When I woke early this morning I found myself facing the same choice I have had to make each morning this week…wake up and finish part 2 of this blog or curl up and sleep for 45 more minutes. I found myself hitting the snooze button once again. This week has been a tiring one due to a lot of extra meetings and more running than usual. We had a few trips into Pittsburgh, a co-op Valentine party, an IEP meeting, and two social worker visits on top of our usual obligations. As a result I have found myself fantasizing about my bed more often and choosing sleep over the other things I could be doing in the early morning hours. It is always a quandary, however, when the alarm goes off at 5:30. I know the blessing of those early morning hours, those moments of quiet and solitude before the rest of the family wakes. I know that my day ALWAYS goes more smoothly if I center myself and have that quiet time before the wild rumpus begins and yet even with that knowledge I have found myself hitting the snooze button all week-long. *sigh* So, now that Ozzie is on the bus and the kids are eating breakfast, I am determined to finish this blog entry. 🙂
Ozzie turned 10 on Sunday. When he was with us over Christmas break he told me that his only wish was that he would be able to spend his birthday at our house. On Sunday morning he excitedly exclaimed, “My wish came true!” As is our tradition, we snuck into Ozzie’s room early Sunday morning to wake him up with the family singing “Happy Birthday” and a cupcake with a candle to blow out. He was thrilled and loved being able to have cupcake for his birthday breakfast.
After church we let Ozzie open his gifts while lunch was cooking. Each of the kids used their own money to buy Ozzie a gift so he had quite a pile to open. We start with the youngest giving their gift first and end with Mom and Dad’s gift. Tyler bought Ozzie a gumball pack with a matchbox car on top. Rusty bought him Lego stickers, Lego candies and a Lego car that he made him. Molly bought him a matchbox car carrier and Gracie bought him a Monster Truck. Ozzie was very happy with all his toys and kept asking, “Are these all for me?” He was very grateful but he did have to be reminded a few times not to ask the giver where they bought his gift and how much they spent. 🙂
From Toby and I Ozzie received a membership to Minecraft, an online game that Rusty and Tyler play together. After lunch Rusty helped Ozzie set up his account. We had a quiet day. The kids played and we watched. My heart overflowed with gratitude.
It is such a funny thing when I consider that just a few months ago we had no idea God was bringing this little boy into our lives and yet so quickly my heart is full of love for him. That is not to say it is always easy. We have our fair share of hard moments, tough days, and meltdowns (his and mine) and yet there is no doubt he is my child, my son to raise. As I look back on the last decade of my life I can now see the path that God has been laying all along to bring Ozzie to Toby and I. Like Tyler, this path of adoption was part of God’s plan from the beginning of time. He was meant to be my son, meant to be part of our forever family. There was a time in my life I struggled with anger towards God for closing the door to future pregnancies through a diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis, but I know now that he had to close that door for me to understand and embrace the calling he would lay on my heart…on our hearts…in the future. I had to let go of my plans so that God could show me the greatness of His plans. I had to surrender. I had to let go of the white knuckle grip I had on my own desires and turn my hands over so that He could place His good gifts on my open palms. These two little boys who have entered our lives are treasures…treasures that we would not have been blessed with had things gone “my way.” I quote the words of Nia Vardalos with some licence:
“If the standard route for creating a family had worked for me, I wouldn’t have met Ozzie. I needed to know him. I needed to be his mother. His is, in every way, my son.”
It is often through our greatest heartbreak that we find our most divine calling…that calling that God whispered on our hearts long ago…
“Before you were born, when God knit you together in your mother’s womb, He reached down and took your tiny heart in His hand and breathed on it in such a way to inscribe on it your calling- the reason for which you were being sent into the world to love and be loved and to be God’s love in the flesh to everyone you meet. Since that day, amid all the noise and distractions, your heart with every beat has kept whispering that calling. Sometimes it is hard to hear it. You have to listen closely. There are other voices, too, that you have collected over the years- voices of guilt and fear and shame and negativity. They say, “You can’t do that” and “You ought to do this” and “What will people say?” But they all come from your head not your heart, and they never whisper, they shout, forever trying to drown out the one true thing you need to hear. Don’t listen to the bad voices. Listen to your heart. Follow your calling. If there is any art to living I believe it is that.” – Sharon Randall
As I tucked my 10-year-old treasure into bed on Sunday night I whispered a silent prayer of thanks for the blessings of long days, noisy kids, temper tantrums, dirty dishes, and unanswered prayers. For it is in the hardest, loneliest, most tiring moments of life that we hear the whisperings of God and remember our calling.