Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Maran

5 years you have been alive, I have spent only 1 of those with you. It is a beautiful and a hard thing to know you have a past without me.  So many days I thank God for your birth mom. I see her thumbprints all over your heart. When we set our hearts on adopting children aged 1-5 I prepared myself for the worst. Tantrums, trouble attaching, a child that may not want me to touch or hold them, would take forever to call me mommy or say I love you, rage, bitterness, pain.
God allowed me to peek into you heart through our month in Congo and process some of these traits with you. He allowed me to enter in your suffering (nearly 1 year ago next week) and just be with you as the confusion and the hurt swept through your body. But yet he also spared me of much.
You are the most excitable and affectionate child we have. You drink in affection and it bubbles out of your heart. It often strikes me to still see the surprise in your eyes as I tell you God made you beautiful, special, different, unique. Even though I tell you some of these daily, it still seems surprising and new to you. It is like filling a deep empty well, each drop of affection drops deep into your heart. God has to fill in the gaps. I mess up as your mom daily. I cannot fill that empty well that resides in your heart. Only he can. And some days that is all I can rest in. You have seen more life, more hurt than any 5 year old I have ever met. You know how to survive, alone, push down fear, be independent, be a mom, put your walls up, protect yourself. These are traits sometimes I wish you didn't have, but I trust that God is bringing this good work in you to completion. I believe he will use each of those past hurts, scars, pains, wounds, trauma to tell a bigger story with your life. Jesus was with you when you had never even heard his name. He was with you when I couldn't be there to be the mom you needed. He was with you the last day you ever saw your birth mother. The days you were alone, scared, and living in an orphanage.
You have had a big year. Last year this day I wrote you this, it still resounds in my heart for you so deeply even though I had only seen your picture when I wrote it.
The greatest joy for me as your mom is to see God's truth start to sink into your heart, and start to fill in all those cracks of brokenness. The scars will never go away, your past will always be your past, but God is filling it in, healing it, redeeming it, using it. I am a broken vessel too.
The other Sunday morning we were all snuggling in bed and you and Levi and Wheeler were going under the covers and popping out and I would squeeze you when you came out. In true Maran fashion, you were giggling and squealing with joy and excitement, and you all the sudden blurted out "Levi! We have a family now!" There I sat, stunned in bed, heart melted, that 11 months later this truth has started to sink in. You have a family. Forever.
Another day, preparing for Reese's Kenya trip, you came to me and said "I have a plan, we can go to the store and buy some money,pack it in your suitcase and you can take it to Africa so people won't be hungry anymore!" Sweet girl. God is trading your survival nature, your get what you can get heart, in for a generous heart, a heart that sees others hurting, hungry, the way you were. He has started to make you sensitive to the needs of others. This is a huge victory for you, it shows Jesus at work in your heart. Because for so long you have operated out of a "give me, take what I need, fend for myself" mentality. God is still in the miracle business.
Another fond memory was a month or two ago when my phone was on random playlists that I hadn't played in a while and the song 'Beautiful Things' by Gungor came on. You stopped, gasped, and said "mom, remember when I used to hit you in the face in Africa and you just sang me this song?" My heart stopped and I realized, those hours on end of me calling out to God in my own desperation and sin and need sunk in your heart. My desperation mattered. I sang over you, even when I didn't feel like it, even when I thought you couldn't hear me, even when I thought you didn't want me. But you heard. You remembered. God used it.
So Happy Birthday my 5 year old treasure. You are teaching me so much about enjoying life, being content in the small things, living in desperate dependence on God, and letting God fill in my cracks to make me more like Jesus.
Just like your name sake, Maran'atha- Come Lord, quickly. Heal us. Be near. Redeem the brokenness.
You are a treasure of immense value,

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  1. I am weeping over the beauty of adoption that God has shown through your family. Your words perfectly describe how God has and is redeeming Maran's life. Thanks for writing.

  2. What a beautiful story of God's redemption in your precious family. LOVE that you shared it, LOVE that you adopted!! Have you read Kisses for Katie?? A must read. Bless you . . .

  3. Truly beautiful. Love seeing the beauty rise from the ashes.