Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We thought we were prepared (by joel)

Well, 4 months home and so much has happened.  At times it seems like we have been a family forever, other times like we don't know who swapped out our kids for the ones secretly taking their place....and forgetting how to behave!  All kidding aside (yep, hard for me to do), this was the part we were most unprepared for.  Spiritual warfare in the fundraising process, endless explanation to family and friends, Spiritual warfare overseas, the whole prosecutor issue, living through the daily visits that leave you exhausted, the 32 hours of flying home, the two weeks when we first arrived home (that neither of us remember).....but the crazy emotions and, sometimes, lack of emotions over the last few months were something we were not expecting.

Everything is HARD!  The directional change for my business with a new client, new computer systems, learning all new processes, basicly starting a new business from scratch....12-18 hour days and all.  Staying up late doing dishes for my wonderful wife who spends all day dealing with the 3 P's (you other parents know, Poop, Pee and Puke) along with things we didn't think of....Like the endless invasion of Lady beetles for the past month.  Josiah is way too quick on getting to them as soon as they hit the floor and he loves the BBQ beetles that fall off the light (that kid is just gross :)   )  Satan has tried to break us on everything!  The cars have been falling apart and the most amazing things keep happening to them.  The car had the engine blow up, the first used motor made it all of 10 miles home before it blew up, the third motor didn't quite match up, and we are picking up the 4th tomorrow.  The big van is, well....still on it's last legs/wheels.  And the new/used minivan had $1500 worth of work done on our 4 day trip to michigan (which lasted about a week due to that), and was just in for a rebuild on the transmission....then IT had to be pulled again after something happened to the rebuilt tranny after 300 miles.....NOW, 300 miles later, another internal transmission issue that gets checked out tomorrow.....Oh, forgot about the alternator on the car!  That went out on my way to work one day, got changed out for a new one that wouldn't charge/didn't work, then the second new one seized up and took all the belts with it...the third one worked.  Oh, and the alternator on the minivan that went out on the way to Michigan, for said 4 day trip, that left us stranded on the interstate for a couple hours...then in a repair shop for another hour.  (insert request for prayer on our vehicles here....satan, in the name of Jesus I command you to leave our vehicles alone).

My focus has been harder to keep focused.  The balance is hard to find!  God, Work, Wife, Boys....I had a minute to think about myself the other day, but that didn't last long.  I have never been so tired in my life, worked so hard, played so hard and felt so behind in so much!  This is CrAzY!!!!  So much more responsibility with two little boys needing daddy to provide for them AND be there for them, and Momma needs me too, as well as some time off.  She's been pretty much stuck at home for 3 weeks now and cabin fever has set in....momma needs time out and away!  That way, maybe one of us can be seen as sane :)

The emotional aspect is something I, honestly, didn't think of.  Would I love these two little guys like I would if they were born into our family?  Would it be instant?  Would it take a little time or would it grow slowly?  What is normal for a parent to be overcome with love?  The answer is.....I still don't know!  We have bonded, I do love these little guys, I brag them up like any proud poppa, And if anyone thinks of messing with my got one protective and angry poppa on your hands :), I desire to play with them and provide for them, I hug and kiss on them, I look forward to the most amazing "welcome home's" that have ever been enthusiasticly given by a 3 1/2 year old (I really need to record it some day, it breaks my heart every night)...but is it the same as what other dads feel?  I don't know?  I sometimes want them to go to bed a few minutes early and often wish they would sleep in past 4:40, then I feel guilty for not wanting to love on them more.  I do love them both very much, and God is working to further strengthen that bond.

For those who are adopting, I give this advise.  The spiritual warfare does not end when you get home, satan steps it up a notch or two.  Turn first to God, then to your spouse.  Love them like Jesus would, are there to serve them....forever!  Take time for God, he is in control of everything and will reward you with more time than you though possible...if you first, put Him first.  Put your spouse ahead of yourself.  Men, we were made to it!  I heard a sermon once that has stuck with me and I try to live out this part of the message.  The preacher said, "as the leader of the house you should be the first one up...praying for your family, work hard, come home, work hard there, spend time with your family, spouse, God (again/still) and be the last one to sleep".  A man following the Word of God has little time to sleep, there is much praying, working and helping that needs to be done.  I have accepted that challenge and have all to often found myself leaning on me instead of God, and I can tell you that things spin quickly out of control when I am the foundation on which I stand!  Pray, pray and pray some more.  The children we adopted, and some of you will or have adopted, are a gift and a full time ministry!  With that holding true, you would expect nothing less than satan to try to get a foot in the door anywhere he can.  I say, hit em with prayer....let God do the fighting for you and you (ok, I write this to help remind myself) keep your focus on glorifying God with all your actions.

Now, as for the cars and the unexpecteds....I am grateful for the opportunity God has given me to grow!  To love, to be loved and to know what it means to be a father!  The special bonding that takes place with my sons....a deeper understanding of what the relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, how to serve, and how to pray in ways I never thought possible.  I will continue to pray for our cars (some see that as silly but my God is sovereign over everything and it is all His anyway so....I pray and seek His advise).  I am ready for battle!  For my God is with me!!!!


  1. Parenting is the battle of our lives. Whether our children are biological or adopted, I'm pretty sure everyone wishes they'd go to bed sooner and sleep a little later ;) It sounds like you're in just the right place, yielded to the Holy Spirit and allowing him to guide you into new truths. Sometimes (especially when they're little) it's just one foot in front of the other for weeks at a time. Just keep loving them and telling yourself, "This to shall pass."


  2. Joel ... you write so well and so believeable. As much as I would wish all the best for you, life isn't always easy, but if it always with God, you know you can make it. You are aware of His gifts to you, not just the boys, not just your beautiful wife, but your ability to talk to Him and trust in Him! You have many blessings!