Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Day will Bring it to Light

Cisco's therapist came over, this week, to say goodbye. She joyfully graduated him from therapy right before his adoption hearing. As I walked her out, Cisco ran ahead to join his team in the outfield as Ben pitched a home run to LJ - another plus to having a house full of boys the same age.

As I thanked her for all she had done for our family and affirmed her role in God's healing of Cisco's heart, she teared up and said, "What you guys are doing here is really something." I tried to wave her comment away, but she stopped me, "No. Really. Most of the homes I visit don't look like this [she gestured toward the lively baseball game] and most of the kids I see don't have outcomes as positive as Cisco's."

She was a complete godsend to our family. Watching her leave was an emotional rite of passage.

I took this picture, last year February, the first week Cisco and Missy came to live with us.

I've probably looked at it a dozen times since that day, but the uncertainty balled up in those sweet fists and the self-doubt weighing on Cisco's shoulders brings me to tears every time.

What a distinction to see him sitting next to two confident, assured brothers.

With a lot of love and even more tears, he overcame every obstacle he faced, this year. I am wowed by his quiet, fighting spirit.

We met with his teacher, last week, and made the difficult decision to have him repeat kindergarten. I am certain every parent wrestles with such discussions, but the closeness in age between the boys, made it extra tough (Ty is 2 months/1 week older than LJ and LJ is 2 months/2 weeks older than Cisco).

The amount of progress that Cisco made this year is remarkable and could have justified pushing him through to first grade. But here's the truth. While Ty and LJ soaked in the learning opportunities of their first year of preschool, Cisco was found in a condemned motel room, half-starved.

When Ty and LJ raced to the door on their first day of their second year of preschool, Cisco stood in the doorway of his second home and met his foster family for the first time.

Three months into kindergarten, Ty and LJ knew the names of every student in our small community school, while Cisco stood behind his brothers, too nervous to speak through his new stutter and too wounded to risk investing in friends that he might have to say goodbye to...for the third time.

It wasn't just the newness of school that overwhelmed his bright mind, it was the newness of every area of his life. New school, new home, new siblings, new parents, and (of course) new sets of rules all around. It's really no wonder his body was taken by anxiety.

Our little guy had to work, tirelessly, this year to achieve what most of the students in his class take for granted every day. He didn't just fight for academics. He fought for friendships, normalcy, trust, and routine. And because he ended kindergarten a squeak above "average", he would start first grade running faster than the others, continuing his fight to close the gap.

We didn't want that for him.

We want Cisco to rest in the guarantee of a tomorrow that looks just like today.

Last summer was such a kaleidoscope of change and emotion, I'm really looking forward to this summer. There is a great level of peace that comes with knowing your children, inside and out. I am thankful that we've finally reached that place.

When I tuck Cisco in at night and receive genuine hugs and right-on-the-lips kisses, I know his heart is whole.

Over the weekend, I was washing bedding and suggested that each boy take inventory of their stuffed animal collection (each one rivaling that of a zoo) to determine if it was time for a few goodbyes. I told them to make a little pile by the door of animals that they would like the agency to give to other boys and girls coming into foster care.

Ty and LJ produced zero stuffies between the two of them, yet my Cisco came with an armful of lovies and said, "Mom, I brought all of these animals from my middle home, but I don't need them anymore. Let's give them to another kid that has to have a middle home."

Punch to the heart.

That's my boy. He has the sweetest spirit I've ever met.

I was reading in I Corinthians, recently, and this line really struck a chord with me (3:13): "...the Day will bring it to light." That has never stood out to me before, but I like this new-to-me name of God.

The Day.

With love, he wakens his people and brings light to the darkness, cleans out the cobwebs, and fills hearts with song.

It's one thing to experience it myself, but entirely another to watch the revolution in others. Watching this boy's life sing is one of the greatest rewards on earth.


  1. Praise God! Julie

  2. One of my all time favorite posts!!

  3. He is so so cute. What a handsome boy. Thank you for sharing this post. Little Cisco is such an inspiration. He has a big story to tell one day.

  4. Amen! And wise move on the kindergarten scene!

  5. Amazing, awesome changes that God has made in Cisco's life and heart this past year--and bless you for allowing God to use you to enable the wonderful transformation!

    Kathy Lang

  6. Love this! What a bright spot after some dark places. Just a little word of encouragement...I work with ALL boys at a ministry. I am a teacher as well. I always encourage moms to hold their littles back if there is any doubt (and sometimes when there really isn't doubt, especially boys.) And, I think kinder is the perfect place to do that. I think you all will have no regret with that decision. I realize you weren't asking, but just wanted to say...Great idea and follow thru! Thanks for sharing your story. It's encouraging to me in "the wait" of adoption!

  7. Wow, just wow! I am so thankful to be a child of the Almighty, Living GOD. And beyond thankful to have you as a sister in Christ. Lives are being changed because of you and Ben's calling and not just within your home.

    Ashley Moon

  8. He's so darling! Thank you for sharing his struggles and triumphs. It is truly amazing. :)

  9. That last picture seals the deal for me. What a little power house. God is doing amazing things!

  10. Gasp! Such beauty in love! Sooo grateful and celebrating this new day and the light this little boy is going to shine with you xx Lin

  11. I just love your posts! I am so glad that light has been brought to your little boys life!

  12. I've been following your blog from the beginning but have kept pretty quiet. The beauty of this post and what you are doing in the lives of these children couldn't keep me quiet. As a mother and a preschool teacher in a high needs urban district, I thank you. You are truly Christ to others and its amazing to watch!

  13. What a great post! How has LJ been doing in school? I know he struggled for a bit, have there been improvements?

  14. I LOVE reading your blog. You truly speak from the heart and it's just wonderful to see that these kiddos have such a loving home. Your kiddos are just adorable!

    Oh and I've been loving your recipe's. I currently have 3 kiddos with twins on the way and it's always a challenge to make dinners that everyone will eat. I think we may have to implement the point system at our dinners too!

  15. You and your hubs are straight from heaven. God bless your family.

  16. I am in tears....happy years for your sweet boy!!!! He is just such a beautiful little one and wow....what an amazing year he's had! Congratulations to all of you!!

  17. He is precious! Your story is such an inspiration.

  18. Praise our beautiful Father for what He's doing in and through your family!! His heart is so evident in your story and you are such an encouragement. I love the way He pours His love into your heart and it overflows to so many others. And Oh how He loves these children!! Is His plan not so much more glorious that you could have ever imagined on your own?! I eagerly await the day that God brings some of His sweet kids into mine and my husbands lives as well, so that we may love them with the love that He loves us. I am thankful for you and your family, and for your willingness to open your lives to the rest of the world to see the beauty and the brokenness, to see the Fathers heart for children, and to inspire other believers to be willing to endure the pain and sacrifice just so even one child can experiences the love of Jesus in their lives, maybe for the very first time. May the Lord continue you bless you sweet sister, and keep on loving fiercely, through His Son and by His Spirit!

  19. FYI we did the same with our daughter after adopting her from foster care. We decided it school shouldn't have to be so hard. Kids like ours need a break, just time to be kids.

    She's now a rising junior at a very challenging science and math school, doing just fine. It still doesn't come as easy as it does for others but she's hanging in there and we are excited to be looking at colleges.