Monday, November 28, 2011

An Enchanted Thanksgiving

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing...
Psalm 68:6

For Thanksgiving, our family took a little trip to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in Fredericksburg, Texas. We had a tasty, windy picnic up top of the Rock.

The two best things about our Thanksgiving celebration:

1. It was wonderful to get outside as a family for the whole day, and the weather was absolutely perfect - high near 70 degrees and blue skies.

2. It was bringing AH even more deeply into our family. We've been to Enchanted Rock as a family many, many times. AH had never been there. So, now, when we say, Oh yeah, remember that Thanksgiving when we hiked Enchanted Rock, and that tight spot we all found ourselves in when we were exploring the little caves? The spot where mom was down in a hole with a crying 4 year old and a screaming 1 year old, all the backpacks and a cell phone that had spontaneously started playing Josh Groban's The Little Drummer Boy? 

From now on, AH has a connection to our shared memories of Enchanted Rock, as well as the specific, special memories of our unique Thanksgiving celebration this year.

It takes a lot of time, I'm learning, for a family to adjust to adoption. We are 10 months into the process, and have hit a more intense season again. It seems like some of the hard stuff is just now beginning to really seep out of AH's heart. I think that up until now, we've all been preoccupied with the logistics and more practical side of adjusting to being a family of 8 know, learning each other - her learning our ways and habits and vice versa.

God has graced AH and I with some very significant conversations recently. These are a direct answer to prayer, Thanks be to God! Whenever my children's needs or personality stump me, I've turned to a passage in Daniel 2: 

He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him. (v 21-22)

The hurts of the past are among those deep and hidden things...the things that lie in darkness. Little by little, I am beginning to understand the depth and severity of the loneliness AH has known most of her little life, and the toll it has taken on her heart and mind.

Being able to grasp these things gives me an enormous advantage as I (we) work to love AH well and meet her needs. First we have to understand her needs. It's a long, slow, really painful process sometimes. But I am confident that Jesus will heal her hurts, and so thankful that we get to be part of that healing, God help us. 

I've never struggled more with mommy guilt than I have in the past year. So many hard decisions - Is this best for her? Is that best for her? Will it hurt her or help her if I deal with her that way? And then, naturally, How does this affect everyone else? What do the others need?

I've never been so aware of my fallenness and weakness as a parent - and my desperate need for heavy grace from the throne of God!

 This would be the entrance to the hole in which I was stuck with the screamin' littles and Josh Groban singing his Christmasy heart out


  1. was that really cranberry sauce in your picnic on the rock? It looks like a lovely, fun time and (now!) I'm sure it's a funny story about being stuck in the hole.

    So glad you are AH's mother.

  2. What a perfect way to spend Thanksgiving!! Love all the photo's especially the one of CJ crying! :)