Thursday, August 13, 2015

9 months of brothers

Brothers.  My three sons have now been brothers for 9 months.  Meeting at the airport; the excitement, exhaustion and feeling all of those intense emotions put down the glue that would, through the next few months begin to fully them as brothers.

Adoption, like life is filled with unknowns.  When our adoption agency agreed to allow us to disrupt our birth order, the list of unknowns grew.  Inevitably adding another child to our family would change Gabe's life but I had to wonder how much more would disrupting the birth order change his life.

We were thrilled when our agency approved our home study for a child aged 0-10.  We assumed we'd be adding a big brother or sister to Gabe's future.  February 14, 2014 when we heard the words "two boys, ages 6 and 8 months" we were thrilled.  Sandwiching Gabe between two brothers was totally unexpected; a complete delight but added to the list of unknowns.  These boys, this brotherhood, it was one of the major unknowns as we waited for Thomas and Samsel to come home.

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God" 

As I was sharing my fears with a friend she shared the above sentiment from Corrie ten Boom.  So we trusted.  Honestly, I trusted then worried then trusted some more.  And my worry, well it was fruitless.  Like we read a few nights ago with the big boys at bedtime; "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Matthew 6:26.  We are more valuable to The Lord than the birds and surely He took care of our family.

Gabe truly became a big brother and a little brother in the  middle of an airport on November 13, 2014.  He took his brothers home and began sharing his toys, his bedroom and his parents.  My worries about the boys and the brotherhood they would form proved needless.  While it hasn't been perfect, it's been beautiful; full of love, learning and redemption.

In Samsel The Lord provided a sweet boy nearly the same age as our July baby that would heal small parts of Gabe's hearts that were still reeling from that loss.  While Gabe had to learn (and at times needs a refresher course) to be gentle to his younger brother, he also was given the opportunity to be a big brother; to be a leader and a protector, to teach Samsel and to care for him.  Samsel learned quickly that Gabe loved him unconditionally and is always quick to sidle up beside Gabe to look at a book or play cars together.

Samsel needed a brother to respond to all of his cries, to readily give him the toy he wanted and to help fill his quota of daily hugs.  Both Gabe and Samsel find comfort in one another when someone is sad or hurt.  Samsel doesn't yet see any of Gabe's limitations but all of his potential.  Their relationship is beautiful.  Exhausting and tests all of my parenting patience when they tease each other for hours on end but also one of the most beautiful relationships two brother could have.

Then there's these two.

 I'm not really sure what to even say about them.  Some days I just sit back and marvel at the fact that they have only been brothers for "X" amount of time because it seems like their relationship is so established.  Thomas has taken to being the "big brother" of the house with great pride.  He encourages Gabe, praises him for using lefty and helps him when he needs it.  Gabe needed Thomas. He needed a brother to play super hero with him, race cars around the living room and belly laugh with as they 'fall' off the couch.  Gabe needed someone to believe in him, someone for nightly wrestling matches against daddy and someone to whisper funny stories to after being tucked into bed.  
As for Thomas; he desperately needed the sweet, happy spirit of Gabe in his life.  Gabe showed Thomas that laughter really is the best medicine; for a carsick stomach, a lonely day or a hard moment.  Through Gabe, Thomas learned exactly what Daddy and Mommy are for; to care for you, love you, fill you with good food and hopeful words.  Thomas learned quickly from Gabe how to create new tracks on the train table and now they spend hours playing trains, designing new tracks and causing train wrecks.  Together they've learned to read; spurred on by a little brotherly competition (for Thomas) and the desire to not be left behind (for Gabe). Soon, they will begin 1st grade together.  I can only imagine the laughter, learning and fun that will be had around that table.

It hasn't been perfect.  Both boys have had a lot to learn; how to share, how to respect one another's wishes when the other wants time to themselves, to take turns.  All things brothers begin learning from day one; their day one just began when they were 5 and 6 years old.

9 months.  9 months of love. 9 months of laughter.  9 months of bedtime stories and songs.  It has been such a joy and a privilege to watch them go from brothers by name only to brothers bonded by love and an equal amound of need and admiration for one another.

No one could have ever known these three little boys born thousands of miles and a world a
part would be such a wonderful match for a trio of brothers.  Thomas and Samsel had one another but unknown to them, and to us, someone was missing for everyone.  Gabe fits perfectly in the middle; Thomas in the lead and Sam coming along as the baby.  Clandestine moments fill our house when I hear giggles turn to belly laughs, stumble upon them reading together in the playroom or check in on them sleeping at night and I have to remind myself that this isn't how it's always been.  While we couldn't have imagined how well these three boys would become brothers, He did.  And as I pull their blankets back over them each night before I go to bed, I thank Him for His unfailing wisdom to give us the gift of these three brothers.

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father 
of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

No comments: