Monday, July 9, 2012

I Understand a Little Better Now

I thought I understood.

I really did!

I thought I understood something of what orphans and foster children face.

The disruption,

having to start over again in a new environment,

feelings of loss...

I really thought I could understand

and empathize.

Until...


Last June, we packed up our house and temporarily put our belongings into storage.

Last July, we camped out in our school while we waited for our new house to become ready.


Last August, we buried my dad.



Last October, our housing plans fell through, we unpacked our storage unit, got rid of a bunch of things, repacked it into a POD and moved across the country.

We camped out in a 100-year-old rental home (owned by my sister and her husband) while it was being renovated. Three days after arriving I began teaching at a new school. (After 16 years of teaching in my own school, this was a bit challenging.)

This January, our POD arrived and we began the process of settling into our new home. Yaay!

This February, my uncle suddenly passed away.

This March, Billy moved in, bringing our at-home kid count to five and causing us to rearrange the bedroom situation.

I don't things started to feel "normal" for any of us until around May or June -- although, my girls still ask when we are going "home."

Through all of this--as each change occurred and I struggled to adapt--the thought kept occurring to me, "This is what life must be like for foster kids and orphans. Now I understand a little more."

But the difference is ...

I am 41!

I have a stable, long-term support group.

I am secure, knowing that I am loved by many.

I know this time of change is temporary and things will settle into routine again.

I have the tools to cope.

I have, to a large extent, control over my situation.

And so, even though I understand a little better now, I will never really know completely. My life story is so completely different from that lived by the orphan. My life has been sheltered and secure. I know who my parents are and was cared for by them. I never experienced abuse, abandonment, or neglect. I am blessed!

The very least I can do is share some of my blessings with a child who was not blessed in the same way.

I pray that God gives me many opportunities to do just that!