As Thanksgiving approaches we pause to remember a pivotal date in our family history. On the 23rd of this month we will celebrate the second anniversary of our homecoming with little Max. The day we landed in the Detroit airport, weary and exhausted from nearly 24 hours of traveling with a terrified seven year old who didn’t speak English.
The day I finally let my guard down because I knew that the Russian’s could no longer state claim over what was rightfully mine. No long lost relative could spot us in a Russian alleyway and drag Max away from us, into the undergrowth causing him to disappear forever. The day that no Russian official could claim that my E’s looked a little too much like A’s and throw a year’s worth of paperwork into the trash. Condemning my son to a longer sentence of time away from the ones who loved him enough to fight for him.
How on that day, I thought I’d won the battle. But little did I know that the battle had really just begun. That removing my son from the terrifying environment of a Russian orphanage would do so little to calm the fear that threatened his fragile heart, and that I would have to fight tooth and nail for an entire first year (and then some) as we continued to prove ourselves trustworthy and loyal.
And the big, scary decisions we would have to make about schooling and medication to get this kid to calm down enough for us to figure out what he was so afraid of all the time. Decisions I never thought we would have to make over one of our children. But so grateful that God gave us the courage to do so.
And I still feel like I’m peeling back the layers of this gift that God has dropped into my life. And how his adoption wasn’t nearly as much about my “rescuing” a boy from certain doom, as it was about him teaching me about what’s really happening outside my happy little homeschooling bubble. That pain, heartbreak, and courage aren’t just noble concepts to read about, but raw, life changing emotions that real people struggle with on a daily basis.
And traumatic social histories aren’t things to be cured in a day’s time. Or a month. Or a year.
And so we travel forward, bolstered with another year’s experience, another year stronger. Into what? God can only tell what the future holds for my special boy. I can only wonder what lessons he will teach us without even knowing it.
Maybe this year he’ll be brave enough to look at the pictures and remember where he’s come from. Maybe it’s still too early. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Thanks for following our journey…