Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Give me Your heart.

Keeping it real.

Adoption is interesting. When you have a bio child...you grow with the child. Even people that were not planning on the pregnancy become quickly attached to the new life inside of them and by the time D day comes....that baby is LOVED. Every stage is new and exciting. Every expression....every new baby smell (yes I said 'every'). They are yours. You think they are the most beautiful baby in the world. Nothing grosses you out.

Adoption is different. Especially adoption...when it involves an older (non infant) child. They have a formed personality. That have 'ism's that are not necessarily cute. They have expressions that may even annoy you. You have simply not grown with them. Yet they are now 'yours'.

From the very beginning of this blog my commitment to myself was keeping it real. Raw. No pretense.

Last night I had an appointment that was a bit of a drive. Driving is good for me. Good for the real me. I pray when I drive. Out loud. As I started to pray last night it was almost strange how my prayer took a whole different direction than I intended. He brought my heart right back to where it needed to be.

This was my prayer:

You are right...if you picked me up without looking into my eyes with that sparkle...I wouldn't feel very special.

You are right...if you blew off my overreaction to my owies and falls...without eye contact...I wouldn't feel very special.

You are right...if you gave me hugs that felt stiff and mechanical...I'd feel it and I wouldn't feel very special.

You are right... if every time I sat down to eat... you were like "open your mouth! Faster. Chew!! You need to grow!!" I wouldn't feel very special. (both children could easily take 1 hour to eat a bowl of cereal or piece of toast).

You are right...if every time I was just caught gazing at you half in the wonder of 'am i dreaming?? I have a daddy??" and half in the " I wonder what he thinks of me?" you told me to shake my head and focus on what I was supposed to be doing....I would feel rejected and embarrassed. I wouldn't feel very special.

You are right...I think I might even rather be an orphan than to be so close to love...yet not close...enough.

Likening the adoption with how God has so clearly adopted me. YET He makes me feel like I'm his "bio child. "

It hit me. I cried. I repented for my heart issue and I asked for a love to come into me that could only come from him. A tender heart. A God-given heart. Yes I will discipline but I will love. My discipline isn't what's out of line..Its what is in my heart. I can feel it. I can feel the lack of it.

I know exactly what it's like to "act love" and not feel it. Not allowing yourself to feel it. I truly believe God wants us to feel it. Allow my heart to soften and love...really love... these little boys. Yes there's kinks to iron out. Yes there's things we don't understand and yes there's things that just plain annoy. How many times do we do that with our Dad...and he smiles, half rolls his eyes and scoops us up and loves us...? I know I sure do. I go to africa and SOB and beg every day for at least 2 wks that God would miraculously remove this trial from me. And he could easily be thinking "Janice...c'mon...knock it off. Get up. Shake off. Have I EVER left you? Do i have to promise you EVERY day AGAIN that I won't??? Needy....much? Seriously!" but it's not what he says. He says "you can trust Me. Come to Me. Cry on Me. I'll catch every tear. And He softly whispers..."guess what? (like it's a new thought...) I... will ....never... leave ....YOU.".

Today...was amazing. They came to me so many times to tell me things, show me things, just to hug. I know they could feel the difference. It's a process. But it's a process I want to completely have His heart in. Let me look into their eyes and let them see...'she loves me'. I helped Zunduka learn to swallow things that he doesn't love instead of chewing for 15 minutes (no joke) in the most dramatic way. We sat at the window and watched a lightning storm...all of us squeezed into the window together. We went to the park and I never sat down. I saw every time Chazano almost crashed into something because he was staring at me. I smiled every time. I put Zunduka and Azlan down for a nap today and guess what? They got to stay up after everyone else went to bed (even if my nice gesture was too much for Zunduka who was clearly overtired by 9:30). Chazano laid in bed beaming at bedtime. When I, for the first time...leaned in and whispered in his ear...."you... are my favorite" I don't even know if he understood but he smiled knowingly. Funny how the others can hear me say it and there has never been any jealousy. When I got to Zion I prayed with him and leaned in and said "guess what?" he looked at me in total suspense yet it is very known what I'm about to say...."you...are my favorite" he closed his sleepy eyes with his sweet smile pasted.

Dean and I are doing the Love Dare with the plans / dare I say...committment ... of doing it for life...and it hit me today...that if the challenges were natural and easy it would be called anything but the "DARE". It's not easy. It's not natural. Yet isn't that opposite what society would tell us? If you aren't feeling it...it's time to bail. You shouldn't have to TRY. You shouldn't have to WORK at love. It comes naturally. No. It doesn't.

And though we'd all like to think well enough of our corrupted hearts to think I could take any one of these poor orphaned children and love them like my own...it's not natural. It takes a "God-made heart". It takes a love...that simply comes from someone much greater than you. Most of us are never asked to love our children unconditionally. They are beautiful little babies that no one whispers about as you walk by. You are proud to hold your baby and have everyone oooh and ahhhh. We'd love to think it's unconditional but I'm not convinced it is. We'll be tested on that later. When they do the unthinkable at age 19...will you tell them they've crossed the line and you have to turn your back? That's where unconditional comes in.

Since God called us to adopt Chazano and Zunduka there has never been one hint of a doubt in my mind (our minds) since the day He told us who we were to adopt. Not one. He took my heart that has dreampt for almost 3 years of adopting a newborn with a cleft lip and palate...to a place that longed to bring two healthy almost 6 year old boys into our family. I'm confident that in a place of complete surrender...He can take my heart and fill it. Fill it with the love He has loved Jacob and Meleki Lumbala since the very beginning. Oh...He saw it all. He saw two little boys born to a dying mom...not even making the trek to the hospital to deliver. He knows the end of the story ... before you've seen the first page. Before Patricia knew she was pregnant...God knew every tear that would fall on the dirt floor of a grass hut by two little boys ... and He knew...He knew the end of the story. If He can do all that...and choose us to deliver them from a life of extreme poverty...then He can give me the heart that can tear down walls and build bridges. He can.

The best part is that all it takes from me...is surrender.

Take my heart. Make it Yours.

Give me Your heart.

Brandon Heath's song comes to mind as I type. So while I'm getting a new heart...new eyes aren't a bad idea....

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so i can see

Everything that i keep missing

Give me your love for humanity

Give me your arms for the broken hearted

The ones that are far beyond my reach?

Give me your heart for the one's forgotten

Give me your eyes so i can see


  1. Right there with you woman, that was the exact song that was on my heart when I prayed for God to give me His eyes to see T...

  2. Janice - what a beautiful, heartfelt, post. You understand so well, and you have such love in your heart. As an adopted child myself, this touches me so much. What a mommy you are!

  3. I'm a long time lurker here on your blog. I've been following along as I like to keep up with adoptions from different African countries. Anyway, I just felt lead to share this powerful blog post with you (although you may already have seen it).

  4. that's my Taylor's favorite song...great post Janice. thx. Paul Stanley

  5. touching post janice. it is possible, with the struggles, to love our children as the god given blessing that they are. over the yrs we will journey together. daily reminding myself to embrace my children for their own uniqueness, the way they want to dress or foods they like to eat, their own skills and interests...and just enjoy watching them!! sk