Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Turning onto Preparation Boulevard

Luke 11:9  "So I say to you :  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Three months ago embarking on this journey, I began to pray a very specific prayer for my family.  From the bottom of my heart, I asked God (the Creator, the Father, the Counselor, the Friend, the Healer) to prepare us in every way for the homecoming of Thunder and Lightning.  He had already softened our hearts to the plight of the orphan;  He had already cast a vision of life as a family of seven;  He had already written their names on our hearts.  They were already loved.  BUT we needed to be prepared for the more and less of adoption.  We all needed to be prepared for more responsibility, more chores, more laundry, more sharing, and less time, less freedom, less individual attention.

I diligently prayed this sincere prayer for weeks.

Is my family been excited about adopting Thunder and Lightning?  YES! 

Have I seen any evidence that they have been prepared for the changes they will experience as a result of this adoption?  NO. 

That is until this past week, one hundred and twenty days into the journey, I have evidence that an almighty God's voice has thundered and His lightning bolts have penetrated hearts in preparation for what is to transpire. 

Gather 'round.  Come close....I'll explain.

Princess G.A. must be prepared to give up her royal title of "youngest".  She must be prepared to give up her room.  She must be prepared to share.  She must be prepared to set an example as an older sibling.  It is only in the last few days that she has spontaneously begun to pray for the adoption process and the provision of her younger brothers in Honduras.  AMEN!  She has deliberately sorted through her toys and books creating piles of things that the boys would like...things she would like to give them.  She has willingly come to terms with leaving her beloved bedroom and moving next door.  She has embraced the idea that she will play a key role in helping them adjust to life in our family.  She has sweetly proclaimed herself a BIG sister and looks forward to walking Thunder into his classroom and riding the bus home with him when the day comes.  She has pledged her allegiance and protection to her little brothers.  Today, to my surprise, when we got in the car to go to school, there was a baby carseat strapped in the back.  She smiled a sheepish smile and said, "That is for Lightning so he can come with us to carpool."  She is more than just excited about the adoption, her heart has been prepared and she is moving forward willingly with open hands.  She has surrendered.  PRAISE GOD!

Kind hearted young warrior S.T. must be prepared to sacrifice some father-son time.  He must be prepared to take on the added responsibilities of more household chores.  He must be prepared to spend less one on one time with his parents.  He must be prepared to share the territory he has dominated as the only boy in the family.  He has begun to do his own laundry, take out the trash, and tend to yardwork without being prompted to do so.  AMEN!  He has begun to cast a vision of him and his little brothers fishing with their dad on the weekends.  As his birthday approaches, he has walked down memory lane and talked about the birthday parties we will have to plan for Thunder and Lightning.  He has tenderly given up some of his trucks and cars to be passed down to the boys.  He wants to take them to the rodeo.  He wants to share his passion for alligator huntin' and swamp loggin'.  He sees a place for Thunder and Lightning in the family business, if they so desire, working alongside each other as family and heirs to "the empire" (wink).  He is not just excited about the adoption, his heart has been prepared and he is moving forward willingly with open hands.  He has surrendered.  PRAISE GOD!

While Princess G.A. and Kind Hearted Warrior S.T., the younger children in the family, must be prepared for the lesser side of adoption, oldest child, Sweet Fair Maiden L.K., must be prepared for the more side of adoption...more responsibility, more chaos, more noise, more, more, more!  She was blessed with an innate way about her that makes children calm and comfortable in her arms.  She has patience and understanding, balancing those attributes well with  structure and discipline.  With the age difference between her and Princess G.A., she has filled my mommy shoes on many occasions...reading bedtime stories, packing lunches, supervising bathtime, pushing on the swing, painting nails, and a host of other lovingly dutiful activities.  She has never complained.  She has always welcomed the role.  But lately Princess has grown and is more independent, Fair Maiden has had more time to listen to her IPOD, shoot hoops, walk the dog, and visit with friends.  She is a teenager.  Thunder and Lightning are coming and she must be prepared for her role as next in command behind her parents.  The freedom she has been enjoying will come to an end. 

Just the other day, when I thought she was IM ing with a friend on the computer, she came to me with a page from Craigslist pulled up to reveal a great deal on a double stroller that she thought we might need for the boys.  AMEN!  She has resigned herself to the fact that we may just become a minivan clan.  She scours the sale adds and circles cute little outfits for Lightning.  Along with researching a report on Honduras, she has been reading up on the latest carseat safety reports.  She has embraced the idea of returning to public school.  She has enthusiastically voiced her desire to be our babysitter.  She has passionately shared her love of orphans with her friends and Sunday school class.  She is considering becoming a nurse or doctor that will work in an orphanage to provide medical care for the needy and abandoned.  She is not just excited about the adoption, her heart has been prepared and she is moving forward willingly with open hands.  She has surrendered.  PRAISE GOD!

Faithfully, day after day, I prayed.  Faithfully, day after day, He tilled and weeded and planted and watered and warmed.  Then one glorious day, it bloomed.  I recognized it immediately as the work of the Father.  This field is ripe.  Thunder and Lightning will reap the harvest of what He has sown and the day is not far off.  He has done the work of preparing our hearts!

Luke 8:5,8 says, "A farmer went out to sow his seed......Still other seed fell on good soil.  It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."

Bumper sticker...PREPARED.

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