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I clearly remember the moment my husband John and I were driving two-year-old Casey and five-year-old Bella home from the Department of Social Services. These light-haired, overexcited, and very scared children were strangers to us. John and I had just signed a paper stating it was our intent to adopt them. At the time we already had three, older biological kids and another adopted two-year-old, but our minds were racing with the knowledge we were taking in kids from hard places.
With wide eyes my husband glanced over at me. “Trish, the State of Arkansas just gave us two kids.”
I looked into the backseat. Wow, they're mine. Then I considered the stack of paperwork that listed their painful history and special needs. A second thought quickly followed: Oh, no. They're mine. The joy of the moment was overshadowed by the challenges to come. Lord, are we ever going to be able to help them? Fix them?
Looking back, I longed for the impossible. I wanted to be able to make up for all these children had faced in their past. Yet even by providing all the love, stability and care we could, my children still carry bad memories and scars. That is something no amount of hugs and kisses can take away.
Yet in small ways, on ordinary days, healing has come. They laugh and play. They've learned to come to us for comfort. They offer comfort to others. They believe in Jesus. This, perhaps, is the biggest miracle of all.
I've also changed on my journey of being their mom. I now know it's not up to me to fix my children. My job is to just lead them to Jesus where true healing can start.
Another miracle as happened within me, too. I've discovered that I don't need to have my act together either to be part of God's family. As one who always believed deep down that I had to earn God's love, parenting my broken children has reminded me to take my broken self to God. I've learned to listen to the whispers of His heart that proclaim: Always mine. Tricia, you are always mine - scars and all.
God changed John and I so much during the adoption process that just last year we finalized another adoption—this time of four older girls. Although bringing them home brought even more emotional upheaval, I'm learning even more to trust in God's healing work. My kids' needs have brought me to a place of accepting help myself and trying to meet the heart-needs of others in small ways.
Today is there someone who needs your love? Maybe you're not called to adoption. (But then again maybe you are!) Can you think of a young mom at church who needs some extra encouragement? Or maybe you have a friend who is a struggling empty nester and questions her worth. Perhaps you know an adoptive mom who just needs to hear, “You're doing a good job even if at times you don't feel like it.”
On my desk I still have encouraging cards and gifts sent to me by friends who saw my need. They are reminders that I don't have to struggle alone; I am loved and appreciated.
Today, think of someone who needs to be reminded to look for small miracles, even in the middle of hard circumstances. Each of us can make a difference in another person's life, no matter how large or small. Taking time to love that person with a card or small gift may be just the miracle they need.
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