We’re in the “final stretch” of the adoption process. With the stroke of the judge’s pen in just a few short weeks, we will officially be a family of 5. This has been a journey of a lifetime filled with a lot of waiting, prayer, and tears.
Sweet Husband and I will celebrate 33 years as man & wife later this month. As I raced down the aisle (true story: the priest had to gently signal to me to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n) to enter into covenant with Sweet Husband, did my twenty-something self ever imagine we’d begin the parenthood journey to three boys ranging from 8 to 11 the same year I was contemplating retirement?
Um … no.
And yet …
As we began this part of our journey well over a year ago, I remember wondering two things: were we “too old” to become parents; would there ever be anyone that would call me, “Mom.”
Now there are three that do: They’ve been calling us “Mom” and “Dad” since our second meeting early this past summer.
The moment they stepped through our front door, a few things became our reality:
Reality #1: this parenting gig is tough! I was commenting to a colleague not long ago that I’ve never known a person could be this tired. She, a grandmother, laughed.
Y’all, Sweet Husband and I are old! A good friend texted us a few weeks after the mancubs came to live with us asking how we were doing. I responded, “We’re half the age of Abraham & Sarah and three times as tired!”
We belong to a sweet group at church called “Old Parents with Young Kids.” The group appealed to us initially because of the name. Once we met them, we knew it wasn’t just the name of the group that was appealing. Turns out while all of us are older parents, we’ve all become parents through different avenues of adoption. While we only meet once a month, they’re one of our critical supports and we’re so thankful to have them in our lives.
Reality #2: you’re only too old to do something if you think you’re too old. Not going to lie, there have been plenty of moments these past months Sweet Husband and I wondered if we did the right thing because we are, admittedly, old.
Reality #3: these boys are worth every ounce of energy we pour into them; as perpetually exhausted as Sweet Husband & I seem to be, they have our hearts. This Mama Bear will move mountains so our cubs can grow into men who, as our Pastor said in a recent sermon series, “love God and have a job.”
Reality #4: I had forgotten how children view the world. Why is forgetting so easy? I’ve lost count of the many moments over these past several weeks now burned permanently, indelibly, in my mind: The exuberant exclamations of, “Mom, you’ve just got to come see this butterfly, it’s so beautiful!”; giggles coming from the living room because of whatever silliness is happening on TV; sleepy snuggles from the youngest after a hard day of playing and working in the yard with Dad. And the questions! I pray these three never lose their love of learning and asking questions … even when neither Sweet Husband nor I have any idea of the correct answer.
We’re thankful this part of the journey will be ending soon and even more thankful for the beginning of our new chapter as an official family of 5 in early 2019.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6