Tuesday, August 15

What have I learned?

It was five years ago today that the phone rang, and my answering of it changed our lives forever. I was asked if we would be able to provide a home for two little boys. I went all numb and tingly, and my mind was racing... can we do this? Are we ready? What are we in for? Will I be able to love someone else's children? I said yes. And then I found out... yes, no, more than we could ever imagine (both wonderful and horrible), and YES.

Top five things I've learned by parenting our adoptees for the past five years:
  1. It's not personal. My children act out of their past hurts and perceptions. When they do so, my parenting of them is rarely the real issue.

  2. Time may heal all wounds, but some wounds may take a lifetime (or longer) to heal.

  3. "Virtually indestructable" means that my boys can destroy it, much to the amazement of parents with average children.

  4. It can be very difficult to separate the quality of my parenting from the results I see in my children. I know this should not be so, and I am working on changing this belief, but I mostly still believe that "good" parents have "good" kids.

  5. I absolutely cannot do this job without the wisdom and grace my Lord Jesus provides! (Every time I try, I fall flat on my face... and usually take someone down with me.)
Top five "worth it" experiences with them:
  1. Walking into the courthouse with three different last names, and walking out as seven Armstrongs.

  2. Every time Michael, who used to scream when touched, and later would still tense up and panic when hugged, asks me for a hug and gives me a kiss to go with it.

  3. When Lynae put away the boys' laundry one night and decided to straighten up their drawers. I heard her sigh and say, "I just love those boys so much!"

  4. A couple days ago, I told Jon it was time for his (necessarily toned down) birthday celebration, and that he should put on a smile and be thankful for all the nice cards and gifts. He actually did so! He had a wonderful time, I got great pictures to remember it by, and I believe his joy and gratitude were genuine.

  5. Seeing Gracie act like a totally "normal" kid with normal kid problems.


  1. So glad that you're journaling this stuff. Wow, what a difference that phone call made. And what work God did to prepare you all for that moment and for all that lies ahead.

    You & your family are such a blessing to us. Thanks for sharing your lives and your story.

  2. Just want you to know I am so proud of you.