Thursday, July 30, 2009

Being Drawn

Yesterday was a good day. I can't overlook the days that go well, ones where there are no temper tantrums, very little need for discipline and generally happy children. The girls are loving a music camp, and yesterday was beautiful which allowed us to spend the afternoon at the pool, soaking in the suns' rays and spending a lot of pent up energy.

What I have to share today is how God can use a friendly face to just love on me sometimes. It has been tough 5 days, and as I dropped off the girls on their first day of music camp, Isabel burst into tears. This is nothing new! She cries every where I take her for that first-time drop off. Seriously - she is 7 and still cries every time! As her mom, I have come to learn that the best thing for her is to kiss her, tell her how much I love her, find someone who can lead her, and then walk away. This time, the someone was this woman who was just shining! I found out her name was Mrs. Z, and I watched as she bent low to be on Isabel's level and then explained how her "little girl" (now in college) still cries every time she leaves her mom. Immediately I thought, this is a woman who understands.

A few days have gone by since then, and I continued to watch this woman shine; always smiling, always hugging the kids. For some reason, I was drawn to her. So, yesterday, I decided to talk to her.

I introduced myself and she immediately complimented Eleanor. Eleanor has a small speaking part in the music concert, which is a Bible verse, and as Eleanor has been reciting her verse during practice, Mrs. Z. said, "That is a girl who believes what she is saying." Then she looked as Isabel and Eleanor and said, "I just knew these girls were from a Christian family! It is evident how much they love each other...and you."

Oh, how I needed to hear that! Totally unsolicited, totally unexpected, but what I believe to be words of encouragement straight from my heavenly pappa.

We talked for several minutes and she introduced me to her daughters. I found out that her husband is the choir director and she is a teacher in Watertown schools. She knew of Elmbrook and even said, "Oh, I love that church!", but then she proceeded to tell me all about the things that my kids can get involved with at her church (Awana, youth group). One of my prayers over this entire summer has been about what to get the kids involved in.

We are huge proponents of not overloading our kids, but I desperately want my kids to be involved in Christian youth groups. And honestly, I have been left wanting more the last few years - mainly wanting a smaller youth group. I have been struggling with decisions about whether or not to make the drive into Elmbrook multiple times a week in order for my kids to be in a youth group, but I really wanted to start integrating into Watertown. When I found out about the opportunities at this church, it was so wonderful.

Our attention then turned to George and I asked about whether or not the church could handle him during Awana. Mrs. Z beamed and said, "Sure! We can give him a special buddy!" The church has high school kids ready to go as buddies, specifically we can have a boy ready to meet George in the lobby every time he comes to church, walk with him to his room, sit with him to help him pay attention and then help do any projects. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

I have been missing a church that comes around an adoptive parent and says, "We will do anything to help you!". Offering a special buddy for George to attend Awana is a huge answer to prayer, and then knowing all the kids can attend something where they are getting Bible training and surrounded by other Christian kids brings peace to my heart.

I could write more about the need for the church (the greater church) to support adoptive parents....but maybe for another day. As a mom who some days is floundering, it would be so helpful to have a church step forward and offer help (support, counseling, respite care, etc.). Sometimes it feels very alone in church - and that should not be the case.

I was drawn to this woman, and she was drawn to my girls. She loved me even if she didn't realize it, simply by complimenting the girls and then wanting to chat for an hour. It was exactly what I needed at the time.

Oh, and then for an added bonus, the youth pastor at this church....IS A BUCKEYE FAN!

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