In 2014, I became the mom I wasn’t used to being. The abrupt addition of two toddlers into our family took us on a wild ride. This past year, I was the mom whose three toddlers were fighting with one another in total melt down as we waited at the doctor’s office – kicking, throwing shoes, jumping on the doctor’s ipad, you get the idea. I was the mom whose child screamed for 2 ½ hours straight on a flight without Erik there to help me. I longed to just forget our checked bags and run out of the airport, never having to face the other passengers again! I was the mom that completely no-showed a long awaited subspecialist appointment because on that day, well … I just … forgot. I was even the mom who brought her child into the ER and watched my coworkers descend upon him in a flurry of IV lines and lumbar puncture kits, etc. as I sat wide-eyed next to the bed afraid for his life and worried that I had waited at home too long (in the end he was fine and I realized my clinical judgement was correct). I have been on the other side of all of these moms. I’ve been the provider nudged by the nurse to quickly see room 3 before the children destroy the place, and the one who has time to kill due to no-show appointments, and the one who is attempting to comfort the worried mother, but in my own mind questioning why she didn’t recognize the signs of illness sooner. I find myself searching the depths of my memory, wondering who I was two years ago, and if I was ever tempted to pass judgment on the family whose kids are ill-behaved, or, more likely, tempted to feel pride in my well-mannered children.
I will admit, the thankfully short-lived ailments we faced in 2014, including melanoma, mono and meningitis, didn’t help subdue the roller coaster ride we chose to be on this past year (and oh how the pediatrician in me wants to regale you with my tale of triumph over head lice in a family of eight, but, I’ll refrain). Suffice it to say, life presented its challenges for us in 2014, and I’ve had to sacrifice not only my calm, orderly life, but also my pride.
Thankfully, the story doesn’t stop there. Because you see, somewhere in the midst of those chaotic moments, something incredible happened. In a miraculous way, that’s difficult to describe in words, our hearts became filled with unconditional love towards our two new family members. The struggles and trials and disruptions to our calm life grew dim and meaningless, as we fell in love with them. The joy of having them in our family replaced a thousand fold over the accompanying trials.
We have never experienced anything here on earth that has so intimately drawn us to an understanding of our adoption by God. God, in his infinite mercy, chose to save us, to claim us, to call us His. Erik and I were lost, and wretched, and have done nothing to deserve such unconditional love before or since. And God found us and adopted us into His family. This is only possible because Christ came – the very thing we celebrate at Christmas! He was born that first Christmas morning, with the purpose of dying on the cross to pay the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins.
I have hope for 2015, that I may again have children who can consistently sit still and wait patiently, even without the use of an ipad, or that I will at least remember to call if I have to cancel an appointment. But, you know what, even if I don’t get there in 2015, it’s okay. God has allowed me to experience a miracle here on earth – as the miracle of my own salvation is reflected in the miracle of our adoption of Maya and Zach. And that is worth far more than my energy, my ambitions, and my pride.