A Different Kind of Mothers Day

Mothers Day looks a little different when you have kids that didn't come from your tummy.

It's interesting how few people recognize that. Even the pastor at church on Sunday simply recognized those who had mothers alive...and those whose who'd passed away. 

That makes it seem so clean and simple, doesn't it? But what about my kids? 

What about Ezekiel, who's mom had to give him up because she couldn't keep him safe & couldn't feed him? 

Yes, I am his mother. Obviously. My whole heart loves him as if I had birthed him myself. 
But he's sad & angry with his biological mother. I'm not sure if he misses her. He only talks about missing his dad {who passed away}. 

What about sweet little Imani who never knew her mother? We know nothing, literally nothing about her, aside from the town in which Imani was found at about a week old.

Mothers Day may not feel different for her now, but once she's older & begins to ask questions, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a bit of a sad day.

We really want to recognize the moms that have had such an impact on our little family. We wanted to honor Ezekiel's mom specifically, since we plan to travel back to Ethiopia when he's 16 with the hope to find his mom & sister Hannah. 

{We'll honor Imani's birth-mother next year when she's a little older & understands more}

So we decided that every year, he'd write his mom a letter. I searched & searched online for something I could use. There are so many blogs with fun printables for Mothers Day. 

But again...our situation is different. There's no diy or printable for this. 

It's times like this that I wish I knew graphic design. How easy it it would be to make something if I did. But since I don't, I simply made this little card while he brainstormed what he'd tell her. 



I bought a small photo album so every year, he's able to write to her. 

God does keep his promises. He promises to give us a hope and a future, and both Ezekiel and Imani's mothers worked perfectly in the Lord's plan to help that happen.

Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Lets not forget about my sweet middle two. 

Anton really wants to write Ezekiel's mom a letter, too. 

When I inquired what he'd say in it, he replied:

"I'd tell her that she needs to come to America so she can learn America words. Because when we go see her in Ethiopia, we don't know Ethiopia words...and we want to talk to her."

And Laith. Sigh. Sweet "Crazy Crash." I think it doesn't even occur to him that Ezekiel and Imani have only been in our family for a little over a year. 

Sometimes I briefly mention something about skin color, just to see their response. Curious if they're curious. They look at me like I'm a moron. "Who cares, mom?" Yep. Who cares.

Who cares how our family came to be? Who cares if some of my precious children didn't come from my tummy. But I know that there will be questions, there will be sad moments. 

I know that this day is not all about me. It will never be. 
And I'm ok with that. 



Perfection & Joy...need the reminder? I do.

See this goofy face? Don't let her confuse you into thinking she's all peaches and cream. 
{though mostly she is}

Today has been brutal. Do all the kids get together some mornings and decide that it looks like the perfect day to be grumpy. all. together. ALL DAY? 

I think the answer is yes.

About a week ago, Ben & I were here

Sigh. SO not real life {honestly, who actually has a personal butler anyway?}. But today I'm closing my eyes, in the midst of the chaos & crying and thinking of our calm, quiet week. oh what a concept. 

I re-read this post {below} this morning as a reminder for myself.
Thought maybe you may need the reminder, as well.

{come on, grab your 3rd cup of coffee of the day and sit for a minute}

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

{post from 24 january 2012}

As I sit here, waking up at 5:30...it's so gloriously quiet. Peaceful. The day is on the horizon and it's supposed to snow today. I typically wake early to do my devotions and read my Bible before the chaos of the day has begun, but this morning I felt the Lord tugging & impressing upon my heart to write. 

{my early morning treat...an extra hot cappuccino...with extra foam & fresh berries}

Every parent understands when the house is a little too quiet, you know you're kids are up to something. Doing something they probably shouldn't be doing. It's similar to us, isn't it? We're quiet before God...not in a prayer of quiet adoration kind of way...but a place of silence, possibly even a place of secrecy. We're not too dissimilar to our children, are we?

I don't think that's where I am with the Lord right now, but it's so easy to be. To sleep in rather than wake before dawn to spend time with Him. To be too busy for Him. That's so easy. Am I interested in a close relationship with Him, or am I committed? I want to be committed. I want to grow into the woman I was intended to be.

I want things clean. Streamlined. Simple. And I desire to take joy in all things.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." That's what we learn in James 1. Take joy. In all trials though? Take joy. Take joy.

The expectation of perfection. Maybe even with a Capitol P. Perfection in all I do. A perfectly clean and organized home, and yet perfection in doing art & other projects with the kids. Those are messy. My laundry needs to be done. The sheets need changing. It never ends. The kids bathroom has dried toothpaste all over the sink and counter. Sigh. I can't keep up. Sports, bike riding, legos. Dolls and books strewn throughout the house. Picking up, always picking up. {but take joy}

Ezekiel says, "All I do is clean. You're so mean to me." Child, you have no idea. But I understand because that's exactly what I feel. "Lord, all I do is clean." Why is life so messy? {take joy}

Ben and I always tell Anton & Ezekiel "It's ok to be sad, mad, or angry. But you may not be rude." And how many times a day am I rude? In my quest of perfection, Ben gets the brunt of any bad mood I'm in {because the perfection that I seek is of course, unrealistic}. At times, likely resulting in an tone of voice I'm not proud of. How do I take joy in all things? How do I remember to?

Laith is now awake at my knees, cuddling me. Asking me to sing the Cowboy Song, which I do not know. His breakfast this morning consists of one bowl of pretzels, another bowl of peanut butter. Not his typical 1st meal of the day, but he asked so sweetly that I couldn't resist. Treats. Memories. I'll always remember him getting up before the rest of the kids every day, giving me hugs and kisses and holding his hands out wide saying "I love you lots 'mawm' I love you as much as a monster truck. Cuddle me, mom." And then beginning a long creative, imaginative story that contains bad guys and how he "gets them."

So how do I keep up? How do I do it all? I don't, I suppose. I can't. You can't. But I can try and remember what's important and Laith now cuddling me on my lap telling me to "type more letters" and how calling out the ones he sees appear upon the screen is an example of what IS important.

Taking time for them. Keeping up with them. The house will get done. Someday. I saw a sign in someone's house once that said something like "Sorry about the mess...my kids are making memories." Maybe I need that. Not that I'll ever let go of the desire for a perfectly clean and picked up home. I'll never stop picking up all the toys, doing the never-ending steam of dishes. But this morning, the Lord has given my heart a reminder that I can only be perfect in Him, by reflecting His character. To graciously give and receive love.

John writes in 1 John 3:18-20, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

{Lord, thank you for your promises. And thank you for not giving up on me! Please continue to open my eyes as I see the quest of perfection to be an unrealistic one. Help me to remember what kind of perfection I seek. Empower me & mature me in character rather than an immaculate home or the flawless execution of a task. You care more about my heart & how I form and mold the hearts of my children. 
Please help today as I take on your challenge. Amen.}

{take joy}