Sunday, September 16, 2012

Three Hours Forty-five Minutes for Twenty

Parkour! Some of you may have heard of it. It's a sport where kids leap from rooftop to rooftop with ease simply for the challenge and the thrill. They spin and flip and somersault through the air. Metropolitan areas are their playground. It's exhilarating. It's dangerous. It's Billy's passion.

When we lived in California, it was not at all unusual for us to hear footsteps racing across the roof, followed by a moment of silence, and a thud as Billy ran, jumped, and often flipped off the roof onto a previously selected landing spot. Often I would hear him call me to come watch a new flip or move he'd learned. He was always careful and deliberate in his movements and I didn't worry. Much.

I enrolled him in a gymnastics class so he could learn basic techniques. A friend of ours paid for Billy to take a bona fide Parkour course. Billy never missed a class.

And then...

Last September, Billy was at a park with some of his cousins. They were practicing together and demonstrating for each other. "Watch this!" was the phrase of the day. Towards evening, Billy and his cousins decided they should head home. One last jump off the side of a building was planned. Billy was tired. He pushed off, but instantly knew by the feel of his body that he had done something wrong. He had.

He was off-balance and in the wrong position for a proper landing. When he did touch down, the force of his impact at the angle he hit snapped his right tibia down by the ankle. He was in excruciating pain and in need of emergency surgery to screw his bone back together, followed by a leg cast, physical therapy, NO more Parkour, and a very unhappy young man.

Fast forward one year.

One of Billy's screws had worked its way loose and begun to wobble around in his bone. The doctor was concerned that the screw might break and leave pieces for him to try to dig out. The wiggly screw might eventually weaken Billy's bone as it gradually wore the hole bigger. Bottom line: the screw had to come out.

Friday, Billy and I headed to the hospital. We were told to be there at 9:00 a.m. sharp, but when we arrived, they said, "Oh, we're not ready for you yet." And they weren't for another three hours and forty-five minutes! When they finally did get Billy to into surgery, he was done in twenty short minutes - small incision, unscrew the screw, two stitches, brief consultation, done. Only there was another two hours to wait while Billy was in recovery. Then ... finally ... a groggy Billy and an elated me were released from the hospital.

Today, Billy is doing well. He has very little pain and is able to walk with only a minor limp. But, he still cannot do Parkour for quite awhile. This is going to be a hard time for him. But, I believe, by the promise of Romans 8:28, it will also turn into something good for him. I'm praying he will trust God enough see the good in this time as well.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Some Days...

Some days just aren't as good as other days.

Some days my smile is upside down.

Some days everything takes great effort to accomplish.

Some days I wonder why I'd ever even think about adopting again.

Some days I feel very overwhelmed and discouraged.

Today was one of those days.

But tomorrow will be better...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I've Been Watching You...

It's been nearly a year since we've moved across this great expanse of a country and settled into a new life in the south. In fact, we've experienced a lot of newness in these last eleven months--with a new house, new school, new friends, and a new church family. But we aren't the only ones experiencing something new. Those around get to experience US for the first time -- a real, live, in-the-flesh, adoptive family.

Sometimes I forget just how different we are...

Until I hear comments like the one I got the other day.

Our church secretary is an amazing lady--sweet, kind, extremely capable, uber-talented, and intelligent. I've never seen her make a mistake. She's also very quiet and observant. And she has no children.

So when she said to me, "I've been noticing something about your children for a while...," my stomach immediately tightened and, inadvertently, I leaped into defense mode. "Whatever it is, I can explain!" I thought to myself.

Ours is not a perfect family. We have shortcomings. We have faults. We have problems we deal with on a weekly, if not daily (or hourly), basis. I am painfully aware of what we are NOT. And sometimes that also makes me painfully insecure. Especially at times like these...

Our secretary continued...

"It seems that no matter how rough the background your children come from, they all seem to end up so secure and confident. I am amazed at your parenting and I just wanted you to know that."

That was her comment. All of it. Nothing negative at all. No foibles mentioned. No critiques offered. No questions asked. Suddenly I realized I had been holding my breath. I exhaled slowly and a relieved smile spread across my face, as I responded with the truth.

"It's not us," I explained. "It's God! Only He can change these kids." The multitude of frantic, frustrated prayers I have sent heavenward flashed before my mind. Raising kids, adopting kids, fostering kids -- it's not easy. Only God can turn a shattered life around. Only God can heal life-long wounds. In fact, only God can use an imperfect set of parents to raise damaged children and have any sort of positive thing come out of it.

Only God!

Only God can show an honest, outside observer, what we, an imperfect family, are trying our best to do -- honor Him through obedience to His will for our lives.

And I...

I need to remember that ...

and throw my insecurities

to the wind.

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16.