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gifts from above

In our home we celebrate each and every milestone that our precious children reach. The big ones. And the small ones, too.

We rejoice when our children exceed all expectations.

We rejoice when they try new things and come so close to getting it right.

We rejoice when they never give up.

And we rejoice when the seemingly insignificant victories occur.

Over the years, God has taught us so much as we have navigated this journey of raising children who struggle more than others. Through many trials, countless errors and His grace poured upon us so lavishly, we have become so mindful of the everyday miracles that happen in our home.

When Hailee came home in 2010 we had moments when we wondered what would become of her life. I recently shared her story here. Struggling with the effects of an adult tranquilizing medication, tormented with the fear of being outside of the only environment she ever knew–the confines of a crib, desperately fragile and underweight, traumatized and inconsolable. “A miracle, Lord!  She needs a miracle!”  we cried out to the Lord, aching for our new daughter.

The first picture we ever saw of our Hailee.

We knew that without a touch from heaven, Hailee would more than likely never learn and grow. So much damage had been done. So much loss. For five years we kept Hailee home, got her the therapy and medical attention that she needed, and more than anything else, we poured so much love into her.  We held her closely and prayed that she would know that she was safe, loved and protected.  The rest we left in His hands.

And God.  He was faithful.

In 2013 I travelled to eastern Europe and brought home our new son.  Kael had been available for international adoption for many, many years but had never been chosen. This darling little guy ended up in an adult mental asylum often spoken about in adoption circles. A dark place known by many. There I met a tiny, emaciated boy who had been living a reality that few can comprehend.

By God’s unfathomable grace, he had survived! Kael came home at nearly nine years of age suffering from horrendous malnutrition, unable to walk or even bear his own weight for very long, unable to chew his food, depleted of any kind of energy, and stimming constantly. As with his sister, we kept Kael home.  For almost three years we fed Kael the most nutritious food we could find, got him the therapies he so desperately needed, and showed him what it meant to be loved unconditionally.  The boy was so desperate for love and cuddles and just could not get enough of being held.

And once again, God was faithful.

When we entered the public school special education system two years ago, never did we imagine that these two would do so well.  They have astounded us with the things they have learned. They have amazed us as they have surpassed expectations.  They have been so well loved, cared for, and individually cherished for who they are–by their teachers and by their peers who literally line up to spend time with them.

Miracle upon miracle upon miracle for two children who were once written off by the societies in which they lived as being unworthy of anything at all, unable to become anything other than children destined to live life in a crib.

Now chosen and deeply, deeply loved.  Blossoming, learning, growing.  A testimony to the goodness and the absolute faithfulness of their God.

Elementary graduation last May.

This week, a new season begins.  Hailee and Kael both started middle school.

New adventures together. New things to learn. New relationships to build.

New milestones to reach.

And many more miracles to watch unfold.

Thank you, God, for the absolute privilege of being their Mom.  Thank you that in spite of all of my flaws and my failings and my weaknesses and the broken parts of me, by Your grace You called me to have the front-row seat as Your miracles continue to unfold in the lives of these two precious ones. Forever thankful.

The everyday miracles.  The big ones. And the small ones.

Counting them all as gifts from above.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  ~~ James 1:17