally had time to catch up. This is truly the example Christ intends us to see. We are ALL adopted by Him. Thanks for sharing

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