This time of year always has me reminiscing. I'm not sure if its the laziness of summer or that we enter into what I call "Birthday Season" where from July to September we celebrate each kids' birthday. It makes me think of the coming school year and then "Oh my how much they've grown and they were just babies yesterday....". But we also just "celebrated" that it's been five years since we moved to Texas and that fact alone has be thinking about how far we have come, how much we have changed and whats coming up.
Five years! It seems to have passed so fast. Zeke was just 5 and Titus was only 3 (and now they are almost 11 and 9). We spent the first year settling in and finding our people. Then next 3 years were spent learning the ins and outs of adopting and fighting for a girl half the world away. In the past five years we have all changed so much. Our first two years in Texas we really spent focused on the four of us, so it was goodbye date nights and hello family dates, movie nights in and while that shaped us and prepared us for what was coming, it was also fun. We established community. When we plucked up our roots we had to transplant and much like a plant, we had to transplant quickly or die. So we sought community and boy did we find it. We have been surrounded by great friends who have really rallied around us in the hardest times.
Then, the last 2 years have been spent as a family of five. Navigating yet again our new normal. Zoe has been home almost two years that fact alone is crazy. I was driving Zoe and two of her friends home from camp the other day and they were asking me questions about Zoe and her sweet little bestie said, " I remember the day she landed at the airport." I agreed and said, "Can you believe that was almost two years ago?!" The other friend giggled and said, "It just seems like Zoe's always been here." I loved hearing that from those sweet little girls because I feel the same way. Last year on her first Gotcha Day I was shocked and thrilled, "We made it a year! Phew!". It was like the first year was hard but we all survived and she thrived. Now, coming up on two years Im feeling more like her friends: its like she's always been here. Our schedule of Doctor appoints have slowed down, she's learning ASL so fast and she's just flourishing! The boys too; they are great and they are learning, growing and changing. It's not always pretty but that's just reality.
I was reading a book called A FIERCE LOVE and she talked a lot about the Ebenezer stones and how it was used in her life to remind her that "This far the Lord has helped us" (1 Samuel 7:12-14) and I just loved that. I look back on the last five years and I can see the hand of God with us so often. Last year we drove a motorhome to Utah and stopped along the way at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. As I stood and marveled over the beauty and art that is within that amazing canyon and saw my little family doing the same I cried happy little tears, and thought, " This moment is significant. Look at us. This little family. Look at what the Lord has done." Titus being our family hoarder or collector whatever you want to call it, picked up a pinecone and it made its way home with us where it sits right next to our change jar by the sink. I love seeing it there because it reminds me of that moment. So then on a recent trip to the beach I had the same feeling, looking out to the ocean seeing my four people laughing, swimming and just being a family that same thought came to me, "This is significant." And Titus being Titus found a really neat piece of coral he asked if he could keep it and my first thought was NO! ( we just cleaned out his room and the last thing he needed to do was bring home more rocks!) but then I remembered the thought of the ebenezer stone and the significance of "This far the Lord has helped us" and said yes. So now this cool coral sits next to the pinecone where I can see it and be reminded that even in these quick passing days, weeks and years, He has done a mighty work and it is so significant.
Now whats coming up?! That leaves me feeling a bit anxious. Im not sure what is coming up; we have some big family adventures planned but really we are just chugging along so you know next week all 3 kids will be off to college!