Carrie Gonzalez has a BA in Business Management, is mom to 6 children, has served over 15 years in youth ministry, written several devotions, fostered to adopt, worked with animal rescue, and works in Student Nutrition. Her life goal is to reach out and love those that are deemed unlovable.
The sun is glowing, lighting the dark lines of the little bit of night that is clinging for just a few more minutes, the quiet is like a warm blanket. The breeze blowing through the window reminds me that fall is quickly approaching. The stillness of the house has such a calmness about it. I slowly sip my hot tea, revealing in these priceless moments alone. Then I look at the clock and it all comes crashing down and the reality of my day quickly sweeps my solitude under the rug. My husband has left for work, I have precious few moments to prepare for the day. You see I am a mom. I am a mom by blessing and by choice. My family is quite the little melting pot. I have two daughters I felt grow inside me, a son and a daughter that grew In my heart, and two daughters by marriage that have grown in my arms. I have always loved children and wanted a large family. My body did not cooperate to grow that large family in the way I had planned, but God put a heaviness on my heart for more children that was filled with adoption and marriage.
After working for years with community youth, I saw how desperately children needed families. So my now ex husband and I decided to foster to adopt so we could be sure that our daughters would be prepared for the growth of our family. Nothing could prepare us for the joy or obstacles that came our way through this change.
I still remember the day we were called and asked to take in my youngest two. We had planned to adopt teenagers since we were told that they were the hardest to place, but surprisingly once called it was for a two year old and a five year old. They were in our home almost immediately, and in my heart that same day. But, what I dreamed of as a family would never be. My beautiful lil ones had suffered the trauma of life so early that some of the obstacles and behaviors would leave me crying myself to sleep at night. In turn, I would find myself divorced less than a year after the adoption, alone with 5 children.
Now, this may sound like a horror story, but it is far from such. My beautiful lil ones have taught me to love the unlovable, find joy in the little victories and strength in relying not on my own understanding. But, the reality is…adoption is hard. There is no picture perfect situation. These beautiful children have already known the harshness and coldness of an unforgiving world. It is our job to show them their worth, guide them to be what God had purposed them to be, and show them what true love is. For my family, this meant learning to teach them how to just function daily.
Our daily routine changed and required me to adjust my sleeping schedule to allow my alone time to be early in the morning to prepare for the day. My day often consisted of morning fit throwing, calls from the school, screaming when events caused routine changes, not to mention the lying, stealing and hatefulness at times. See these precious babies of mine, saw security in routine. They often would have emotional triggers that would set off fits that I did not understand and would take a great deal of love and patience just to struggle through the day. We have learned to teach through repetition, not to sweat the small stuff and concentrate on living with integrity in all things. Sometimes I wonder if my lil ones will love me completely and trust me completely, but then I remind myself that each day they are growing more secure in themselves and in relationships.
Yet, every day I would repeat this whole process again just to be where we are now. You see, they have taught me and my other children so much. They have taught us that real love is. That real love is unconditional and sacrificial. There is nothing more precious than to know that all my children would do anything for each other under any circumstances.