Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The one with the "Brother Baths" (Originally written 3/24/2015)

Originally written 3/24/2015**

​All my boys are sleeping--including my rockstar Hubbs--& I'm e-journaling processing through all the feels.  I wanted to share a little about "brother baths" & how the Lord is teaching me already through these 3 kiddos:

Tomorrow is our last big day here in China: we’re actually here until Friday morning, but tomorrow—Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 is the day of our US Consulate appointment here in Guangzhou.  Though the boys are legally our children, we have not yet received US visas for them to enter our country.  Adoption laws between China & the US state that adopted children are granted full rights as US citizens the moment their feet touch US soil. Tomorrow we will head to the US Consulate & vow under oath to love, care for, & raise these children as if they are our biological children.  Easy enough, right?!

But first, there is much to share about “brother baths.”

“Brother bath” is probably my favorite part of the day with our sons.  On day #1 Jayson dreamed up “brother baths” & it was an instant hit.  Big brother for the win!  Minute by minute per capita there is more giggling--& splashing of course—& there are more smiles, during brother bath than any other part of the day.  It may have been a crappy day, but when brother bath arrives, it doesn’t matter at all.  Language doesn’t matter; color of skin doesn’t matter.  It’s as if the world stands still, all the hard stuff fades away, & pure, unadulterated joy takes over.   It is precious time for my Mama heart. 

And yet as I watch them play & listen to the giggles, I can’t help but notice the scars on each of my son’s little bodies.  They have each come to us with scars.  We knew what Jayson’s preexisting scars were from, & were fortunate enough to be there for some of them before he was legally ‘ours.’  We know nothing about our China boy’s scars.  Are they from illness?  Abuse?  Medical Procedures?  We have no idea what procedures or illnesses brought our China babes their scars; and it is likely we will never know.

What we do know is that the scars are a reminder that our boy’s stories started before us.  They are a reminder that all adoption is born of great loss & that is hard.  There will always be a part of their lives we know very little about.  The physical scars remind us of the emotional scars they brought with them to our family; the loss of their biologic families, the loss of their country; their language; the loss of everything they've ever known.

They are so young & so innocent to have scars that run so deep.

As I watched them playing tonight I started to feel overwhelmingly sad that I don’t know what the scars are from.   What happens when they ask JP & me one day if we know & we don’t have the answer?  Maybe they will wonder, maybe not, but I am their Mommy & I want so badly to have answers to their tough questions.

And then, just in the way He likes to do things, I felt the Lord speak into my heart that it doesn’t  matter if Jonathan & I know every detail of their lives before us—don’t get me wrong, if any of our boys want to search for the answers to the questions they have about belly families & life before us we will walk with them in that if they want us to!  What matters is that the Lord knows every hair on each of my 3 son’s heads; He knows every scar; He knows if they were from injuries inflicted with intent to harm or from medical procedures where a Mama/Daddy/Nanny waited with open arms to comfort them afterwards.  He knows who was with them in their darkest hours before us.  He knows because He was there.  In the middle of China, in what feels like the post-apocalyptic world to JP & me, He was there.  He has always been there, & that is the best answer we could ever give to our boys regarding their scars. 

Now I can look at my boy’s scars & see a reflection of the scars Christ gained for my sins, long before my story began.  What a sweet, precious reminder of the unconditional, redemptive, sanctifying love that Christ so freely gives. I will never look at their scars without remembering this Truth. 

So tomorrow morning, in what feels like the blink of an eye, these sweet, mischievous boys will be fully ours & we will have our ticket home (visas are delivered to us on Thursday afternoon & we catch a plan Friday morning).  Jonathan, Jayson, & I will return to everything familiar, comforting, & safe; but our newest additions will leave everything familiar, comforting, & safe to them.  I cannot even fathom how traumatic this could be for them & am praying fervently that the Lord will protect their little hearts & grant Jonathan & I wisdom as we navigate this transition period with them.  Please remember our boys in your prayers for this specific reason. 

PS~ one of these days I'm going to get a great "brother bath" shot, but they're a moving target & this is the best I could get, ha!

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