Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Blake and I have a brief reprieve from elementary school!! Caleb graduated from Longview Farm Elementary last night and we are so so so proud of him!
Many of you are probably familiar with Caleb's story, but today I'm compelled to tell it again as a testimony to how God has worked in our family's life in surprising ways! In January of 2000, we were chosen by a birth mother in north Arkansas to adopt a yet to be born little girl. Justin was 2 years old. We planned and prepared and anticipated her arrival with great joy! When she was born her mother couldn't bear to part with her and so we were left with empty arms. I thought I would never recover. If I had not needed to pull myself together for Justin I would have likely fallen into complete despair.
However, on June 1st, while we were camping at Lake Degray in Arkansas, Caleb McKinney was born! We were completely unaware of our new son until he was 11 days old. His young birth parents were experimenting with various drugs while she was pregant, and their lifestyle was anything but stable. How the Lord reached down and convinced them to spare Caleb's life is a miracle and a mystery I'll never get over. They not only somehow miraculously chose not to abort him, but they also chose to give him a forever family through adoption. He came to us at 11 days, a scrawny, sickly, fussy, addicted baby...and he was the perfect match for our family. He still struggles everyday with what we believe to be the effects of much of his time in utereo and genetics, but he's making strides like crazy! He struggles with social interactions, but he's the most compassionate, loyal, brilliant 6th grade boy I've ever known! He's the hardest thing I've ever done, and yet he teaches me more about God's unconditional love than I ever imagined. He struggles with obedience and rarely outright obeys without a real fight, but I've been forced to admit that I'm just like that with God. He has very few friends because he's so socially inept, but he loves kids that no one else loves. He feels other people's pain deeply, and wants to right their wrongs. He can't spell worth a flip, but he might just discover the cure for cancer or go to the moon. He can't write or hit a ball or run a mile because his motor skills are lacking, but he knows every baseball stat about the Tigers, Braves, Royals, and Angels! He needs me more than any of my kids and yet he pushes me away more than the others...so like me with God!
I literally have no idea what Caleb's future will look like. We savor the good MOMENTS with him, pray for him, and beg God to give us wisdom as we raise him. We've always said that he is really hard, but parenting him is the richest experience we'll likely ever have. Watching him graduate from elementary school was rich last night. We will celebrate the Caleb God created for Himself and allowed us to learn from and love!
Caleb Andrew McKinney, you are loved no matter what! I am so very very thankful that God graced me with you! I pray for you more than anyone else in my world. You've taught me so much about grace, eternal love, forgiveness, and my own ugly failures. You are a blessing! Thank you for calling me MOM!