Yesterday, I wrote the FIRST PART to my story…..today, the continuing saga 🙂
Uhm, WHAT??????!!!!!!!!!!!! Holland? Uhm, no. No thank you. I know nothing. I do not have an itinerary, I do not have a place to stay, I don’t know where to eat, I know nothing. NOTHING. I can picture myself asking the stewardess if this is a layover and how long it will be before we arrive to PARIS, FRANCE and she says that this is our destination. Our ticket is one way…..they will be adding our children/pets, onto the plane, over the course of the trip. This is where we will live out our days until the Lord sees fit to move us somewhere else. I had planned on staying in France for 10 days, not my life. I certainly did not plan on LIVING in Holland and what the heck do you mean, you will bring our kids during the flight?????????
When we started on creating our family….we had definite plans. Big Daddy wanted 1 child and I wanted 4. We compromised on 3. Our oldest was high strung, motivated, and determined. She is also super sensitive to bright lights, noises, and does not care for lots of people. Our second was a pistol. She was creative, loved animals, told you like it was regardless of if it was appropriate or not. She has a bit of a lazy streak and wanted things done for her more times than not. Our third, our only biological son, was an easy baby, until he wasn’t. He was the first to crawl, he babbled, talked, loved eating and then he had his 12 mths shots….life changed. Maybe that was when we were “packing” to go to Italy. It was like shades pulled down over his eyes and he stopped talking, he threw lots of fights, he had sensory issues…..it was tough. Our life was now full of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. It was hard. The Lord guided us and helped us and allowed me to have a great deal of soaked in knowledge….and today, you would never know anything was ever wrong.
So…Victoria, we started planning the trip. Alysssa, we started saving for the trip. Then, with Noah, we got on that plane and we headed to Paris, France to see all the things we could see in a 10 day trip.
Then….there was God.
As we were flying, God saw fit to allow 2 more kids to join our crew. These kids were older, than came from severe trauma phyiscally, mentally, and emotionally…amongst other trauma and He thought it’d be a good idea to have Big Daddy and me to raise them. It was almost like He threw me into the lion’s den, like he did with Daniel. I was totally unprepared. I thought I could love the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder, Behavioral Issues, Dyslexia, Developmental Delays, Food gorging/hoarding/stealing out of them. I wanted to fix them. Plain and simple.
While I was “trying” to “fix them”…..God showed up again.
This time, it was a brief detour, on our flight, to Ethiopia. The trip there was ROUGH. It was full of turbulence and engine problems. We thought and we were told we would not make it BUT GOD had other plans. We made it…..instead of a 24 hr flight, it would take us 15 mths to get from where we were (on a plane headed on vacation to Paris) to Ethiopia because He wanted us to add to our dysfunctional crew. He was another older child and he had malnutrition brain, some behavioral issues, and we came to find out that he was deaf in one ear…not a little bit hearing impaired but deaf deaf. Again, I could fix this. I could continue raising all these kids will “fixing” their issues and problems. I was content, tired and overwhelmed but content.
But then……..there was God again.
Several years and tears from our first child to our sixth child…..I was sitting on that plane, wishing to be at our destination so I could have some respite and a time to breathe. God decided to be my breath and to breathe for me…He did this in the form of our seventh child….our Zebra.
I thought the stress of trying to fix my FASD, RAD, ADHD, PTSD, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, Deafness, Autistic tendencies, blah blah blah was going to bring me to my knees…..oh, heck no….this little dude came into my life and turned it upside down. He has taught me so much and he has given me such joy but he also went from a normal little boy to a medically fragile kid in about 4 hrs. You can read all about our journey on CARINGBRIDGE. Please hear me say…..I would not change a thing with this little guy. He brings us such joy and happiness….even in the midst of uncertainty with his health.
Part 3: Welcome Home.