Can you believe Eric has been with us for ONE YEAR (on April 9th)??!!! I wanted to process and post while I’m waiting in an airport because my next 2 weeks are going to be non-stop!
I seriously cannot believe it’s been one year already. There are days that it feels like he’s always been a part of our family… and then there are days when it’s still awkward, difficult, and new.
This was us one year ago:
Our first family photo. Wow. We are not the same people we were in that picture. God has done so much. I remember having every emotion, amplified to the max, running through my heart/mind/brain. You can actually read my words from GOTCHA DAY HERE.
I was terrified… here we were adopting a teenager from a different country. Would he like us? What was going through his mind? Would he miss the orphanage? Would he rather stay with his friends? Would he try to run away (real fear for me)? Would we be enough? What was his personality going to be like? What if we weren’t what he imagined? What if…
My heart was broken… to see to my SON and know some of the hurt and baggage he carried in his heart. Why was this his situation? Why didn’t he have parents to tuck him in at night? Why was he left to grow up in an orphanage? What did he ache for? Was his heart still broken? Could having a family who loves him to the moon and back help in healing those hurts? Why…
I was beyond excited… I don’t know the word for that feeling. WE WERE FINALLY GETTING OUR SON! Since the day we met him in July of 2012… we knew he was going to be grafted into our family. Every paper we filled out… every fingerprint we had to get made… every email sent… every minute waited… it was worth it when he became ours. I was so nervous as we drove to the orphanage that day to pick him up… but I couldn’t wait to squeeze him. Poor kid… he had been trying to send us Facebook messages all day to see where we were and when we were getting him. He was anxious… and so were we. When we walked into the orphanage that day, the officer went to get Eric… and when he walked down the stairs from where he was…. oh man… all was right in the world. Our family was together.
This is probably one of my all-time favorite pictures of us… when we BROUGHT HIM HOME!
Since this date in April last year… our world has been rocked, we have been challenged and changed to our core, we have loved beyond our capacity, we have cried, we have laughed more than ever, we have been frustrated, we have learned/are learning how to be parents to a teenager, we have been given and have given grace, we have prayed more earnestly than ever before, and we have survived!
Some of the hardest things about this year have been…
- Listening… and not trying to FIX things. Eric’s story is one God is and will use forever. It’s tough to process and even tougher, as a mom, to just listen and accept the fact that I can’t fix his hurts and his heart. God has to do that in time.
- Knowing he misses things about ¨his country.¨ He misses his best friend, Gian. He misses being able to walk around Belize City and not always have to rely on a car for transportation. He misses knowing everyone in his school and being known by everyone. He misses his uncles and the familiar things of the orphanage. We can’t fix it. We can provide the best things we know how to – ways to make new, good friends; cool, unique opportunities; family trips and activities; giving him freedom but trying draw him close; and whatever else possible.
- Being a parent. Duh! I mean this is hard for anyone… if it’s not hard for you, I just don’t think you are doing it right. Ha. Eric didn’t come with with a manual… no kid does. We were figuring out how to be mom and dad while Eric was figuring out how to be a SON in a forever family. It has been a fun and crazy collaboration. It has been the best process and the toughest. I understand God’s love, discipline, plans, and grace for us as His children so much more now because I have my own son. Sometimes we have NO CLUE what to do… NO CLUE. Sometimes we do something in the way of parenting and I get pretty proud of us because I think ¨Hmmm… I think that was pretty wise.¨ Haha. Thankful for grace as we continue to figure out this whole family thing.
- Making decisions for our family. Oh my… I don’t know if others have this same fear (I’m sure you do), but I am terrified of making the wrong decision that will forever impact my kiddo. What if we choose the wrong schooling? What if we live in the wrong community? What if we go to the wrong church? What if we picked the wrong career that will definitely effect our family? What grade should he start in? Will he hate me/us for the decisions we make? SO.MANY.DECISIONS. Taking into account his past and everything that comes with adoption, each decisions seem exponentially more important and I just want to hide in a closet sometimes!
Other things have been difficult, but those things are mostly sub-topics of what I stated above.
BUT… the best things FAR FAR FAR out weigh the more challenging things. My heart is so satisfied with our life together. Our God is so faithful. There’s no way I can highlight everything that will eternally bring me joy… but these are a few of my favorite things –
- The way Eric fits perfectly into our family. Is there another kid on the planet who could accept and love our family’s sarcasm and jokes? No! Is there another kid on this planet who could handle and thrive in Costa Rica as a missionary 2 months after becoming a part of our family? No! Is there another kid on this planet who would like my cooking and seldom complain about the food? No! Is there another kid on this planet who could handle, love, and laugh with our crazy families? No! Seriously… I know the perfect plan of the Lord would be for all children to be with their biological families… but I am so thankful that God made Eric to perfectly fit as a Morgan! Its insane!
- The little things – dinners together, getting him up in the morning (even if it takes 20 minutes), fixing him breakfast, ironing his clothes, going shopping with him, listening to him yell at the video games, long car rides and talks, nightly devotionals sitting around his bed. Those are the best things. The little things that make the big things. I love when he responds to an I love you with an ¨I love you too.¨ But… I also love when he responds with a ¨Uh-huh¨ and we know that means the same thing. I love his quirks and his passions.
- Serving in Costa Rica together. Y’all… last summer was a culmination of so many promises fulfilled. It was my dream and what we believed the Lord for all along. IT HAPPENED! My son was with us. We were finally full-time with Praying Pelican Missions. All Eric’s paperwork had come in… EARLY. We were missionaries… serving together in Costa Rica. I could cry just thinking about it. God is real, good, and so faithful. No one can EVER tell me any different. The growth and transformation we all went through while on the mission field is incomparable. The impact that being in a foreign country together… forced to work alongside each other… and lead as a team… WOW. Last summer MADE us into a family. Oh my heart…
- All of the firsts! I can’t even name them all – first, flight, first Easter, first bedroom of his own, first full size bed, for closet all his own, first refrigerator that he has full access to, first party just for him, first time bowling, first movie theater experience, first time shopping in the USA, first cell phone, first video game system, first day in US public school, first Christmas… oh my goodness… SO MANY FIRSTS! Seeing the joy and excitement on his face for every first… that’s good stuff. Thankful for each and every firsts.
This doesn’t even put a dent in all of the amazing things that are running through my mind from the past year. So thankful. Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the year:
What a year! God is good. He is real. He is so faithful. So thankful for our family of 3… and looking forward to what the next year hold as we become a party of 4!