Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I've learned, three years in.

The Lebert family just passed our three year anniversary of being a family together.  I've spent a little time recently reflecting on how I, as a parent, am different than I was when I started this journey.  Here's what I've learned:

1.  I am not a hero.  I think adoption can fool you into thinking you are doing something "good" when you adopt kids.  Adoption quickly teaches you, you are not a hero.  In reality, you are a sad, broken person trying to figure out how to relate to and parent other sad and broken people.  It might not be quick, but someday you learn that the real heroes are your kids.  You figure out that even at their worst, they are fighters and warriors - they fight every day, they never give up.

2.  Every day happens.  There is no break from parenting.  There will not be a day when I don't have to worry about my kids.  It is not coming and I can stop looking for it.  There is actual relief in that.  And for my kids, every day happens.  Every day is a day to struggle and battle and figure out, once again, how to face the day's challenges.
I had a miscarriage 5 years ago.  It's still hard for me to write that.  I had to teach myself to not cry when I said it out loud.  It took me at least a year before I stopped thinking about it everyday.  My kids have been through unspeakable trauma.  Why do I think they would stop thinking about it on a daily basis because they were adopted?  They think about it every day.  Every single day they have a thousand things to process through - abandonment, loss, grief, terror, hunger, anger, sadness - and they're kids.  And they go to school and try to function as family members and humans.  See why they're the heroes?  Because the amazing thing is they do it.  They actually handle all of this and fight for the joy they deserve.

3.  Love is better.  This change has come recently.  I've been learning to think through these first two things on a daily basis and to let it change me.  I'm learning to stop punishing, to stop being angry and instead love these kids and give them grace.  It's totally changed me.  My parenting, my attitude, my relationship with God.  We talk through things, I listen, we figure out how to do it better next time and I remind them they are loved, they are doing a good job, and that they are loved.

I once heard someone say that the great thing about adoption was that, "you knew what you were getting".  That made me so angry and I felt like it was untrue.  But, it is true, you do know what you're getting with adoption.  You are guaranteed to get hurt, broken children that are sinners.  And we, as hurt, broken, sinners get to relate to them.  We get to heal each other.  We remind each other we are hurt and we need each other.

So, why adopt?  We don't adopt because we are good and want to do good things.  We adopt because God calls us to hard things and as people who know hurt we can help others who are hurt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A baby Finch.

Well, truthfully, I never should have expected I could keep up with this blog, and I can't.  
It's been the craziest 6 months of my life.  Being pregnant kicked my butt and having 5 kids is WAY hard.
Did you know that having a baby is like 10 times harder than my other 4 kids combined?? Seriously.
BUT, having said that, we are all super thrilled to welcome this little bird into our lives.
Finch Robert Lebert was born April 17th and the excitement hasn't stopped since.
Thankfully babycakes has been sleeping through the night since he was 7 weeks old.  He travels EVERYWHERE to keep up with 4 very active older brothers and sisters, but generally is a really happy baby.  I still can't believe we're a family of 7, but it's true :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ice skating.

This is my favorite picture because Sami is smiling away while Camila is falling in the background.

Christmas at the Bromberek house..

We filled up my mom and dad's house for Christmas.
Santa even showed up!

Little brother Chris helping in the kitchen - wow!!

Pamela and Aunt Teri gave themselves matching hair styles :)
Sami, the dogs and her doll enjoyed being outside, eventhough there was no snow.

We had a fun, chaotic Christmas in the Lebert house...

Pamela was in a play...

Pamela was a rabbit and a "wild woodard" in her school's play of Toad of Toad Hall.
She did a great job!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little December update.

First of all, here's a cute photo of Sami jumping her heart out on the last day of gymnastics class. She's moving on up to the next level! Good job jumping bean!
So, of course, we celebrated St. Nick's day - I love this day, almost more than Christmas!
This was going to be a really special St. Nick's because that morning Ed and I went to see an ultrasound of the baby. Our plan was that when the kids got home from school, we would open up our stockings and the kids would find a note telling them if the baby was a boy or a girl. Well... as I'm sure most of you know - the doctor couldn't tell! So funny! Ed and I laughed about it all day long - good reminder that we just aren't as in control of things as we think we are.
The kids all want a brother so bad, so they were dissapointed when they came home from school to find out they will have to wait till April to find out.
We had a good time opening our stockings anyway!

A little wave from the baby!