This morning there was a precious exchange which I would love to share in a minute.
I know many people wonder about adoption. They wonder about adding to their family. They wonder about how older kids will feel when considering adding more. They even wonder how grown kids will feel when adding more.
Older folks may even wonder what it would have been like if they had pursued adoption when they were raising kids.
Friends, I am convinced that the entire culture of adoption is fostered in the heart of the home. The way it is presented from the very beginning. The prayers prayed together as a family for the next person(s) that will sit in that empty chair or empty bed.
For literally a year, as I would tuck the boys into their bunks at night, we would pray, aloud, for the person who would one day come to fill that bunk. No, we didn’t know about Vern, we had no idea. But during those prayers, God was cementing in my young warrior’s hearts that the boy on that bunk would be a blessing! That he would have fun with the boys, in fact that he would be an integral part of our family.
So bringing home a just-about-to-turn-14 year old in a wheelchair was a no-brainer for them. They had been praying for him for over 2 years when he landed in Phoenix with Liberty, Birdie and I. They could not wait for him to arrive!
And his wheelchair? The things he needs help with? Each need is quickly met from one of his brothers or sisters! Never once have I heard anyone complain about helping Vern with anything! I’m sure the “honeymoon” is long over, but the eagerness to help remains.
Why wouldn’t it? They prayed for him before they even knew him!
I am confident that the more a family prays together, with expectancy (get it!?) for the blessing that God is going to add to their family, the Lord covers over a multitude of potential problems by making everyone’s heart soft, pliable and tender.
Obviously, I’m not trying to say that life has been blissful, that there have never been any disagreements, arguments or offenses that needed healing. Of course there have been. We are very human over here in Phoenix!!
What I am saying is that the “welcoming and assimilating” into the family has been a smooth adjustment. Almost flawless. But only because we bathed it in prayer for years before he and Birdie came home.
Anyway, this morning there was a beautiful exchange and it went something like this:
Elizabeth was the first one up and she was comparing my essential oils order with the packing slip. In walked Elijah who asked, “Mom, did dad tell you my idea?” I told him he had not, but I would love to hear it.
He continued on, “Well I was thinking that maybe I could work for you and dad and earn money and then treat the boys, even Graham, to Star Wars.”
I told him I thought that would be really cool, but would take some time.
He then did the math aloud as I listened to how much he would need in total, how much he already had and how much more he would have to earn.
About that time, Elizabeth mentioned that she thought Vern might not be able to go because, depending on the theatre, it might not be handicap accessible.
At that moment, Elijah piped up, “Well, it’s okay if it wasn’t. I know Graham would carry him.”
It made my eyes well with tears.
How did he know?
He’d seen Graham do it on more than one occasion.
And one of those times, I happened to have my big camera with me….
While at our old home place, friends generously invited us to go out on their boat with them. Vern had never been on a boat and was thrilled. Heck, we all were thrilled – such a wonderful, glorious treat!!
Their gorgeous year-round home is right on the lake and the front lawn to the lake is steep.
And without any discussion or question, Graham took off with Vern…
And in that moment, big brother was modeling just how much our heavenly Father willingly carries broken-us.
Large adoptive families?
Hardly perfect. But perfectly thankful for all the intricate lessons in life that couldn’t be taught in a book.
Like carrying each other.