Today, though, I have lifted my eyes and seen that even though the road I am traveling is not easy or simple, it is good, and it beats my other options.
I could have been single. We could have stopped having kids and had a normal sized family. I could have spent the evening surfing the web in peace and quiet last night instead of playing cards with our four biggest kids and telling jokes and dirtying dishes and being blessed with a houseful of laughter and love.
I had the option of not adopting kids. I could have stayed home 6 years ago instead of going to Kazakhstan to adopt a child I had never met and knew nothing about. If I had taken that option, I would have had a cleaner house today or a fatter bank account but Joshua would most likely be dead already. I would not have received a little note from him this afternoon – “I love you mom” or made up a list of exciting activities he wants us to do this summer with him. It’s a great list – we’re going to the zoo, to the pool, bowling, to see the Snake Farm, then put flowers in food coloring and see what happens. Then we’ll go to the beach at the lake and dig down in the dirt until and see how far we have to dig before the sand cools off enough that we can just lay there. The list also includes spending all day painting pictures, taking out library books, going fishing, eating popcorn at the movies, and getting Sonic drinks and drinking them in the car. He also plans to learn carpet ball and practice his soccer and learn more songs on the piano. This kid knows how to live. He’s teaching me.
We could have also opted out of taking Caleb as our own. He would have been sent to a nursing home, according to his case worker at the time. We had the option to walk away, but Caleb didn’t have many options himself. It’s been three years since he came home. It’s been a hard road, lots of medical appointments, high risk surgery, difficult recovery, and probably more to come, but we’ve weathered it together and come out stronger for it. I had an incredible conversation with him today about what he likes about the pool and how he played with Joshua and Abbey yesterday and he was so cute, so happy. It’s hard to believe how far he’s come in three years, and impossible to think about having taken the other option and walked away from this child. This kid knows how to enjoy life, and he is teaching me.
I had the option to miss all this blessing. Breathtaking.