Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our Journey To Comfortable

As you might guess, the adoption of older children has an element to it that I have not encountered with the adoption of our other children, who were adopted much younger.  Babies are just so easy for me to “embrace”, even though I don’t know them at first.  I would guess that this is the case for many families who adopt younger ones.    
The relationship with Noelani and Clive feels still very “new” and “uncomfortable” as we dance the unfamiliar.  There are many behaviors that I understand were allowed or accepted in the orphanage, that is not and cannot be allowed now in a family.  Little things like burping in our faces (yuck) to the bigger things of throwing fits, stomping feet, banging of the head in frustration, and stealing. 
I was thinking how my new children are not like fresh little plants just growing out of the ground that I am nurturing as they develop and grow.  They are already grown plants that have some unhealthy habits of growth and development that we are now pruning and restructuring.  Now mothering is hard, but I’ll be honest with you ... THIS is a different hard.  It’s hard not being able to speak the same language.  It’s hard training firmly intrenched habits that have been left alone.  It’s hard coming face to face with another culture and finding a way for their past and our present to converge into our “Family Culture”.  It’s hard when we misunderstand each other and I try to hug a child that turns a back to me.  It’s hard to “feel motherly” much, when I just plain ol’ don’t know them yet. 

I was up a little early this morning and read several things from Matthew.  I read Matthew 11:25-30 ... where Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  I asked Him to show me what His yoke is.  I just needed to know.  I “knew” that there was something in this verse that could help me today and each day as we journey with our new children to a more comfortable place.  I didn’t get an answer at the time.  We got ready for church and headed out.  Our praise and worship music was fantastic today, and as clear as a bell, during one of the songs, the LORD answered me.  Now, please understand, this was His answer for me.  He may have different answers for other, so please seek HIS answer for you and your questions.
Back to what He told me ... “My yoke is LOVE.”  
I know ... this is pretty obvious I guess, but it meant something to my heart.  And I recalled that by faith we WENT to China to bring our children home.  And now today, we LIVE by faith (Galatians 2:20).  This, to me, is the perfect marriage of faith and works.  “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18)
Tonight, I want to take up His yoke of Love, and “live” (works) out the faith that started us out on this journey with Noelani and Clive.
And tonight, I find rest for my soul in His promises, His mercy and grace, and especially His everlasting, never ending Love.


  1. Shonni, thank you for sharing your heart so openly. I an encouraged and reminded by your post about Christ's yoke being love. Press on, dear sister. You
    All will be in my prayers :-). Love, chenning

  2. Thank you for this! Totally need it as we just brought two babies home last week.

  3. You are so is a dance sometimes. I actually refer to it as a balancing act between establishing the loving/nurturing aspect of our relationship while also giving instruction & boundaries for behavior. We have 2 adopted from infancy, which as you said, things come more naturally. Our son was almost 5 at the time he came home, & while we have had few major issues, it is still a process. Now we are bringing home an almost 2-yr-old, so I have no idea where that falls. Will it be closer to infancy adoption or older child? Fortunately, God knows & I will just keep putting one foot in front of the other to get there. :)

  4. Thank you for your honesty. I've been sending lots of prayers your way. Two things we found most helpful when adopting older kids 1) treat them like a baby (because in many ways they are), and 2) make myself easy to love--laugh, joke, tease, give eye contact, dance, be silly. the more they fall in love with mom and dad, the more they want to please (and the less negative behavior you will see :-)

  5. Your blog posts inspire me. Praying that you may 'love' on your precious treasures today and that in that process you may be tremendously encouraged.
    I completely understand what you are saying about the challenges of an older child adoption. Your words express so much of what I feel. Thanks.

  6. Precious post my friend! I am so thankful for your honesty and willingness to share. I am so blessed to watch all of this unfold. God's hand prints are all over your journey!! Even in the hard, dark days, He is there...on the wonderful, happy days, He is you everything you need.


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