We didn’t take a family photo at Christmas time like we’ve done every year since we were married. It just felt too weird. I purposely have avoided any photo of all of our kids together because of the obvious; one of our children is missing.
A whole lot of healing has taken place in my own heart and in our home over the last few months specifically. I’ve learned things I never thought I’d have to learn. I’ve learned that there are so, so many other parents of adoptive kids in our exact same shoes, walking our exact same journey. I’ve learned that programs that deal with trauma and the plethora of issues that spin off of it are needed by adoptive families more than any other. I’ve learned that there are not enough financial resources known to man to cover the cost of these programs- and because of that, many families never get help and are just left in a trench.
God has carried us. It’s nothing short of miraculous. And while we will likely be paying off the cost of the first trauma program for the next 20 years- somehow what we have needed has been there every month for the second program our son has been in since December. I feel we are walking a sort of “George Mueller” journey, in that each month we stand by as we see how God is going to do the impossible again, often with only a day to spare. And he has shown up time and time again.
Carlos is now in a terrific teen challenge program out west. He is doing well in school and receives counseling and therapy several times a week. He’s learned to snowboard, and is really involved in church. We get to talk to him each week- and there is an unquestionable metamorphoses going on in him. We hear healing in his voice- we hear a longing to surrender to Jesus each day and move past the brokenness of the past.
The harder parts of this journey are obvious. I’ll spare the details. We have learned a new normal and are truly surprised at how much peace we can have in our hearts. God does bigger than can be imagined.
We are hoping for the opportunity to go see Carlos this summer, but it is about three days of driving one way- which really adds up for a crew like ours. It would be about a two week trip to be feasible for the pace we’d have to take- and we just aren’t at a place of leaving our other kids for a week and a half to two weeks either. So we will see what happens there.
So this Easter, I finally got a photo of the crew. Yes, even though one of our children is missing. This photo is one of hope and healing. I am full of hope beyond human understanding- because I serve the living God, who conquered the grave. Truly, my hope is alive because my Savior is alive. He writes no mediocre stories. When brokenness and trial come knocking or even rake over our seemingly dreamy abode leaving a trail of utter destruction behind, He is right there heading up the recovery and the healing and leaving things more beautiful than imaginable. He picks up ashes and leaves behind beauty.
We have no idea what the coming months look like. We have no idea what the Lord will direct us to do. Yes, Carlos is still our beloved son. Yes, we have nine children to look out for. Yes, we will continue to do that- along with radically trust Jesus’ every direction for our family- no matter how untypical that may look like to the world. Yes, we believe nothing less than absolute and complete healing for every member of our household.
For now we wait, pray, trust and watch God do the work that only He is able to do.