I look behind me and see how adoption has saved me.
It has saved me from getting too comfortable.
(I can barely think to expand on that because there is so much to say and I can't put it all together in my head or in a nice, neat list that you would want to even read.....but here we go.)
It's not comfortable seeing my issues and weaknesses come out.
It's not comfortable learning how to love in a way that does not come naturally. (especially when it is not returned)
It's not comfortable being someone people admire for what we did when what we did makes the first two things happen.
It has saved me from thinking that having children is all about....me, what I want, when I want, who they look like, how many I have.
I look back at my 25 year old self when I gave birth to my first child and I don't think it is wrong to have dreams and thoughts about what you want in a family. But I think we need to continually put those dreams and thoughts before the Lord and ask for His will and His way to be done. Sometimes in joy and expectation and sometimes in grief and feelings of such longing and not understanding.
It has saved me from focusing too much time and money in a child's sport, hobby, passing interest.
A. We don't have the time nor the money. B. I am glad we don't.
Again, I don't think it's wrong to be involved and invested in these things. I am learning....STILL....to focus more on developing and encouraging my kids' walk of faith, their character, and their effort and attitude in life over their performance.
It has saved me from thinking that I need to make my children happy.
This is a tough one. We do things for them and with them that make them happy, but we also do things that are really hard on them. Not for the sake of making it hard on them, but it just happens....because we are a large family, because we value giving and people, because we adopted, because mom hates screens, because we have boundaries (they would say "STRICT rules").
This is a tough one because I hope that one day they will look back and see how God was with them and taught them and prepared them. But they could also ditch God and say that was too hard and I am not following a God like that.
I don't know if this really counts, but I have noticed some things that I no longer do now that I have a larger family...
I buy the cheapest, largest, singly-ply toilet paper I can get. I only notice when I go to other people's houses and find soft, cushiony toilet paper--and I remember what a toilet paper snob I used to be.
Going out to eat. We rarely take our kids out to eat at a restaurant. Again, has to do with the budget, but also it is just not fun. It's hard to please 9 people. It's hard to have a conversation. It's hard to enjoy a meal with kids constantly getting up, or are giddy with laughter because of the experience or maybe the high fructose corn syrup in their drink! Most of the time I eat out with just my favorite guy.
So we have passed the 2 year mark since bringing our last 4 kids home....thinking about another post.