Recently our first grandbaby turned one year old. He is adorably cute and inquisitive. We love him dearly. His first year wasn’t an easy one. Since his mother, our daughter-in-law, is diabetic, much more monitoring took place to keep the little one in her womb and mommy-to-be healthy. Shortly before his birth, he was diagnosed with a heart defect that would require surgery within days of being born. This news definitely added stress to mom and baby as well as all the family. After he was born, we all praised God for healing his heart as no defect was evident at birth and no surgery occurred. However, within days after birth, he developed a fever due to infection. After a week hospital stay, another infection was found and ultimately a third which kept him in the NICU for 6 weeks with a tired set of new parents. Since getting home, he has grown and developed like a typical baby which means interrupted sleep for mom and dad as well as adjusting to the new baby. The year wasn’t as planned nor was it easy. Still, I cannot imagine anyone saying to these new parents of this adorable little boy. “He has really disrupted your life, Is it worth it? You’re so tired and he takes up so much time and energy. What about all those medical bills? Think of what your family would be like without him and all the stress he has added…” No, he is a blessing in spite of all those other challenges.
We have 12 children which includes the two teenagers we got home from overseas about 6 months ago. The journey to get them home hasn’t been easy. After all the adoption paperwork was completed, we faced the reality of how difficult it is to try to connect with and parent teenagers who speak a different language. Every situation was more difficult and time consuming. We had to try to meet their unique needs as well as the needs of the six other biological children adjusting to our new family. It was definitely not what we expected and we grew weary. Cultural differences, language barriers, teenage developmental stages, we grew weary. But God is so good and faithful and lovingkind, He has continued to provide for us daily and equip us in every way to parent all our children. We are beginning to connect. We are seeing healing and trust and more smiles. We are getting sleep, feeling less stress and not feeling weary. We are playing together more frequently! He is so good!
I sometimes wonder if people may think about our children, “They have really disrupted your life, Is it worth it? You’re so tired and the take up so much time and energy. What about all those adoption costs. Think of what your family would be like without them and all the stress they have added…” Yet we know God has built our family just the way He’d always planned. He has blessed us uniquely with each child, and I am excited to see all God has planned for our future. I couldn’t imagine our family any other way, in spite of the challenges, because we have an awesome Father.