Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Knight ...

This blog is long overdue. My husband has been amazing! In Africa, I started calling him my hero and after being home for a few months, Joe continues to love me beyond any way he has done before.

As I look back at my journal from those first awful days in Africa, one thing stands out...the strength of my husband. I remember clearly when Joe said, "I will do this. I will carry us through until our family is whole." He held me so many times as I cried. He offered to get up in the middle of the night to take George to the bathroom. He volunteered to be the ONE who George bonded with.

I always knew the man I married was special. I knew, even back in the days of us dating, hanging out in bars, going to Reds games, and living a carefree life that he was going to be a great dad. There is a adorable child-like-ness deep down in Joe (but, don't tell anyone!). I remember talking about having children before we got married, and there never was an issue about how many. We truly went into our marriage open to any number of children that God called us to. Joe's mom often says she just knew there would be a day where he would walk through her kitchen door with loads of children wrapped around him...and I believed it.

My husband is a great dad! He sings goofy songs with the kids, he makes them laugh right after being scolded or disciplined, and he is home as much as he possibly can! We made choices early in our child-rearing days to limit the amount of activity our kids are involved in simply because we wanted to be home with them. Our neighbors back in Tosa would often comment that we were always together. They said it like, "How can you all possibly be together all the time?", but we took it as "Wow! You obviously love each other because you are always together."

One dear neighbor used to say, "I never hear you guys fight...that's amazing!" Trust me, there is a full dose of arguing, grumbling and fighting around the Weldie household, but we temper that with lots of giggles, hugs and kisses. And a lot of that comes from Joe.

Joe knows how to make each one the kids bust out laughing. And he knows when to take one of the kids out to breakfast, just to hang out. He knows when to surprise the kids with a special day at the zoo, on a weekday as he plays hooky from work. And he knows just how much our family loves ice-cream and baseball, always taking the kids to get their cones in the 5th inning of the Brewers games.

Joe went into the adoption wondering if he could love an adopted child as much as he loves his biological children. I am the one who did all the reading, all the research, all the preparations for the adoption. All the while, Joe kept saying, "It will be common sense. We already have 4 kids!" In a way, he was right.

When we noticed how angry George was, within 5 minutes of meeting him, Joe stepped up. I was numb and frozen; I could not believe that this child wanted nothing to do with me and I didn't know how to handle it! I HAD done all the reading and the research, but I thought for sure George would want a Mommy. Apparently, all George wanted in the beginning was a Daddy. And Joe was there for him. Joe held George, caressed his skin, kissed his face...all the things I could not bring myself to do. Joe constantly held George's hands and he even sang silly songs to him! I sat sullen, red-eyed and sad.

So, Joe ministered to me. He loved me and held me and read scripture to me. He reminded me how much love we had in our family. And then...he worked for two hours in a steamy hot airline office to get us on an earlier flight home, just for me.

Joe is still there for me. And for George. And for the four other kids. Sometimes I can't imagine the pressure on him right now... not only is he loving his wife and kids, he is still doing his job, which takes a lot from him. There are times that he needs to get away from it all, and he goes on a couple hour motorcycle ride to clear his head and be alone with God...but he always comes home to us with a smile and ready to play with the kids.

While we were camping, I had a horrible episode with George as he was rejecting me and manipulating me. Joe was off playing kickball with the whole gang, waiting for me to join the game. After wrestling with George for several minutes, I gave up and walked, defeated, to the game. Joe took one look at my face and knew what was going on. He walked away from the game, immediately, silently...and just held me and let me cry. Nothing was more important at that time, and I felt so loved by my husband.

Joe took George fishing after that, just spending some alone time with a boy who was totally overwhelmed with the camping experience (with 5 other families). They caught 4 fish together and came back relaxed and smiling. Not only was that good for George, it was good for me to have him out of my sight for a few hours. I could talk out my feelings with a good friend and I was hugged by many friends who didn't know quite what to say, but who just wanted me to know they cared.

My husband is my knight! That man who has come to my rescue time and time again in the past few months. I am thankful that God has giving me this time to really see how amazing my husband is. You know, we can all get so used to our spouses that we stop seeing all the great things and only focus on the negative, annoying things. Right now, there is nothing annoying (well, maybe that leaving the lights on thing)that I see in Joe. I see a man of God who is loving his wife the way Christ loved the church. And I see a man of God who is raising his children in the fear and the knowledge of the Lord. I am a blessed woman.


MzzLily said...

Truly blessed! When you said the part about him walking away from the game, just to hold you... Isn't that all we want from them? Or at least the most important thing. It's what I tell my husband when he says, "I don't know what to do." I say, "Just be there for me."

He sounds terrific. God sure picked a great set of parents for George!

Brooke said...

This made me tear up, Traci. I am thanking God for your great marriage, great family, and awesome husband! THIS is why God designed marriage......so we have someone who can literally pick us up when we fall.

I can sooooo relate right now :)