New Beginnings and Second Chances

Blended family, Family and Kids

Post written by mom and parenting columnist Susan Heid of The Confident Mom.

Change always comes bearing gifts.  ~ Price Pritchett

My life has been in ‘change’ mode for the past two months – change that has been anticipated, prayed for and welcomed with big smiles – but change none the less.
Change is hard.
Change is sometimes exhausting.
Change allows you the chance to begin again.
When my husband and I married 3 ½ years ago, we knew we were not going to have more children  – it was clear.  I came into the marriage with two of my own and he had one, so a nice blended family – that was our plan.
Funny how “our plan” always seem to change.
Not long after we married it was laid on my heart to adopt.  I had NEVER had this notion, desire or thought before.  It caught me off-guard, I mean … my husband and I had great plans to parent our children and then have years of child-free bliss, traveling and focusing on ourselves.
How perfect is that?
One day during lunch, I decided to share with him what had been on my heart.  As funny as it sounds, my husband was also given the adoption tug at the same time I was, although we were thousands of miles apart.  After several months of struggling and resisting, we opened up a new chapter of our lives.
We have decided to go the route of “foster to adopt” rather than adopting foreign and waiting for an infant.  There are so many children just waiting and needing homes locally and our desire was to fulfill what God had put together for our lives, not box Him in with all our requirements or desires.  So we have traveled this journey, allowing God to decide who would come into our home and whom we could bless.
The interesting thing is, we have been the ones who have been blessed beyond belief or imagination.  Changing me, changing my husband, changing our family.
Our first placement was last summer, we got a call to take a newborn and he came into our home.  He was here only 3 weeks and circumstances beyond our control took him closer to where his mother lived, so he left, taking a piece of our hearts with him.  I didn’t think I could ever say goodbye, but we did and are changed for the better – as a family, a couple and individuals.
So we waited again … wondering when the call would come.  Anxious, excited and nervous to start this chapter of our lives together, we just waited.  It was just like anticipating the delivery date, except you really have no idea who is coming.
The call came … they needed a family with older children to take placement of a 12 month old little boy.  I could hardly believe it!
We finished construction in the nick of time to add a fifth bedroom in order to accommodate one more to our family.  In the storyline of this entire journey, everything has just been in the nick of time – funny how that works!
My role as a mom has changed,  less sleep, more hugging, more kissing boo boo’s, yes … change is good.  Change is needed.  Change brings reflection and new perspective.
This little guy we call Foster “J” (that is his new rapper name, given by our 14 year old son)  has been with our family nearly 2 months and as far as we are concerned he is here to stay ‘forever.’  That may not be God’s plan, but as a mother I have to open my heart to that level and give this little boy all that I have.  Even if he does not stay, I know that he needs all that I can give him.
This is how I am being blessed by him.
I have had to learn to slow down and take the time needed to be more than just the laundry person, house keeper and short order cook.  My role as a mother is so much more in the eyes of this little guy.  It has brought me back to understanding my role and what even my older kids need from me.
You see I had gotten caught up in the routine, the busy day-to-day life that keeps everyone going in different directions and I missed some of the good stuff.
Laughing till your gut hurts as Foster “J” smears spaghetti all over his face at dinner.
Watching Foster “J” take his first steps.
Having Foster “J” call me “mama”.
Watching him laugh uncontrollably as my son chases him around the coffee table.
I have another opportunity to let it sink in …
There is nothing that could have brought our family together like this little guy has done.  Being a blended family brings it’s own challenges, but this little guy has united us like nothing else could.
You see, he is not a “hers” or a “his”, Foster “J” is an “ours”.  He is connecting us together in a way none of us ever could have on our own.
Change is good and in our case, He did come bearing gifts – even more than we have even begun to imagine.

(photo source)