Different ends of the spectrum……
As I sit here, holding my youngest son because his belly hurts and my oldest daughter because her heart hurts….I realize that I really *am* a parent. I know, shocker, since I have 6 children, but my kids range from 16 to 5 and here I am, consoling them both for completely different reasons.
I am saddened, on so many levels. This is his first “tummy” ache and due to the communication lapse, I can’t use my words to comfort him, but I can use the power of touch. Sitting, holding, playing with his hair, rubbing his belly….he feels so safe, so loved and so secure that he drifts off to sleep. It sends my mind racing on the years that I missed…was he comforted in his village when he was sick? Did he get held, at the orphanage when he was sick? Did the nannies, at the transition home comfort him? I don’t know. I do know, that he was well loved. He was *so* loved by his mom, that she not only gave him life, once, but twice by allowing him to be adopted. I am humbled at her strength. I also know, that he was loved at KVI. There were *so* many children. Last count, I heard was 83 kids ranging from newborns to 12 & 13 yrs old. They did the best they could, with the resources they had and their hearts broke for each and every child. I also know that he was VERY well loved at the Transition House. The nannies adored him and our friends Woudneh and Betty and their 4 children came often to be a consistent face of love and comfort. I will be forever grateful to them for caring for our son, when we couldn’t be there.
Then comes our oldest. So anxious, so beautiful, so honest and caring. I’m so blessed to be her mom. She reached the magical age of 16 and now, it is time where she can “say yes” *if* a boy asks her out. Yet, that hasn’t happened. She questions herself. Her looks, her personality, her traits, her likes, her dislikes and how she can make herself more ‘date-able’. I’ve been there, I’ve been 16. I’ve been the girl that no one wanted to date. It is hard. There is no way to make that better. What I tell her, over and over is that she is beautifully and wonderfully made. That she is perfect, just the way she is and that she doesn’t need to change for anyone. She needs to be herself and if a boy doesn’t like that, he can walk on because she is worthy of someone’s unconditional love. Still, she aches because someone broke her heart. He was noble about it and prayerful of his decision and there was never really anything happening other than a friendship that had the potential to blossom. She was understanding and stoic….until she wasn’t. Then, she needed her mama to hold her and to tell her that God has a plan and a purpose for her life. That he has a wonderful man that he is preparing for her and she is being prepared for him. That patience, is indeed, a virtue and as hard as it is, she has to stand tall, remain strong and realize, that this isn’t the end of the world (although she firmly believes that it could be).
So, I sit here, holding my oldest and my youngest…reveling in the fact that God gave me these wonderful children and how blessed I am to be their mom.
Thank you, Lord for these children. Help me to raise them in Your light.