We were greeted at the airport by our beautiful family with signs, hugs, kisses, laughter, and tears of joy! We would have hugged anyone at that point after the grueling 20 hours on the plane with our precious toddler. She was frightened and inconsolable at times. God's grace got us through yet again! Then on to see more family (my sweet sister had lunch fixed for us.) And finally home sweet home where we were welcomed with an immaculate house full of groceries, gift cards, flowers, balloons, signs, and might I add a nice bottle of wine for mama. Ufayse immediately began exploring her new home. She seemed happy and ready to settle in to her new home and bond with her new family.
May I be honestly, frankly, candid for a minute:
We knew coming home would be a wonderful blessing and it is; however, it is not the fairy tale ending as some may perceive it to be. We knew this would bring a new phase of challenges as our little Ufay "nee nee" and Kylee and Marcus adjust to the "new Kuykendall home." Greif, fear, feelings of displacement, loneliness, anger, frustration, loss, are just a few of the feelings associated with this change. (as a family feels similarly when a new child is born into the family) Don't get me wrong: there are many sweet moments of loving laughter and snuggles. Progress is happening! We do not feel we have made a mistake! But if you have heard our cries of frustration please don't think, "Oh my, what have they done, or I could have told them this was a bad idea." Life is hard! Jesus said it himself "In this world you will have trouble" But Thank God he didn't stop there: "But Take heart I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33) We have experienced a new dimension of God's grace. So, as we continue this journey we are so thankful for our family and friends who have supported us and continue to encourage us and love us and hold us!!!
This morning I was reflecting on all of our many blessings and as I read Jen Hatmaker's blog on How to help families throughout the adoption process I was inspired to share with you ways to help!
(this is national adoption month by the way)
There are so many families that God has called to adopt or foster.
When families are adopting, while they wait or after placement, here are a few ways to support and encourage them:
1. Please try not to tell them to "be patient and wait" or "Trust more" especially if you've never been there, but rather please pray scripture with them, for them, over them.
Thanks to all of you who have done this! I received so many texts and emails with scripture and prayers that have encouraged us. We have had friends and family stop what they were doing and just pray scripture over us. This reenergized us and gave us hope to continue the arduous journey.
2. Allow them to feel what they are feeling! If they need to laugh, cry, or scream. Allow them to go through the emotions!
I'm thankful for my family-you have allowed me to be me (you make me laugh)! Thank you to my girlfriends for putting up with my neurotic emotional state of being! Thanks for the gno's! Thanks for the brisk walks and talks! And thank you for the hugs and tears you've cried with us! (those of you who received random texts or emails with some not so appropriate language thanks for your graciousness... I did ask the Lord for forgiveness and for desire and strength to walk in the Spirit) Ross, thanks for calling Mark at just the right time and allowing him to express his true feelings! Thanks to all the pastoral staff...You guys are the best!
3. Dinner...provide meals, fill the pantry, give gift cards. We have been so blessed by friends and family allowing us the time to give more cuddles and wipe away more tears rather than scrambling to throw a meal together (including not having to brave the grocery store with 3 kids I can not begin to tell you how much this helps!
4. Please take the other children for a quick get away! Kylee has had more fun and she feels so loved by so many of you who have taken the time to wisk her away, or take her to school (aunt Fa,) or allowed her to come play (Sweet Annie)!
5. Call, text, email, or come over for a short visit. This time can get very lonely! Don't stay for long periods of time, but right after the kids go to bed or during nap come for a short visit with a Starbucks, glass of wine, or chocolate cake.
Thank you for allowing me to be honestly, frankly, candid.
At the heart of it all is the gospel! I've been reminded of the passage in Phillipians 2 where we see Christ's example of humility, counting others more significant than yourselves, he made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, for the glory of God the Father!