Caleb has very recently decided that he hates both the stroller and the shopping cart. Perfect timing. We’re about to add a 16 month old to the mix, and I can’t have any of these people running free. It’s in the middle of his 30 minute screaming episodes in Target that I try to remain calm and reassure him that we’re trying to be quick. I know it’s not for him, because he doesn’t understand. It’s more for those around me who are enduring the screaming and watching my failed attempts to calm him. After buckling him in the car seat to come home, I breathe a sigh of relief. The show is over. Caleb sweetly pipes up from the back seat. “Snaaaaack?” he asks, petitioning for the very same food items he threw across the aisle only minutes earlier. Argh. That’s when I really start to question what we are doing. I allow the fear and doubt creep in, and I wonder how I’m going to handle five kids in a few weeks. Three of them with social lives and activities, and two short angries who are 9.5 months apart in age. It’s a little ridiculous, all these fears, since I’ve actually parented two toddlers before. Braden and Annalise are only 22.5 months apart. I’ve done the two-kids-in-diapers and how-do-I-get-them-to-nap-at-the-same-time gig already. I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s the first child or the fifth, doubt is a given.
But you know what’s awesome about my little mental meltdowns? God’s perfect timing. If I could visualize how in a matter of minutes my attitude changed, I would be hovering from above, watching myself wrestle Caleb during his pre-nap diaper change. I would see me noticing the disaster of a house and thinking that I would rather nap too. I would see me look up and frown when the dryer sang its cheery little song letting me know that it was time to change loads. I would see me dodging the flailing arms of my toddler while carrying him up the stairs, and then from the corner God would be all like, “CUE THE PHONE! NOW!”
You’re probably thinking, “Exactly. The phone. It’s always the phone at the most inconvenient time.” But let me tell you, perfect timing.
Kevin called while he was driving back to work after having lunch with Waverly. When he arrived at the school, Waverly’s kindergarten teacher was talking with him about our trip to China. Then she said, “There’s something you need to see.” Before revealing what he saw, Kevin warned me that I would cry. When he said those words I assumed that it was going to be something about how she didn’t want another brother or about how she didn’t want us to travel to China. But it wasn’t that at all.
The teacher showed Kevin her journal from today. They’ve been studying geography, and the question was,
“If you could go to any continent, which one would you choose?”
Waverly wrote that she would go to Asia because there are a lot of babies in China that need her help. She had drawn a picture of many babies in cribs lined up. Maybe reminiscent of this?
This was the last time Caleb was in his crib at the orphanage.
There’s something absolutely heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time that this is the place where my sweet six year old’s mind goes. Babies in China need her help. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for her.
Their lunch date changed my heart today.
Dear God, thank you. It’s just what I needed to be humbled this afternoon. This isn’t about me. It’s not about any level of inconvenience I will experience. It’s about knowing it will be hard and doing it anyway. It’s about love and sacrifice and seeing it rub off on my kids. Now that’s a win.
Now, I’m gonna go make my coffee and fold my laundry and pray for that phone to ring. This time I hope it’s the call that says everything is ready. The time is drawing so very near that our family gets to experience the blessing of emptying another crib in China.