Tuesday, February 9, 2016

10th Birthday Surprise

Hello again!  I haven't posted since September and for that I apologize.  This thing called life got in the way.  Something happened this evening, however, that I had to get down into words.

Tomorrow is the twins' 10th birthday.  We decided to let them open a couple of gfits tonight (from the grandmas) since they were things they would want to wear to school tomorrow.  (Also, because they got new shoes and Celia has to use a shoe box to make a Valentine's box that's due tomorrow, so we needed the box, LOL)  So, after the FaceTime calls to grandmas so they could see the girls opening their gifts, they both went upstairs to their room.  They came down to the basement to find me riffling through my scrapbook stuff (with cobwebs all over it) to try to find some heartsy things for Celia to use to decorate her box.

"Here", they said as they handed me a pencil zipper pouch.  "What's this?" I asked.  "We've been saving up our money since Christmas, and with the birthday money we just got, we now have $100 to go toward our trip to Ethiopia."  Insert shocked face here.  They've shocked us in the past with their generosity (you can read about that here), but this was a whole other level.

As I've stated in a previous post we have been working with an investigator for nearly a year who found the twins' birthmother.  Our plan is to go visit her and the twins' sisters in Ethiopia for their 12th birthday.  We have had an ongoing relationship with their family through our investigator and our Ethiopian friends here in the states who can call their birthmother's phone and translate for us.  The girls know they are now our extended family and our families and friends united in the fall to send the funds over to pay for tuition for their sisters at the school of their mother's choice.  You can read about that more here.  It's been incredibly healing for all of us.

But, they are kids and that is some pretty heavy stuff to process.  I've given them time and space to process it and tried not to nag about how they feel about it all.  They tell me in small ways.  They all three sleep with photo albums of their birth families in their beds, and on a recent trip to Ohio for the holidays, they even packed them in their suitcase with no prodding by me.  I still wasn't sure how they felt about our plans to go to Ethiopia in two years.  Now I know.

One of our favorite people in the world is Amsale, my Ethiopian mama in Akron.  I spoke with her and asked if she would call the twins' mother soon to check in and see how they're doing.  She had the idea of calling her on the twins' birthday!  After the twins handed me the money, and I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I told them that Amsale was calling her tomorrow and I wanted Amsale to tell their mother about this.  Their smiles lit up the room.  I saw their love for this woman in their eyes.  A woman they feel so guilty for not remembering now.  A woman who stirs up some very complicated feeling for them.  But I saw the healing tonight in their eyes.  God is healing them through this incredible story he's using us in.

So this week we will go to the bank and open a new account.  Mike and I also got a good chunk of change as a Christmas gift from my parents to get this account started.  I recently started working full time so that we would have the extra money to sock away.  I also am starting on a journey of selling this nutritional drink that is helping my own health, with all of the income I make from that going straight into this savings account for our trip.  Our girls are aware of this goal we are working towards and they've decided to join us.

 The timing of this was critical for me.  They're kids, and as such they can be pretty big a-holes a lot of the time.  The twins are also getting close to that snotty, snarky age, which I have no patience for.  Every day I am shutting it down.  It's exhausting, and most days I wonder if they're going to turn out to be jerks.  It's rare that I have the energy, patience and grace to deal with the attitudes in a loving and teaching way.  I just shut it down and send them to their room until they're ready to be nice.  But, tonight I feel good.  Tonight I know that they are learning selflessness.  Tonight they are healing and value us working as a family towards a common goal.  Tonight I not only love them, but I like them and I am cherishing them.


Paula said...

Awesome. 😄

J Ca said...

You're a wonderful mother. All kids will test boundaries, try patience, and exhaust all strength BUT it is out of them searching for understanding of the world, independence, and to see if mom cares. They love you to the moon and back Sarah. Bless you and your massive heart!

Amy Mullens said...

Tears! So excited for you all about this trip to look forward too! And your girls are all lovely. . .our kids are only usually jerks to us. . .Happy Birthday, Charlotte and Caroline!

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