Remember that time when I had two children and felt completely at capacity and overwhelmed with just getting through normal daily routines?
Yeah, that just doubled.
I am realizing now how good I had it then. Not to discredit my feelings then, because they were legitimate in the moment, but it is interesting how perspective changes everything.
Instead of two voices calling "Mama!!!" every two seconds and at the same time, now there are four girls who call me "Mama" and need me for everything.
All at the same time.
One of me, four of them. You do the math.
Maxed out capacity + Overwhelmed = Exhausted.
But still I am thankful.
I don't have much time for myself anymore. We are working on getting some consistent help here to change that a bit, but for the moment, I'm on the island (with some volunteer help on occasion) with four cute, but very demanding kids while Eric is at work five days a week.
None of this is easy.
I have a foster daughter who I feel like doesn't want to bond with me. Who is resistant to the idea of being part of this family, but still begs for a kiss at bedtime. She believes that everyone who leaves the house, even just to run an errand or go to work, is never coming back. But she runs up to me today, hugs my legs, and in a giggle says, "I love you."
And I am left wondering.
Can I love her enough, as much as my own flesh and blood daughter, even though she may only be here for a year? Can I love her without the timeline? Can I raise an african american daughter in a white home without causing serious identity issues to her future? Can I love her like she was all mine from the beginning?
I don't know.
I want to. But like any relationship that doesn't start with nine months of growing internally, it's going to take time.
Am I too tough on them? Should I instruct and direct less and just hug more?
Will they love me like a child loves their real mom?
This is so confusing. I am so tired.
But still I am thankful.
God didn't call us to easy. He called us to Himself. And when I found Him and dove in deep, I found His heart beating. And in that pulsing beat, I found this intense love for the cast off and uncared for children of Chicago. His heart became my own. And I responded.
I don't for one second doubt His placement of these girls in my home. Because His grace was all over their arrival. And His grace is bountiful. And it is all over me. And I am blessed. Because, yes, I am inadequate. No, I don't know how to raise black girls in a white home in segregated Chicago. Yes, I am overwhelmed. Yes, I cry a LOT these days. No, I don't know what I'm doing as a parent.
But the beautiful thing?
God is able.
HE IS ABLE.
And He is all over this.
My home is the Lord's. And each day as I walk as His servant, He continues to pour out more and more and more grace. Even when I fail, there it is again. His grace. I fail a lot. I am stretched thin and raise my voice and move harshly. Kids are crying and there I am again, hiding in the pantry, trying to refrain from beating my head against the wall.
And yet in all of this, the chaos, the survival mode, the stress, the transition, the tunnel of chaos of just trying to make it through each day, and the magnificent outpouring of grace, King David's words pulse through my ears, echoing loud in my heart.
"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?" 2 Samuel 7:18
My life is full. My hands are open. And I give thanks.
Click on the link below for some more lovely words on this that is encouraging me today.