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Posts Tagged ‘adieu’

Today I write to, and about our oldest daughter, who is embarking on an adventure away from us. It is not the first, nor will it be the last … but there are no tears.

I have often been teased (goodhearted) about not shedding a tear at her high school graduation. Really, although proud of the hard work she did, graduating was not an academic struggle for her. Oh, she worked her tail off, but graduating was never in doubt for her.

As she prepares, and boards the plane tomorrow for the East Coast (a reversal of her parents from their Easterly homes, to our present Western one), not a tear will be shed. Oh, she has worked hard all summer, some weeks working twelve hour days, but she is going on to a new adventure, one that will include extended family who she has never had the benefit of daily contact.

Over the years, though, there have been tears …

“Let my stories be whispered”

From when you were just a young child, I have been learning to lay you back into the hands of your Creator (A Most Desired Child). This lesson will continue to my dying day, and with many tears.

“I took the path less traveled on”

I remember a few years back, when you decided to go on a mission trip with your church youth group to Tijuana, Mexico. I was so excited for you to have that adventure, to help orphaned children and for you to see how God might use the gifts and talents He has given you.

But …

I was scared you would be murdered or raped or traumatized or kidnapped. So, I drove you to that train station in Seattle. I tried to absorb every last moment with you, fearing it might be our last. I hugged you, told you I loved you. Then I had to watch you walk … away … staying strong. Until I walked from the station, with tears streaming down my face … asking God to go with you.

And then when you told me, just a year ago, of your desire to go to India, to work with the children of Calcutta. I listened to your dreams, asked the right questions. But, when I was alone, the tears streamed down my face, as I asked God to give me the strength to let you live your life. And, one day, I will stand at the airport, holding you and telling you I love you, uttering best wishes, and watch you walk away to board your flight that will take you to the mission of Mother Teressa and the Sisters of Charity, and tears will stream down my face, as I ask God to go with you.

“this life is as fragile as a dream”

That night in April, of 2008, was a night that God tested me. As I stood at the back of a church, knowing only that you were in there, somewhere, after the floor of the church had collapsed (Starfield Concert). After the frantic search, the long drive home, the holding you in bed … I collapsed on my knees and thanked God for giving you to me for another day … and the tears were streaming down my face.

“Cause in this life you must find something to live for”

When you were only three, I remember your voice, as we both knelt at your bed, and you prayed to give your heart to Jesus. I remember feeling such privilege to be there to kneel on that holy ground with you … and the tears were streaming down my face.

And, He goes with you now. You ‘know’ all that that means … and He is something to live for. I need to shed no tears, because this is a new beginning, and He goes with you.

Go with God … or, as they might say in the East, adieu ma fille chérie.

“I’ve always heard, every ending is also a beginning, we just don’t know it at the time … I’d like to believe that’s true.”

This is what we raise our children for …

I think, my firstborn daughter, that you can read between the lines here … think of it as my melody for you these next months. (and there was the shedding of tears in the writing of this post … but they were, selfishly, for my loss in the ending of this phase).

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Today our ‘kids,’ who are not, will go home to their parents, who are, for the summer.

It has been just over ten months since the brother and sister pair moved into our home, our family, our hearts. Even after all that time, I struggle to ‘name’ our relationship.

Hubby and I house them, feed them, drive them here and there. We assist them with homework, with filling out forms, and with understanding life. We sign permission forms and make appointments. We assign chores to them, and speak to them in our firm parent voices. We applaud their successes, we hug them and hear their tales of woe. We attend their school events and sports games. We host their friends, and take them shopping.

But, we are not their parents.

We are a homestay family.

I really struggle to know what our relationship should be called. I really struggle to know how to be a parenting, non-parent.

As a woman who is a mom, I believe they need a daily mom to care for them. I do not just mean to care for their basic physical needs, like food, and shelter. I mean to care for their hearts, their souls and their minds. I believe they need a middle aged woman to say good morning to them, to drive them to school, to scold them when they take too long to get ready in the morning, to ask how their English test was, to watch them play basketball, and drive them to the mall (and shake in my boots as they enter the mall without an adult with them). I believe they need someone to sit on the sofa and watch a movie with, and one to applaud their piano playing, and their math award, and their homemade sushi, and someone to tell them to clean their room. I believe they need a pat on the back, that unimpressed mother ‘look’, and someone to pray with when life just sucks.

Today, as my two children, who are not, head across the world to their mother, who is, I will bid them adieu. In french, a dieu, meaning ‘to God’, commonly translated, I command you to God.

It is in that word, adieu, that I get an understanding of parenting that goes far beyond just my role as a homestay mom. In that one word, I am reminded that whoever God places in our care, whether they be our biological, adopted or ‘borrowed’ children, we are required, and our children benefit most from our giving them back to God.

And, whatever I am to them, and they to me, today my mother heart will bid them a dieu.

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