The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Easy and Hard

We have been a family of nine for 5 months now. For the 3 or 4 of you who still check this blog, you've probably noticed that I've been relatively silent. Some of that is because of sheer busyness, and some of it is intentional. Let me explain....

We have had what in the adoption world would be seen as a relatively 'easy' time with adjustment since our three new ones came home. They are adjusting better than we expected and we don't have any major uncontrollable crying, no night terrors or sleeping problems, no major food issues, and no serious acting out from any of them. They are learning English well and the little girls have learned much in preparation for school. I was prepared for much harder, and we have been pleasantly surprised. So, for those adoptive parents who've read every book, you know that our journey would be considered 'easy'.

But I'm here to be honest today. While things are going well, this isn't easy. It's just not. Adding three people to your family at once with their own histories, personalities, and habits isn't easy. Inviting their grief and loss into your home isn't easy. Having seven kids isn't easy. Trying to be enough for everyone in your family isn't easy. Most of the time it leaves me feeling as though I'm not enough for anyone.

Add in the dynamics of relationships - new and old - in a family of nine, 5 billion doctor appointments, a slight bit of panic (from mom only) about being sure the girls are learning everything they need to, and the constant nagging feeling that someone isn't getting what they need....and what you get is one exhausted mama. That would be me.

We have lots of good days, and I haven't blogged more about the hard because I want to honor my children. I don't want anyone making inaccurate assumptions about how we feel about them, or that we've bitten off more than we could chew. We love our children and are so glad they are here. But, the very desire to do better for them out of my love for them makes it harder...I want to be a good mother to them. I want to honor God in what he's asked me to do.

Good thing God's grace is bigger than my mind can imagine...and his love for me is true - not the lies of unworthiness I struggle with on hard days. He is bigger, and he is good. And today, I'm thanking him for both the easy AND the hard...and trusting him through it all. I'm choosing to believe that he can use it all for my good.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest in me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Don't Believe It

The drought in East Africa is said to be the worst in 60 years. Cattle and livestock are dying, and their crops are not growing. This is how they feed their family. Can you imagine? I mean, really imagine? I know you have seen the images before - the starving babies and the desperate mothers - but have ever really stopped to think about what it would be like to be in their shoes...? To be hungry, thirsty, sick, and even dying and have no way to help yourself? To watch your children suffer?? To watch your children die?

This is more than a news article or a sad story...these people are real. In fact, I have 3 of my own children who are from the very region this drought is affecting. I look at them and think that only a year ago, this drought would be affecting their lives, their family, and their health. They still have some family members there...I pray for them, and for others as I know they are suffering this very moment. I no longer look at children in the pictures and feel like they are distant images. I have held them, kissed them, loved them, and tucked them in bed at night. I can feed my children a snack or get them a cup of clean water whenever I want. I do not struggle to provide food or nourishment to my children, and I have never felt that heartache.

It is easy to believe that there is nothing we can do, or that our contribution can ever make much of a difference. It's easy to dismiss the headline as something horrible that's happening far away, and not look at it as an opportunity to be part of helping the situation. This what I'm asking of you:

Don't believe it.
Don't believe the lie that you can't make a difference.

You CAN make a difference...if each one of us gives what we can, it matters. Find a reputable organization working in eastern Africa and partner with them to bring aid to the suffering. (and if you know of an organization doing good, honest work, please let us all know in the comments).

Here are a few options:

- World Vision
- Samaritan's Purse - Call 800-528-1980 to donate and tell them exactly where you want the money to go.
- Children's Hopechest - Just make a note that it is for east African drought

The bottom line is this: Jesus cares about these precious people, and wants us to, too. We are his hands and feet...and it's time to take action. Heaven knows we would want someone to act if we were in their shoes.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:40