Wednesday, July 18, 2012

adoption has affected our biological children.

That was the worry of one of our family members, who often asked, How will Jocelyn and Robbie fare with the arrival of a new child with her own set of needs? The way she asked wasn't expressing nice concern; it was dripping with contempt for the crazy idea she thought we might abandon if only she could get us to think about it a little more.

She was right, at least in part.

Adoption has affected our biological children.


They longed for their sister as they waited in anticipation for her to come home.


They shared in excitement with friends



and learned that our family of loved ones is much bigger than biology and paperwork.


They keep praying without ceasing for God to heal the boo-boos on Zoe's brain so that she can walk and run with them,


and they have planned for what changes we might need to make to include their little sister if God has decided it will be better for her mobility to be limited on earth.


They loved a stranger turned sister from the moment they heard about her, even though she lived in a children's home on the other side of the world.


They ask me to print off pictures of other orphans, so that they can pray for them and their families - if they have them - by name.

 

They've started saving money to give to the ministry that cared for Zoe until we arrived and to give to other families who are adopting.


They tell other people about the beauty of adoption.


They now know about that small island country off the coast of China and cut out shapes of Taiwan "so that Zoe will never forget where she came from."


They make room in their hearts and around our table for a girl who once lacked a family.


They are understanding the gospel in new ways, as our oldest can explain that we adopt because God first adopted us as His children through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.


Yes, adoption has affected our biological children,


and I'm more than okay with that.


~+~
Many thanks to my friends Heather and Vallory who posted the amazing pictures of our homecoming that I've included in this post! And thanks also to Rachel and Dad Dingle and Rebecca for documenting it in pictures and video, as well as to Jenelle for capturing it in words and metaphors... so thankful Zoe will have a sweet record of her enthusiastic welcome, thanks to each of you!

22 comments:

  1. I must admit that when I read the title of your post here this morning, my first thought was, "Uh-oh! The kids must be finding it hard to accept a new little sister." What a PLEASANT, heart-warming surprise to read how they have really been "affected." :)
    Beautiful!!!!

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    1. Momma Walker, I was a bit tricky with the title on purpose. :) The words for this post has been coming together in my head for months now, as we have gotten to see the marvelous ways our kids have grown as Zoe's arrival came closer and closer. To them, "orphan" will never be a meaningless concept because they know that word once described their sister. Sure, it's an adjustment for all of us, and throwing yesterday's tummy bug into the mix didn't help, but the good that's coming out of it is worth any of the hard stuff. Beauty from ashes :)

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  2. Love it! And I totally agree!! 3 years in, we all are better in our family, having adoption. It's not always easy, but always worth it. xo

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    1. Thank you for the words you've shared about your adoption, my friend. They have helped me share with boldness about ours.

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  3. Eyes totally filled with tears this morning. Go thankful for your children and their little hearts. God has great things planned for them!

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  4. Shannon-I have been closely following your family's story. It has been so exciting, inspiring and joyful and this is one of many beautiful posts. I have been so touched and amazed the whole time and "liking" a picture on fb just didn't seem to do it justice! I can't wait to hear more about your journey and hope the barfing has ceased. :)

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    1. We've loved being able to share what God has been doing with all of this, and it's been encouraging to have friends follow along! Thankfully, the barfing has stopped (I think. we had one episode in the night), though our little man still has a fever this morning. Today is MUCH better than yesterday!

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  5. Beautiful story! I have a soft spot for adoption and that's why I started following your blog! I was tricked by your title as well, but love how you expressed adoption affecting your family!

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    1. Thanks for commenting! God softened my heart to adoption when I was single as well, so it's precious to be living the reality I hoped for as an adoptive mama now and seeing how adoption is shaping our two homegrown kiddos.

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  6. Love it.....just love it :D

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  7. Thanks for providing my "good cry" for the day! There is no question that Zoe will have all of the love she could ever need or want. Thanks for sharing this. Everything is more beautiful through the eyes of a child!

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    1. It has been wonderful to see how Jocelyn and Robbie view Zoe!

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  8. This is such a beautiful post! I cried a little when I saw that picture of Robbie reaching for her at the table. It's all just so precious!

    And of course aspects of this journey will be hard on J & R, but adding a new sibling does that, regardless of how the new sister came to be. But they will grow and learn and be better because of it, and it would appear that you are already seeing fruit there.

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    1. What you don't see is Jocelyn's jealousy when Robbie held Zoe, and then Robbie's comment, "Daddy, she [Jocelyn] can have it [Zoe] now." Ha!

      I know you were able to send Sam off to your parents when Charlotte had feeding issues, but our big ones needed us since we had just sent them off to friends' houses for a couple weeks while we were in Taiwan, and they need our presence right now, even if it's a somewhat distracted presence. In a way, having to send Lee off with Zoe to keep her virus-free the other day while I nursed the big kids to health was sweet for us and them - Lee got precious time with Zoe, the big kids got time with me, and I got undistracted time with the big kids. It was kind of nice.

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  9. This is a lovely post - I have chills. So sweet as you shepherd your little ones through this story!

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    1. Right now, Zoe isn't so sure about dogs, but I bet in no time she'll join the other Dingle kids in loving the sweet pups you train. :)

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  10. I do apologize that Leiana was so quick to run and give you hugs and made it look (in some of your pictures) like you were coming home with your FOURTH child, rather than your third. LOL (Ok, I'm not really sorry she gave you hugs quickly, because I know you know it means she loves you, but I am sorry if you were bothered she was in the pictures). Three-year-old exuberance is difficult to contain.

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    1. We love our fourth child. ;) In all seriously, we REALLY love her excitement about Zoe!

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  11. Beautiful post, precious children, amazing God, our Jehovah-Jireh!

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