Nine months ago Matt and I boarded a plane in DC bound for Ethiopia with no idea what the future would hold. We knew it would be beautiful and we assumed it would be hard but we were ready to bring home two little boys who needed a family. And as much as they needed a family, we needed them.
Step by step, moment by moment our sweet sons learned that we were their family. It was, and in many ways still is, a slow process. How do you explain to a child that you will always be there for them when all the adults they've known have left them? You can't use words, you have to prove it to them.
And that proof comes in the form of being there each and every day, every single second they need you. For the first few months home Samsel woke up constantly; he wasn't hungry or wet, he just needed to know we were there. So we went to him, held him close and whispered sweet, soft truth into his ears. Thomas? He didn't need us at night but during the day time he asked (still does some days) so many questions I wouldn't even be able to keep count. Sweet questions, serious questions, nonsensical questions. He didn't need the answers so much as to know we cared enough to answer. So we did. And we do.
Day by day, week by week and as the seasons change their attachment to us grows as does ours to them. Attaching in adoption can be a slow process and we're okay with that. And a slow, steady but strong attachment has shown us how in this fast pace world, slow can be a good thing. A beautiful thing. As the days have been slow and the weeks have flown by we've been enjoying life the same way: fast and slow. Appointments and bonding at home used to take up our days but now appointments and play dates are filling our time. In November the boys came home to a brand new world, each and every thing was virtually brand new. We slowly acclimated to all that newness with just our family.
Nine months ago I could have never told you how important it is to go slow in life. While I'm not truly part of the rat race I was accustomed to the idea that faster is always better. Alas, not for the first nor last time will I be wrong. Going slow with the boys has shown me the importance of going slow in other things. Like on walks. I'd burn more calories and get home faster if the boys rode or walked quickly but then we'd miss out on so many things. Following ants down the side walk, watching squirrels, waving hello to the cars that drive by. It seems unnecessary but enjoying the small things, the slower pace of life is peaceful.
Getting out the door on time with these three proves to be a challenge at times. Rushing is nothing but stressful for all four of us so now, we start earlier, move slower and there is so much more peace in our house. This going slow... it really works for our family.
Pre-family of 5 I moved slowly in the morning; I had plenty of time to do what ever needed to be done and meet the needs of Gabe. The first few months home, while we were cocooned at home most of the time we were still moving at a very fast pace. Life was crazy and hard, yet beautiful. But in the busyness I was missing the beauty. The beauty that my three sweet sons marveled at; big clouds, beautiful snow flakes, sun beams on the playroom floor barely caught my attention because I thought I had so much to do and was moving to quickly. One day though, the dust sparkling in the sunshine that had the boys laughing and dancing, garnered my attention as well. And I took a moment to slow down. The dishes sat, the books were a mess but those moments were so enjoyable. After that day in May, I made the intentional decision to slow down. Life was speeding by, there was so much to do but it felt so good to slow down.
You're my place of quiet retreat; I will wait for Your Word to renew me. Psalm 119:114
Renewal, slowness. It's so unnatural but it feels so good. While it didn't make sense to others to slowly introduce the boys to the outside world, our friends and family, play dates it made sense to us. And while initially it was hard to purposefully slow down; to truly stop and smell the roses, it turned into something wonderful. Slow and steady: it doesn't just work for turtles [smile].