On January 23rd when we celebrated Amos’ fifth year of his homecoming a thought occurred to me. He’s now been home with us longer than he wasn’t home with us. In 2010 when he showed up he was 4.5 and now five years later he’s 9.5 and in so many ways it seems as though he has spent every second of his 9.5 years with us. But there are still those little moments when I feel as though he just got here and we’re still desperately trying to get to know each other.

Amos&Ronel

That is the little boy that we fell in love with. {Debra look at your boy too!} These are the eyes that we would stare into and wonder what he was thinking. Was he thinking about us? Was he wishing that he was home? Did he even know what home was?

Then he did arrive home.

airport

And still every once in a while I still see that look in his eyes. I still look into his eyes sometimes and wonder what he’s thinking. Wonder if he’s happy. Wonder if he loves me. Wonder if he knows how much I love him. Wonder if he knows how hard I’m trying to be a great momma to him, even when I screw up. Wonder if he knows what he means to our family.

Adoption is beautiful. Our family is built around adoption, but it is also full of grief. Adoption only exists because there was a loss to begin with. As each year passes by that I get to parent my kids that I didn’t birth, I’m praying for that hole in their heart. The one they might not even know is there. The one that holds a piece of their past. Their mom’s that couldn’t parent them, their moms that didn’t want to parent them. Their dads that they never knew. That hole in their heart is real and valid, and I’ll never ever diminish it or try and fill it with myself. I can’t fill it.

My only hope for this hole in my kids heart is Jesus. He truly can fill it, and that’s my prayer for my kids. I pray that as they grow up and each year we celebrate their homecomings, that that hole in their heart from their birth families would be filled up with Jesus. That in spite of their loss and grief, that they could still experience the love and hope that only Jesus can bring them.

So, as we pass the fifth year of being a family of six, I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I get to play a small part in all of my kids lives. That God in his great big plan thought we would all fit together best. That I would be the best mom for them, and them the best kids for me.

I’m also humbled. I want to be a great mom. I want to be the best mom I can, and sometimes I am not. I chose my own selfish desires over my kids, and yet God is gracious to keep us growing more in love with each other.

I’m also scared. Five years isn’t that long, and on one hand we have traveled miles together, and yet some days I still feel as though we’re right back in year one together. As if we are still doing the dance we did that year. The one that left us both exhausted and deflated.

And yet, we keep dancing. We keep moving together trying to figure it all out.

Five years ago our life was forever changed, and our family was completed. It’s a day I’ll always remember as a great day, even if the years after have been harder than the years before.

I’m grateful and honored I get to be called Amos’ momma.

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