Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hello God? Hello World? This is Kylie.

Wow, four kids is keeping me b.u.s.y. Just when I think I'm hitting a stride, stomach bugs, flu and lice hit! In a house of 6 people it rarely stops at 1 person too!
I can hardly believe we have been home 3 months as of yesterday. We only met them 4 months ago tomorrow. Sometimes it feels like we have been home 9 months or a year. It feels like this has always been our family.  And sometimes my time in Congo is so fresh I can still smell the burning trash in the air, remember the ache I felt there, and see the peoples worn down faces in my mind as they asked for money or food. At 3 months home and 4 months together I honestly did not think we would have come as far as we have. Tantrums are down to a minumum. Sharing is getting better. English is the primary language spoken between us now! I am understanding my kids and they are understanding me. Yet every now and then we go back. Just the other night I had Maran and Levi on my own for dinner while the other two were in gymnastics. Levi started to cry about something and Maran grabbed a bib and showed me how to tie it around her back. She said "my other one mommy put Levi on back when Levi cries."
There it was.
Her first memory she had recalled and shared to me in English without prompting. I got so excited and engaged the dialogue for a while. As we kept talking about it her head got lower and lower. I asked if her other mommy was kind, If she slept in a bed, who slept with her, if she lived in a house. Answers were sporadic and then she asked to see a picture of her in Africa. I pulled out my ipad and showed her the orphanage, the kids there, the food they were eating, the mamas that worked there. I asked, did you like it here? "no, not that one house, this one house. Me this one house, this one mommy". Silence for the rest of the evening. Reminder after reminder of the grief she has experienced and suffering she has seen and walked through. John held her that evening after coming home and told her "I will always be your daddy, mommy will always be your mommy, you will be in our family forever". Comfort, but not healing. 

Parenting 4 is non stop. Teaching lessons that have been missed is non stop. English. Sharing. Date nights with the older kids. Time with my husband. Diaper changes. Snack time. Laundry. Dinner. Car line at two schools. It is keeping me busy. I have not made the time I should to carve out for me and God to sit and talk and look through his word like I used to. I am giving myself grace in this season but I miss it. I am finding new ways to connect with God through this busy season. It has still been a sweet place and he has not let me fall away. It is a hard place many days, but a sweet place. 

It has also been a beautiful thing for us to see the lessons they did learn, the quirks they have, the things I think their mother must have done well. They both will not walk by an open drawer or cabinet without closing it. Maran always wants to sweep up a mess and she is very thorough. Maran is so diligent about saying "Thank you mommy!" whenever I do the littlest of things. Levi loves to be held close, sleeps best when strapped on back or chest, and gives lots of kisses. Maran cares for Levi still as if she was his mama. Picks him up when he cries, tells me to feed him if she thinks he is hungry. Maran loves to be tickled, throw into the air, jump, play outside, be a kid. I think about the other kids her age in charge of taking care of their siblings, deprived of a childhood of carefree play or laughter. Living in conditions that constantly keep them sick. 

I came across this video on Facebook and it is exactly my prayer for DRC.

So life will one day feel normal again, I know it. I will be able to grocery shop, finish laundry, and cook more than 2 days a week again. I will be able to spend more time with friends, play dates, and time away from the kids. But for now we are still in the trenches most days. And I am so thankful for this refining time, this restoration that is slowly coming over our kids, our family. I found two pages in Reese's prayer journal this week that reminds me of the beauty God is making in our family.
"God plees sav all of the orfins"
"God did a mirucle in giving us Levi and Maran"

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