Three weeks post-surgery for Kieran

So, three weeks after Kieran’s surgery…. how are we doing? Well, it is hard, to say the least. The therapy and walking on his leg is very painful. And when we tell him that both are what it will take to get better, and that the more he pushes himself, the faster he will get better and out of this contraption…. well, this all goes against everything he has learned to believe. Why would he choose pain? Why in the world would pain actually be good for you?? It wasn’t good when he first broke his leg—several times—why would it be good now?

Kieran really didn’t choose to have all these things happen to him and to have such pain. However, I’m praying on the other side of this that Kieran will understand Jesus’ love to a much greater degree, knowing that He chose to undergo all that pain on the Cross, for us! And to a much lesser degree, Mom and Dad chose to take his pain and troubles upon ourselves. We chose to help bear his burden, even though it may seem to him right now that we want him to experience pain on purpose.

I’ve heard this song “Blessings” by Laura Story hundreds of times, but now it has taken on new meaning for our family:

“We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

But all the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”

Two things I trust to be true about suffering:

1) Suffering isn’t always bad, though of course we believe it is when we are in the middle of it. In fact, when we put our trust in God, suffering actually makes us stronger.

“…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Rom 5:3-4)

“Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11)

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Pet 4:12-13)

I know that God wants to grow Kieran because He wants to be glorified through him. But we all can attest to the fact that true growth never happens easily, and we rarely welcome it.

2) God promises that He is always right beside us to walk with us in our sufferings.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of [ ____ ], for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut 31:6)

I believe with all my heart that God is walking right beside all of us in this trial. I do admit I doubt, some days, whether we will come out smiling, but I never doubt that our Father constantly stands faithfully beside His children.


How to Help an Adoptive Family

We’re grateful for the many friends and family members who’ve supported us in the last three years as we’ve grown our family by adoption. There are tons of challenges in adoption, and we’ve learned and continue to learn new lessons about parenting and raising kids in our crazy family.

If you’ve ever wanted to help an adoptive family and wondered how best to do it, here’s a great article on Ashlee Andrews’ blog. Like us, the Andrews family has children both in the “traditional manner” as well as by adoption. Our experiences–and those of other adoptive families we know–are very similar to those described by Ashlee.

Thanks to Ashlee for her insightful post.