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.


Abigail said...

Ah! This is such a beautiful post! I'm still praying for you. You are doing such a great job, already closer to being an old pro at this mothering thing than you realize.

Your son is so blessed to have you, and you and your husband are so blessed by his staggering, real, complicated self.

Keep that prayer life going, even in the thick of a busy mom's life.

I don't know if I told you this, but remember that nasty temper problem I blogged about this spring? I've been going to Daily Mass for three months, I just noticed a few weeks ago that my anger issues are gone! I mean completely out of my life.

It's such a gift. I never thought that I'd be so psyched to work on my other long list of bad mothering traits.:-) Still, it's such a relief to know that prayer, frequent confession and frequent reception of the Eucharist really can rewire your entire being.

So the temptation to "cheat" in parenting and life can be great. Yet, man are the graces there for the taking if we're willing to walk a little farther than we thought possible in our Faith to reach for them.

God Bless!

Anne Marie said...

Thanks Abigail. I've been trying to find a way to get daily Mass into my schedule for the longest time. I think once school starts that will be much more likley.

Drop off at school at 8:00 - Mass at 8:30.

I went to a visit to Spiritus Sanctus yesterday even though they are way to far for a daily commute to school They start every day with Mass at 8:00am. Now that would be a great way to go!!!

But I'm sure the Lord has us in the town we are in for a reason, and Hubby and I will just have to make sure he learns the faith well at home.