Tonight my husband and I were at his company Christmas party. They always do it in January after the holiday craziness subsides. I do not know very many of his co-workers or their spouses. We had dinner and then there was bowling. I don’t love bowling. In my mind, bowling is only fun if you are good at it……and I don’t bowl often. As we all moved from the eating area to the bowling lanes I started grumbling about maybe just watching. He said, “you could sit with——‘s wife. I don’t think she is bowling tonight.” This guy’s wife wore a scarf to cover her head after the side effects of chemotherapy. She had also recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. I decided in that moment that I would much rather sit for an hour and visit with her than embarrass myself throwing a ball into the gutter and never hitting more than a pin a throw.
Our husbands have worked for the same company for about 20 years but we have never had a conversation. Tonight we did. She shared about her cancer journey, her career, her children, and feeling as if cancer gave her an opportunity to decide what to do next. She may or may not return to her career….she may decide to try something new…..She would not wish cancer on anyone but she is grateful that cancer made her……kinda brave. She wonders what else is out there for her to do, rather than return to her pre-cancer career. We talked about lots of things. Faith. Family. Future. She didn’t have much experience with families who had grown their family with adoption so I got to share our story with her. She listened attentively and laughed at all the right spots.
I found myself saying over and over, as I shared about each of my children, that I just want to get them to whatever God planned for them all along. Each of us is born with a purpose from God, created by God for that purpose. Helping our children navigate their lives so that they can achieve that purpose…..and know what it is….and glorify Him in it…..well, for me? That’s the whole point of parenting. Bio and adopted kids, the stories I tell about them are the same. How do I help them get to where God wants them to be, to do what He wants them to do in the world until He calls them home? This helps me when I am feeling sad about my adopted kids not being with their first bio families. I tell myself that perhaps God saw that maybe they were not going to get to their purpose in the family they were in, so He helped move them to another one that could. I pray this is true, and that if I can continue to ask for help and wisdom and mercy and forgiveness and grace…..maybe I can help my kids get there. It’s not easy. The pull of the world is strong and loud. My own weakness and sin and flaws are a barrier for sure….but with God’s help, I do believe that they can reach their destiny.
I came to this event feeling drained and empty and needy after a hard week with my job and with parenting. I needed a break and some rest and some time to not be summoned every 2 minutes by my children. I had an hour in the car with my husband to talk about things and to share stories with him that would never get shared at home with 5 sets of ears and so much to do. We had good food and then I got to sit with this beautiful woman and be a part of her transition in life…..and celebrate her victory over the disease of cancer. What an incredible day. Our kids are home with their grandma who is fun and safe and good and they don’t even need to call me or text me. For this little moment…..all is well….as we journey on to that which He calls us to day by day.