Thursday, September 27, 2012

Parker Time & Reflections on Children

This past weekend our house was full of giggles, squeals, tears, snuggles, questions and more questions and even more questions, some patience-trying, tickle fests, loads of fun, and endless laughter as we watched our dear friends' son from Friday night to Sunday night.

Parker is creative, smart, funny, quirky, and challenging. He's at a great age for playing and enjoying his boyhood, but man alive, he can be pretty draining too. He's got a very sweet, sensitive spirit, and surprised us sometimes with his humorous tidbits.

I miss him. I took him back to his house Sunday night and helped transition him back to his parents. I got to say goodnight to him and give him a hug for bed that night, which helped transition me as well. I also saw him Monday at lunch so that helped. But our house is eerily empty again. I miss the constant-ness of helping care for a young one. I miss how full of joy my heart was. I miss impacting the life of a child. I miss hanging out with him. Of course, it helps that I dearly, dearly love this kid and have had a special bond with him since day one.

I know the realities of raising a child closely enough, and I don't want you to misunderstand me here. Having an eternal impact, a lasting legacy, is something I don't have in the way of my own children. I do the best I can with what's been given to me - impacting the lives of the kids, like Parker, who are in my life. But not having children of my own is still incredibly hard.

I'm trying to take it all in stride and remember that we like being able to do our own thing, have the freedom and unrestricted ability to go out whenever we want, etc. That I trust God for all of this and know that he has a perfect plan.

As I was telling my friend Danielle over lunch today, it's one thing to be content with where you feel God has you, to come to a peace within your being that you are okay with what He has planned for you. But it's another thing to really live that lifestyle.

To be okay with the next 60+ years without kids, without grandkids, without all that joy and elation, without that kind of daily, constant impact. To hold them whenever they cry. To make them fall over laughing even at midnight. To be okay being the outsider in all the marriage groups - the ones without kids. To be the ones who never fit in. To be okay with being the one who never gets to experience the joys and trials of pregnancy, nursing, and childbirth OR the joys of that first day looking directly into the eyes of your adopted child. Experiencing none of it. Just micro-bursts of sharing and impacting children however we can.

I'm doing what I can, but it's not the same no matter how you try to smooth it over.

I want to be okay with that, but when I look at my life as a whole, I can't help but get super duper sad... and pray that God surely has another plan for us in the next 6 or so years. I'm not giving up just because we've hit the 12 year mark.

So just for today... I'm focusing on how very thankful I am for every moment we had together with Parker all weekend and I will cherish the memories.

And I rest assured that Parker will always know that he has an "auntie" and "uncle" that care very, very deeply for him. It's not about being blood-related. It's so much more than that.

We love you Parker Thomas. We always have, we always will.

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