One year ago, a few days before Christmas, I was mustering up the strength to Skype home to my mom and Logan, and tell them we weren't coming home for Christmas. We were stuck in Peru bringing home our 5 newest additions and I was weary and heartbroken. I couldn't explain the stress the weeks had brought or articulate the strange tug and pull it had done on my faith. Weary is the best word to explain it. And I so badly needed Logan and my mom not to break down.
They didn't, I did. And we did Christmas, Scott and I, the 5 Peruvians and Laney while Scott and our families waited on Christmas til we got home. We ate Kraft macaroni and cheese in a hotel breakfast area, Paneton (a Peruvian sweet bread), and whatever else we could throw together to get by.
A year later, I can hardly believe we are those same people! We have lived together for a year Saturday. We brought them home to a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house and lived as 9 there for a couple months. We started school, got acclimated at church, moved in February, started sports teams....and that's not even counting that I was working when we got back and Scott has been doing 2 jobs. Whew! This year has been crazy! We have people who think we don't have any fun. That we welcomed complete chaos into our lives and they don't understand why. What's funny though, and maybe it's because I am demented now, is that I look back at this year so differently. I look at my husband as less stressed and a better example of a man to our kids than before. And I didn't even think he needed improvement! I look at our life as peaceful and fairly organized. It doesn't sound like complete chaos and as long as I write things down, I am not complete chaos. I see our Peruvians as well adjusted and a part of our family that seems like it has always been there. And I see God as the greatest writer of stories because I could have never dreamt this up!
I'm a realist too. I've seen the areas that Scott and I have had to improve on as parents. I've seen how dependent I am on God to know how to parent these individual kids. I've seen a deeper glimpse into the pain that my kids brought with them and have tried to learn how to help them through that. We've seen that a year isn't a magical marker where all the healing that is needed takes place and we can go forward without it.
BUT, that's all part of redemption. Making me new new. Making Scott and I new. Making my kids new. Jesus-newness is the only way this story works. And one year does mark that we survived. It marks a Christmas where we were all in the same house, an incredible house for us. It marks Gerson's birthday today at home! It marks change and the incredible comfort that time has brought to our family of 9. Our family of 9 for a few more months anyway! Ha! We like to keep things interesting.
If you're wondering about the redemption pieces or just struggling with the faith stuff, I encourage you to go back and read some like "Watching Gerson Heal" or "New Life". Or even the posts from when we were in Peru a year ago. I think our story will encourage you if nothing else. And it makes me believe again, things I've forgotten or ignored. Because only God could write the Sterlings Crazy Story.