As I make peanut butter and jelly, and pig tails, and bandaged scratched knees, I see them. Many times I blink away tears of gratitude when I see them and sometimes tears of helplessness when I don't. This parenting stuff is like my own little version of scraped knees and even broken bones.
Taking in a child as my own has been a monumental privilege. It's life altering, as you might expect, but in many ways that I could never conceive of before the event.
I didn't know I would watch transformations before my very eyes. I didn't know how beautiful it would be to watch hearts enlarge, or that such lovely space would be given to each other to be our very own imperfect selves, or that we could stay afloat on such difficult waters as the Ocean of Adoption.
I didn't know how lovely it could look to turn a completely frustrating child's ADHD moment into a supernaturally patient, hilarious parenting moment.
I didn't know how conflict-resolution tools given to young ones could show up randomly and play continue without intervention.
I didn't know that all the "time-ins" and patiently, repeated phrases like, "You may not talk to me or others that way," do begin to form new habits.
I didn't know how much kids would teach me. I didn't know I would learn that dirt is good, bugs are amazing, and body functions are apparently hysterical. How gracious of God to give me such loving, forgiving, beautiful, creative, hilarious teachers in my children.
We are still the most ridiculous group of sailors you've ever seen floundering away with oars out of sync and at times everybody wanting to be captain. But, I love it. I wouldn't trade my fatigue, unfinished projects, or laughs - deep, hard-to-stop ones about absolutely nothing.
I wouldn't trade seeing God work miracles in our little boat.