Friday, August 22, 2008

The Wedding Feast at Cana

Or Tacoma as it were.

My BIL, Hubby’s half brother, got married last weekend. As blended families go this one has some serious hot buttons and since it was a first meeting for his half sibs, the evil ex step mother and our son we were on high alert. If we were an airport we would have been under deep red caution for terrorist activity.

I found myself a bit more liberal with the libations in an effort to take the edge off and then it occurred to me. Perhaps Our Lady was simply trying to keep the peace when she asked Jesus to provide more wine at Cana. (Tongue-in-cheek alert.)

OK so probably not, but still this wedding of my ever so reformed Jewish BIL was on 16th of Av, 5768 per the program. Reformed or not the tie to Cana is an unbroken line across the ages. As I sat at this Jewish wedding, the first since my conversaion, I couldn’t help but think of Cana so many years ago. It was cool to imagine Jesus, Our Lady and the deciples listening to the same readings, and wishing the couple under the Chuppah well with a hearty Mazal Tov as the groom broke the glass at the end of the ceromony.

My BILs Chuppa was made from the Tallit he wore at his Bar Mitzvah and again it brought Jesus to mind. Could it have been that Jesus’ Bar Mitzvah gave him the notion it would be alright to stay behind at the temple “going about his Father’s business” when Mary and Joseph had to double back to town to find him? Once a boy is Bar Mitzvah he is accountable under the law.

There is comfort in the permanance of God’s covenants, in the continituty of God’s people through time, and joy in the knowledge that in Christ we are the decendants God promised to Abraham, decendants to numerous to count. As Christians we are grafted into the family line what an awsome blessing.

Lord help us to be ever mindful of the gift we have in you. Amen.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Big Oaks Ranch Home for Orphans

Hubby had always wanted to adopt. I wasn’t so sure, so I spent a great deal of time looking into all the angles, the options, the potential pitfalls, the success stories, the not so successful stories. I was very unsure of my ability to cope with an abused child’s needs so I dealt with the situation the way I deal with most such inquires, I read and read on the topic.

One of the most inspiring people I found is a man named John Croyle. He founded Big Oaks Ranch a Christian group home for orphaned and abused children. I read his book Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child and I am rereading it again. He speaks about the home in this brief interview.

This man has raised hundreds of orphaned and abused children and his parenting advise is simple – kids want boundaries – give them in a consistent and loving way, with discipline when they break the boundaries.

His story gave me courage to pursue adoption of an older child and I pray that I am able to have the same positive impact on our son’s life that he has had on the lives of the children at his ranch.

Lord lead and guide us on your path. Amen.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

On Becoming a Family

It’s a lot like falling in love, the process of bringing an adopted child into our home.

That first blush of excitement, the nervousness, the uncertainty and fear of the unknown, the time spent thinking about the beloved when apart, the drawing together then drawing away. I’ve re-experienced the whole dance of courtship in these first few weeks with our son.

When I met my husband I was immediately smitten, but the process of weaving our individual lives into a marriage was not always a rose strewn path. The same could be said of bringing our son into our home. He truly is a delightful boy – most of the time.

On those challenging days I have greater understanding of the temptation to lash out in anger against a child. I don’t condone child abuse, but I understand it.

On those challenging days I have greater understanding of the temptation to manufacture a child via IVF. I can’t help but wonder if a child who is flesh of my flesh would give me greater resolve to endure the hard times.

On those challenging days I wonder if bringing a baby home would have been a whole lot easier. Spouses come with baggage, and so do school age orphans.

Things are rocky when visions of Military academy dance through your head.

Then it occurred to me that Our Lady may have forgotten the sound of my voice, that I hadn’t been to Adoration in over a month. Bringing a school-aged child into the lives of people married for eighteen years requires some serious adjusting. I didn’t intend to walk away from my prayer life; I just got preoccupied with making lunch and schlepping to day camp, swimming lessons, doctor appointments, case workers, home visits….

So I picked up my rosary and scheduled time for Adoration, and through the miracle of Grace poured out in answered prayer this week has been much easier. Happy cooperative boy is back, crabby argumentative boy is gone, melt downs have been few and mild, good humor and goofiness abound.

Recently the case worker was early for a home visit and standing in the drive as we pull up to the house still soaking wet from an afternoon at the pool.

“Tell her we went to a goldfish convention”,
he quips.

The boy is kinda funny, a huge blessing, a delight and an occasional pain in the backside all in one. Yep, pretty much the same package I got when I signed up for marriage.

Lord thank you for bringing this boy to our family. Guide us on your path, teach us to love him as you do, and bring us all home safely to heaven when our time on earth is through. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.