Monday, August 22, 2011


Responding with grace is hard, but lately that is what I have felt in my heart. I was reading an adoption blog, and there was a small sentence about extending grace to people around us. That stuck in my mind as I thought about some difficult conversations I have had with a family member. She does not understand our adoption and is rather vocal about it in family situations. My instant reaction is to defend my position, defend my family and argue my way through the conversation. I have tried to have a private conversations explaining our journey, all the way God has provided and orchestrated every single detail. I thought, if I just explained it eloquently enough, she would see that something beautiful is transpiring and she would join in our excitement. Well, that hasn't happened no matter what my strategy has been.

Then, I decided to respond with grace. When a hurtful comment was made, instead of feeling righteous, I responded with grace and kindness. When she did not ask questions about the status of our adoption, instead of feeling hurt, I enjoyed her company as it was. When a funny story from our trip to Ghana came to mind, instead of forcing her to listen to it, i shared it with someone else. Grace. Grace. Grace. I can't say that it was easy. My lip was bloody from all the times I bit it to prevent my mouth from opening. I practiced deep breathing to lower my blood pressure as it began to rise.

As the dynamic of our relationship began to shift, I realized that responding with grace was just as much for me as it was for her. Slowly, the tension is melting, my guard is coming down and I relax again in her company. Trust is being built and conversations have honesty behind them. True reasons for this hesitancy to support us is becoming clearer and there is progress.

The only reason I share something this personal is that I know I can't be the only one experiencing this. It could be because of adoption or any life situation that God calls us to that is "out of the comfort zone" for people. What is the response that I should have? What yields the desired result? For me, it has been grace. Over and over and over again.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Next year...

Our family had a wonderful trip to the northern part of Michigan with my in-laws and nephews. It was a long weekend filled with time at the beach, bocce ball, card games and fun time with family. Since we opted to stay close to home this summer, this was a welcomed break to unwind and "unplug". Literally, we had no internet or phone service the entire time. Last time that happened was in Ghana:)

Family picture

Eric and I took a walk on the beach at sunset. This is the best picture I managed to take

Looking for snails by the rocks

Emilia showing where we were on the map


On the way home we stopped by Frankenmuth, Michigan for Eric's birthday lunch. He chose this place because of their fried chicken. He hasn't had it for over 10 years and it was as good as he remembered.

Of course, the weekend was filled with Eric and I thinking: "next year this will be even more special with all our children here". It seems to be a reoccurring theme with anything we do. We miss K and A very much, but they are in our thoughts no matter what we do. Next year...