Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Baby Changes EVERYthing!!!

This boy.

He’s pretty special.  (of course! I mean all created in God’s image are!)  There is a song often played at Christmas time that says, “a baby changes everything.”  So true.   I am confident that he has had an  impact from the moment of his birth.  I believe he still impacts his dear birth mother, I know he has left his impact on Mother’s Choice staff and volunteers in Hong Kong and I can see glimpses of his impact in eastern TN.
He’s been home ten month. Ten months!!!  The same amount of time that a babe grows in its Momma’s belly. That’s really not all that long and yet already the impact of Brody’s life on others is evident.  Let me share.
Just this past month, I had a stranger come to me at the hotel we were staying at and say her dear friend had the same ear malformation as Brody.  She shared with me her friend’s triumphs and remaining challenges.  She cheered Brody on for the great progress he has already made.  She said he encouraged her. She felt if Brody could do so well in such a small amount of time , maybe that would encourage her friend.
At another community event, another stranger came to me and said she “knew” Brody.  She said her coworker (who attends church with us) often shares Brody stories and triumphs.  She commented on what an amazing boy he is….she had never met him before and could not have imagined how unlimited Brody’s abilities are. 
Brody has frequent contact with his speech therapist and social worker.  I can see the dynamic impact our little two year old has on them as well.  One does not quickly forget Brody’s tenacious approach to challenges. 
A friend of ours was recently getting to know a new friend of Asian descent. He said he couldn’t help but share about Brody, his personality and how he has changed his family. 
And then there is his Momma.  Whew!! Is he ever helping to change me and I am praying it is for God’s glory!  Since Brody has been home I have felt like the Lord is taking a scouring pad to my heart, rubbing away the selfishness, pride, and distractions: refocusing me on His eternal kingdom.  In Brody’s short ten months in my arms he has taught me SO much about grace, selflessness, survivorship, belonging, and mostly Christ’s love.  Christ’s love that does not see our faults, our disabilities, our outer blemishes but that looks at the heart.  Christ’s love that is not self-seeking, jealous, easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.  Oh how thankful I am that God saw fit to entrust these three precious ones to Travis and I.  What a wonderful challenge parenting is that grows us and teaches us so much about our Father.
So yep! A baby does change everything. We continue to pray that our three children will love the Lord “with all their heart, all their mind, and all their soul” because love changes everything.

What? We don't look alike?!?

Sometimes I look at Brody and can hardly remember our family before his addition.  There are times that it feels he has always been ours. I'll be honest, in my heart I forget that we do not look alike because in my heart he is part of me.  When I notice people's second glances, THEN I remember Brody was not born of my womb.  BUT,  then there are moments when I look at Brody and wonder how did we arrive here. I am amazed by God's provision.  When I stop to think about our little boy's life on the other side of the world just a few months ago, it is amazing that he is here now and learning all things American. 

I'll be honest.  The other day I received in the mail a physician's note from one of Brody's recent appointments.  As I read the doctor's note, it frequently referred to me as his adoptive mother.  Please don't get me wrong.  I was not offended but more surprised.  My mind had to reread those words several times and remind myself, "Oh yeah, he has not always been in my arms." 

Now this might all sound crazy to you, but hear me out.  I am aware that Brody has darker skin than me, darker hair than me, and might not have my eyes but believe me, Brody is SO much like his Mommy and Daddy.

The more time you spend with him, you will see that we actually look so much alike.  You will see that he is stubborn like his Daddy (or is it Mommy?).

You will see that he likes things neat, clean, and tidy like his Mommy.

 You will see that he likes to make others laugh just like his Daddy.

You will see how he mimics his brother and sister's mannerisms.

You will see how he has the Hurley look (if you have ever seen this look, I am sorry!)

It has only been ten months but oh how he is growing in our image.  Please help us Father, that our image might be your image! Amen.