So we just had 2 new kids join our family. We are now guardians of our niece and nephew. They’ve been here a couple of weeks now and the difference in the house can be felt when you walk in the front door. We are now a family of 7, with 5 children, and people are acting like this is some huge monumental step of sheer craziness. They are shocked, in awe, speechless… the whole gamit. I now have more non-biological kids than biological ones.
Before I say more, don’t get me wrong, it does indeed feel…crazy. It feels hectic and stressful, and a bit cramped. Not to mention, these kids have had way different rules, so the adgustment is BIG. We are sharing rooms and moving people around. We are trying to figure out where we’re going to put our college daughter when she comes home from college for Christmas and summer breaks, so that she can have her own space and not share a room. And that same daughter still has a seizure disorder, which completely overwhelms me on a regular basis and completely overwhelms her. But somehow, it doesn’t feel crazy-crazy, like not stand back and say “whats wrong with us?” Kinds of crazy.
I don’t know… I know it’s not going to be easy. I know it’s going to in fact get really really really hard. I know that anger, frustration, attitude, and fear is all going to show its ugly head and rock our worlds. I know that we are at some point going to sit down and say, “I’m not sure if we can do this”. I know, because we did that when we adopted our youngest, and this is a totally different monster than that ever was. I know I’m going to cry, panic, and all-in-all just freak out at some point. I know all of those things.
I know we’re just going to have to roll with the punches when they come. Let one wave knock us down, get back up, and wait for the other, until the seas grow calm. And I know that, that seems crazy to a lot of people. We had 3 kids. One was leaving for college. We were doing pretty OK financially. We had 1 bedroom per child, no problems. We had a pretty relaxed feeling atmosphere. And we just upheaved all of that. I’m feeling that too, and so are the kids.
But, Matt and I are also feeling like this is just what love looks like. As I sit here In the middle of passion week, I can’t help but be reminded of what love really is. Love looks crazy. Love looks sacrificial. Love looks like something that can only be explained as love. Love is God, and it looks like the picture of what Christ gives us, which makes no worldly sense. It’s full of grace, forgiveness, understanding, it can’t be tamed, it doesn’t give up. And even though we are totally aware that this looks crazy, and maybe even feels a bit crazy. We can’t help but feel like this is just how we are called to love. And maybe we are called to be exactly that… CRAZY… crazy givers of love. Even when it knocks us down. Even when it totally inconveniences us. Even when it takes its toll, and has us overwhelmed.
I’m sure there will be many more blog posts. Blog posts about dealing with an instant teenager. Blog posts about feeling completely out of my league and over my head. Blog posts about being terrified, worried, dealing with intense trauma, dealing with having 7 kids, dealing with juggling time and finances. But even in all of that, I do feel like the right choice is always love. I am a Christian. We are called to step way way way out of our comfort zones in the name of love. And if we don’t feel like we are in the middle of the ocean, totally relying on something other than ourselves, loving in a way that doesn’t make sense to everyone else, then I don’t think we’re walking faith correctly. And I don’t do that well so very very often. But I have no doubts that this is the right thing. And so, let the crazy begin…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It doesnot envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.