Thursday, August 7, 2014


Hope at Home 2014, September 26-27 is for you! This gathering of adoptive, foster, and waiting parents will be just the refreshing and strengthening input you and I need to parent our children for this long-haul parenting journey. Join us--we sure would love to see you in person!!

From Susan:

We adopted Anya and Alex at ages 8 and 7, only about a year after losing our son Jonny on that family bike ride. We were all walking toward healing together, as is always the case. Here is a story of our early adjustments--a reminder that mercy comes disguised.
Anya and Alex in the orphanage.

From time to time I found myself crying, but this time I was crying over the slow and steady infusions of renewed life to which death was slowly yielding. Like the time shortly after our return to Atlanta, when Alex wanted to go to the drug store with Brian and motioned for Brian to wait because he needed to change clothes–-he ran and put on one of Jonny’s old Halloween costumes, having no idea what Halloween was or why we had those costumes or even to whom those costumes belonged. 

Alex had never known Jonny, yet he was doing just what Jonny would have done. 

And the hilarious memory that I thought I had lost forever-– the memory of our exuberant son Jonny dressing up crazily to celebrate the simplest of days--had reentered my life in our new son Alex who had never even known him.  

Only the Lord could have orchestrated this surprise! And I laughed through dancing eyes and glistening tears, because this spectacle so often experienced in Jonny's lifetime had been mysteriously revived through Alex. 

The same kind of thing happened when Anya, shortly after learning how to operate the CD player, stood in front of it with the music up full blast, dancing and singing. Again I laughed through dancing eyes and glistening tears because this experience, so often lived with Jonny, had come back into my life again in a way that only Mercy could explain. 

But the Mercy ran on a two-way street. There was the time when Brian was in our backyard in the spring, raking up old leaves, and found a little dead bird buried beneath the brittle brown leaves. Without thought, he picked it up and tossed it over the fence. Anya suddenly became hysterical, screaming at the top of her lungs in Russian, which by now I had come to understand, “Daddy threw away the baby!!!! Daddy threw away the baby!!!!”

I tried with no success to explain that the baby bird was dead, only to be drowned out by Anya’s sobs of hysteria. In frustration I looked at Brian and said, “You caused this and you are going to have to fix it.”

So Brian came over to Anya in his calm way, took her hand and led her inside, then sat on the couch after placing her facing him as she perched on his lap. He looked her squarely in the eye and with his father’s love and heart, spoke softly but with authority, “Anya, let me tell you how much I love you.  I love you so much that I got in a big airplane and went all the way over to Russia, and then I went and found you and brought you home. I will always be your daddy and you will always be my little girl. I will never leave you and I will do all I can to make sure no danger ever hurts you. Do you want to go on a walk?”

By the time he had finished these assurances, Anya was calm, and she seemed to have recovered from the reminder that the dead little abandoned bird had a fate that could have become hers; now she understood what it meant for her daddy to love her. 

We now were once again living in a family who together savored life in spite of each of our previous encounters with death. In God’s irony, one son’s death had unlocked life--life of the body, soul, and spirit, for Anya and Alex.  

And as He was unlocking life for them, He was unlocking it us all.

The Lord's mercies are indeed new every morning! Let's look up and see them!

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