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  • Megan Regan

DIRTY HANDS


We spent last weekend tearing up our garden. It’s a pretty decent sized garden and we put it to good use the first couple years we lived here. Then came the year Lil and Marcus moved in and life got too hectic to even consider keeping up with a garden. Last year the same—too crazy. So needless to say, the garden got renamed “yard.” But this year we’re doing it!


At one point in the middle of our digging the sod and hauling it away, Chris turned to me and said, “This feels really good.” And I said, “Yup. You know why? We’re reclaiming our life.”


Life has been an upheaval and continues to be work, but it feels good to be a point where we can say, “We’ve got this.” (At least kind of anyways) We’re getting better at being chaos managers and we’re ready to do something that feels like us again.


As we reached the end of our reworking and reclaiming our garden, I was pooped. I was sweaty, sunburned, and dirty. As I looked down at my dirt caked hands, I realized adoption looks pretty much the same as this…


I can’t lie, I’ve frequently thought what our life would be like now if we hadn’t adopted Lilly and Marcus. There’d be quiet mornings of sleeping in without being woken up to the sound of fighting, slamming doors, and stomping around loudly. There’d be less tension in our household due trauma derived behaviors. There’d be more freedom for me, and less demands on Chris and my time and energy. We’d be living the life, right…


Then the questions slide in my mind…someone else could have answered this call, right? Someone else could have said yes, right? We could have kept our happy little family of four and kept our hands clean of the mess…their mess, their baggage.


But that isn’t the life we chose…We chose to get our hands dirty…


We’re tilling the soil of their traumatic pasts. We’re planting the seeds of consistency, safety, and care. And now we wait…wait for the sunshine and rain…the highs and lows of good and bad days, good and bad moments, breakthroughs and setbacks. Because honestly for real growth to take place both are needed.


We’re going through the ebb and flow of sunshine and rain every day. Continually looking to God to see which weeds need to be pulled in the lives of each and every one of the members of our family. Because honestly, Lilly and Marcus aren’t the only ones growing and changing. Probably just as much so for Chris and me. Josephine and Caleb are growing through this too, sometimes painfully. And I have to be honest, that is the hardest part for me. Chris and I made the choice to get our hands dirty in this thing called foster care adoption. Caleb and Jo did not. But it doesn’t mean good won’t happen for them as well…


We’ve all got some growing to do. So, we hold tight to the roots of our relationship with one another, reach towards the SON, and pray we’re doing our best to avoid the weeds of discouragement, resentment, and wanting to quit. And we wait to see what we will reap from the collective harvest of our lives.


In a devotion I’m currently reading the author states, “Life is like soil, not like seed. The chance of a harvest is there, but only if we plant the seed. And even then, we may not get the harvest we expected or wished for... It is an act of faith, and of great courage, to keep on sowing seeds when we don’t know what we’re going to get. But it’s the chance we have.”


So we’re taking the chance.


Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” So, it’s time to get our hands dirty and finish the job. We will look sunburned, dirty, and tired, but this isn’t someone else’s garden to tend…this is our garden--our children, our lives and we will make the most of the season before us.

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