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We've come a Long Way, Baby ~ by Nikki Esquivel

June 12th marked six years since our much-smaller-then family piled into our old Ford, Windstar and took the two-hour drive to the children’s psychiatric hospital.

Six years since we claimed a very scared but awfully cute 8-year-old boy as our fourth child.

It was the consummate case of “blind leading the blind”.  Sure, we had adopted once before but never a child with a LABEL,  never a child from not one, but two disrupted placements, never a child that had been in the United States for just under seven months but experienced the pain of three adult lifetimes in that span.

It has been six years since the wave that rolled our boat, but never capsized us completely, hit our safe little nest that I so carefully feathered to keep out all the “bad things”.

Six years since I lost the title of “The Most Together Mom You’ll Ever Meet”  a title I bestowed on myself and based on my ability to reiterate the wisdom of others but that had never been earned through painful lessons and in-the-trenches parenting.

It has been six years since a child who felt truly unlovable,  and told me so, buckled up in that mini van to give family life one more go.  Because he had no power except the power to rage.  And he put all his effort into flexing that muscle beginning on the second day home.

Six years since the Lover of our Souls said “I have some immense work to do in one little family in North Carolina and this might hurt a bit . . . .”

Six years since I had the first glimpses into what true depression must feel like. And it was terrifying. And I understand now why someone would run . . . not walk . . . to the nearest pharmacy, or ABC Store and do anything it takes to make that feeling go away.   I never knew.

Six years since we stopped blaming bad parenting everytime we saw a kid coming unglued in a public place. We give the benefit of the doubt these days.

So very long ago that we watched our other children learning painful spiritual lessons and rather than taking great measures to ease the pain, we recognized it for what it was and turned silently to our Father in prayer.

This little family is living proof that our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. But that His are higher, grander, more far reaching, penetrating, succinct and not to be trifled with.

Six years since we lay between the rails on the train tracks and just cried out to God while the locomotive barreled by, inches from our faces.

We knew we were in the presence of a Great Work.  And as much as we longed to leave the classroom, we dared not.

SIX MONTHS . . . it has been about six months since our Father chose to heal our precious boy!

Six months since we sat up, blinked, looked at things through new eyes and said “that wasn’t so bad”.

The Word of the Lord is true and altogether trustworthy. I know this lesson and it has taken six years to digest it. The healing of the Lord is complete. I know this, too. It has taken me six months to believe it.

Psalm 30:5 — “Weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.”

Six years made for a long night. Six months has been a beautiful morning.

Isaiah 61:3 — “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”

We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. In sorrow and in joy. In weeping and laughter, in tearing down and building up. His peace sustains and his righteous right hand upholds.

Faithful God . . . fulfilling His purposes . . . never leaving nor forsaking.

Never giving us the shortcut to learning but holding our hands in each trial.

Thank you, Father. You’ve brought us so far… in just six short years!

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