Life, Faith & Running
". . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
(Hebrews 12:1, NIV)
Yesterday marked two weeks of JeeWoo being home with us in Minnesota, and 18 days as a member of the Loween family. It is hard for me to wrap my head around this amazing time of transition in our lives. Just as there isn’t really a way to fully prepare for any other major transition in life, becoming a family of 6 through the journey of adoption has come with joy, tears, confusion and miracles.
The most asked questions I get when I make it out into the world outside our walls and backyard are: “How is it going? How is he doing?”
My most frequent response is, “Much better than we expected.” Which is 100% true. In just two weeks time, JeeWoo has gone from screaming at the sight of his PJs, to dragging us upstairs to his blanket when we tell him it is time for bed. He eats almost anything we put in front of him--except donuts for breakfast! He is a bacon and eggs kind of guy. He and Elim Jo have figured out both how to play together and how to push each other’s buttons. (Elim Jo has given up her 4-year stint of being the youngest and JeeWoo has given up his position as an only child, so it is not shocking that they struggle at times.)
Also, in two weeks time JeeWoo has gone from running away from an open lap and open book to crawling up next to his big brother to read on the couch at anytime of day. The kid picks up on everything, especially at meals. If I put oatmeal on my toast, he copies. If I dip my Naan in yogurt, he does the same. It cracks me up. And a little miracle to me (because early on I worried about how to gently build faith into JeeWoo’s heart in the ways we have with our older three children) is that he has already learned to fold his hands in prayer before we eat. A three year old resisting the urge to dive into his food when it is sitting right in front of him--a small miracle? Yes! I know it will take his heart and mind time to catch up to the habit of his hands, but it makes my heart happy to see that he sees our actions and desires to be included in them.
The next question that I usually get is, “And, how are you doing?” (That one makes me squirm. I like answering the other questions a lot better...)
If I am honest, I don’t quite have an answer for that, yet. I am an incredibly slow processor and transitions seem to bring on paralysis of mind and heart. Basically, I set into survival mode and live just above flat-lining. Which is ironic because I love adventure. But I am coming to understand, I love calculated, planned-out adventure. However, adventures that don’t come with a map or have a myriad of right ways and an unknown number of wrong ways, those send me into a tailspin. Ironically, even when I know the transition is coming and even when I have asked for it to come, it still knocks me off-kilter.
So for now, I can let you know I often catch myself staring off into the distance wondering what in the world is going on in my heart and mind: What am I thinking about all of this? How can I not know? Am I getting this right? What am I doing wrong? God, help me get this right, please.
And I can say that I take every day, hour-by-hour, constantly having to battle the doubt in my heart that I am not cutout for all of this, that I am not getting this adoptive-mom thing exactly right. On the flip side, I watch in complete amazement as Jacob, Moriah, Elim Jo and Mike settle into their relationships with JeeWoo with such ease. They seem to take most of it in stride and with such grace. Seriously, even though our kids have had their moments of less than desirable behavior (a common reaction to life getting shaken-up), the overall response to a new sibling has been nothing short of another miracle.
Thus, I am beginning to see how this journey of becoming a close and connected family of 6 is also the beginning of God ploughing the hard ground of my heart and asking me to draw close to him and re-learn the truth of who I am and the purposes he has put before me for my seemingly few days on this earth. And I get the sense that I might not have my answers until I dig deep into His word, find moments of silence and solitude (rare with a 3 and 4 year old running the house) and lean into the process, trusting that in time I will see the deeper things he is doing in my life as I attempt to walk this path of being a new mom again.
In the meantime, I will hold on to these two promises:
Her family and friends know her as, Jaci. She is the wife of a pastor, a mom of four, writing and communications education instructor, a visionary and an avid runner. As a firm believer in the power and effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out the Great Commission, she holds fast to this verse, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Of equal importance to her are these words, "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Posts in the Run for Your Life, series: