UPDATE: just by claiming the scripture mentioned below and changing my entire mindset from all about my loss as a mother and her dreams to a true ministry to my girls and making it all about their needs I can say that today ROCKED & I totally tried to do everything emotionless and FOR them with out reacting in defense!! One day at a time is what it takes. ; )
What do you think about my life? You probably don't sit around all day pondering about PandaMom, but in some teeny-tiny way you think about me for a second or else you wouldn't visit this blog and read my ramblings or peek at my photos.
Are you curious as to how real I am or what it's like being a minister's wife? Do you think I have it all together? HA. Those who know me in real life know better than that. But with just pictures on a screen and text on a page that can be read in the way I intended them to or completely misinterpreted and come across different that my original thoughts, do you think you know me?
I do try and be real on here. One of my better qualities is that I am a transparent person. I don't like hiding things and I feel an urge to spill my guts just so that someone doesn't think I'm being fake about something. I'd rather come across as one who lays it all out there and risks being made fun of rather than be pretentious in any way. My transparency has bitten me in the behind before so I am much more aware of what I hang on the laundry line.
Though part of me wants to, I do not feel released to type out all there is to know about PandaMom. I am married to a minister and I'd never want to bring any negative light to my Man, our precious church or anything that would hinder the beauty of God. Some things are meant to be kept private no matter if I want to blather on about them in cyber space.
Why did I ask your opinion of my life? I often visit other's blogs and sum them up in about a five second scan of the blog. How shallow of me. I do the same when people watching. As horrible as it is, I can't seem to stop. I see someone and have their whole life pegged in an instant. Stupid me. How many times have I been 100% wrong??? Probably 99% of the time.
Do you think that I have such a great story to tell with the beautiful girls with whom we've been entrusted? Well, I do.
Do you sometimes wish that you could have been infertile and have adopted outside your race?.....like maybe it's glamorous to have gone through the pain of years of infertility, millions of tears, disappointment after countless disappointment in trying to build a family, entering the tragic foster system and have your world rocked? What about having your dreams of how your family would look and act be utterly shattered?
Like I look at Beth*Moore and see her precious self being all cute and beautiful and spunky. She has two grown daughters who adore her, do ministry with her and they all three seem to have THE BEST relationship ever. She has this unbelievable gift of making God's Word understandable to everyday-janes like me and she's totally hip & cool, too. However, her testimony is hard, hard, hard. Hard. Why would I be jealous of her when she's lived through so much heartache? You know she raised a son for seven years (from age 4-11) and he was taken from their lives for some loophole reason. That's some serious heart-break right there, that I'd never, ever want to go through.
I'm writing this all out tonight because I have been struggling so very much with raising these girls. We are still in the appeal process with PandaJOY so I battle feelings of "raising someone else's kid" while we wait out this crazy, useless legal process. PJ is quite a handful because she isn't just a typical (whatever that is) 3 year old. She comes with many emotional issues from her tiny past. With each discipline she needs, which is multiple times daily just like an other kid this age, I have to instantaneously make the mental shift from my own way of doing things to what is going to be best for her. I fail miserably most days. There is some high drama in our home and I don't mean the funny kind. On the times that I actually DO get it right and she is successful and I am successful I wish there was someone there clapping and handing out stickers or something to recognize that I DID IT!! I actually DID IT and I made a great mark of improvement on this child's life!!! YAY ME!!!!
Then there's PandaGirl who has her own past experiences. I forget that she, too comes with a load of issues that stem from being abandoned as a baby, living in an orphanage and then the trauma of being ripped from her loving nannies at the orphanage and put in our foreign arms. We moved on as if this darling little toddler was a newborn and we were starting fresh. No way. She had 15 months of who knows what under her belt before she ever set foot on American soil.
So I have two daughters (let's just call PJ that for the sake of ease) who have unhealthy, non-Americana backgrounds. I have my own issues that I deal with adding more stress to the day and before you know it.......sometimes I want to SCREAM!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I do.
Like I stated earlier, I feel like a complete and utter failure to these two girls on a daily basis. That's what I'm getting at with all the questions and comparisons. I don't want for one minute for anyone reading this blog to think that I have it all together just because I'm sometimes funny and have a quick wit or that I take some pretty pictures. I was at my wit's end today and begged God for a Scripture to help ease my wonky unsettled, un-peaceful feelings and He gave me this:
"Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
It might not make any sense to you, but it does to me. I took it personally and fully believe He blessed me with this peace at just the moment I needed it. He also led me to Face**book. Yes, God led me to Face**book. A friend posted a link to a pastor who wrote an article from his new book coming out and the title of the article was "Don't Adopt!". That's an attention getter. I clicked on the link and read what he had to say.
I totally agreed with him.
I even signed on to make a comment.
Here's the link. "Don't Adopt!" Let me know your thoughts if you have an opinion on this.
I am posting because I do want some other thoughts. Until I had experienced what I have with my girls and until I read his post I would talk til I was blue in the face with PandaPop about this issue and he & I disagreed. We rarely all out disagree on much, but this was one such issue: are all Christians called to adopt to fulfill the scripture that says to take care of widows and orphans? I've stood my ground saying that there's no way that God wouldn't want every Christian to adopt, meaning you don't have to wait on "God's will" or permission to adopt. Just do it!! PP's take is that, NO, not everyone is called to adopt. It baffled my mind......until I read this article and I like how he stated it. PP knows that I now agree with him. He just rolled his eyes when I told him. That was a kind gesture to me suggesting, "You drive me crazy, Blondie. I've been trying to tell you this forever."
After the gift of the scripture verse and after reading this, I felt empowered to minister to these two girls in a different way. To be their mom, but to stop trying to make them into the American dream family that I thought I'd have. I will never have been pregnant. I will never have carried life in me nor have known my children from birth. I don't have the privilege of having bonded to my daughters in their infancy making them feel safe & secure deep down in their core. I will never even remotely look like my girls. I will never be the first mother they knew. I can't ever rest in the sacredness of birthing them. They absolutely have issues. I have issues. I have to parent them differently than what might seem normal. If you 've followed at least since January you know that my word for this year has been ENTRUSTED. I got a new vision of that today and am renewed.
PandaPop and I have been entrusted with these beauties. They need extra love & care. They need to be disciplined differently. They need Jesus. They are such a gift and I lost sight of that for a while.
I'm praying the battle for these two will find me faithful to the calling on my life. It's not about me. It's about them.
Thanks for sticking around with me, friends.