Although the kids have been home for almost a year (11 months on Jan 10th), we continue to try to define and teach what it means to be in a family. I wish it was something you could bottle up. I wish it was something you could just wake up one day and just "get," but it's not. It's trial and error. It's reminding. And it's patience, patience, patience.
Jameson came to me the other day with a question about something she was confused about. I had to practically bribe her to get it out of her because she loves to bring up something that could be seemingly important and then she: becomes shy, refuses to talk, just smiles, says she can't remember,"oh nevermind..." and in general turns in circles to not have to tell me what she wanted to tell me in the first place. Finally she confessed that she was confused. She was confused about the fact that she and Jaiden could get into a fight and then make up the next day. "How," she asked me, "does she love me again after I've been mean to her?"
This opened up a huge discussion about unconditional love. When asked if she still loved us when she got mad at us, the answer was yes. But she couldn't understand how we could love her when we were upset with her. We spoke about her other family in Ethiopia. Did they still love her even if she got into trouble? Yes. Does God still love you even when you disobey? Yes.
Today Josh was in a mood. Over what? Who knows? There doesn't seem to have to be a reason for that. All through school today, he wouldn't speak to any of us. I took the kids to the Discovery Center this afternoon and all 4 of them played... and then there was Josh off playing by himself. I had absolutely no eye contact from 8am until 5pm. I was really getting irritated with him. I don't feel great yet, and I was trying to do something nice and he acted... well... he acted like he just didn't care.
We came home and I laid down for awhile in a desperate attempt to rid myself of this horrid headache. I was awoken by the suddenly deepening voice of my son in his broken accent, "Mom, are you OK?" And then a kiss on the cheek. What the heck?
It's these things that are the makings of a family. It's the give and take of being in a family. It's the unconditional love that we are still working on 11 months later. Do I think there will be a magical day when all of these questions will be answered? I don't know. A part of me thinks we will all be dancing this dance for the rest of our lives. Perhaps we will just become more graceful in our dance. And take turns leading once in awhile.
"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever." Psalm 52:7-9