Amazing Graces

May 2nd
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We just arrived home this morning from a week in Georgia visiting with family, but- most importantly!- sharing in the celebration of Colby’s sister, Elizabeth’s, marriage to Hunter.  I was filled with apprehension leaving for this trip, not knowing how Titus would “deal” with travel (it’s often hard for adopted kids OR kids with his special needs…let alone both!) and I’m back at home, sitting in our backyard watching the sun set and fighting back tears upon remembrance of His great love for us and His goodness to us.

Week before last was an absolute blur; Colby was out of town most of the week, both boys had important appointments about school next year, and I had to work the night before we flew out on Saturday.  I told Colby as we were driving to the airport that I felt like the family on Home Alone that threw crap all over their house and into their suitcases on a mad dash to make it there in time….it was overwhelming to say the least.  Would you believe me if I told you that this flight was the easiest flight we’ve ever taken with kids?!  I’m not even kidding.  Titus happily sat in his seat, as long as his lap belt was fastened, and the big kids played with coloring books and watched a movie on the iPad…not one whiney meltdown moment at.all.  Not checking in our three big suitcases, not the kids pulling their little cases as carry-ons, not going through security, not on the airplane, the train in ATL….NOTHING.  Now, if that isn’t the grace of God, I don’t know what is!

We headed up to my mom’s house to spend a few days with my family first, and I cannot even express the joy in my heart to see all EIGHT of our children playing so happily together in my mom’s yard, and hearing both of my sisters say it seems like Titus has been here forever….like he’s always been part of our family.  My oldest sister, Jacque, has worked with special needs kids and adults for most of her life and has the most amazing non-profit organization that brings families into a safe place where their kids- and themselves- can just be and find rest.  (We had the chance to attend the amazing Prom she puts on every year, but that deserves it’s own post)  The chance to talk with a professional about Titus that had no “professional boundaries” to maintain and could just be real with me, happy with me, sad with me.  And my middle sister, Elizabeth, sacrificed all week without her vehicle so that we didn’t have to find a way to rent a van large enough to hold everyone’s carseats.  But that was just the beginning…how amazing to spend time with your sister who is also an adoptive mom to a special needs child?!  It’s a “club” and once you’re in it, you just “know”.  And all under the roof of my Momma, surrounded by the beautiful mountains and her love that has carried me through so many storms and victories.

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On Wednesday, we headed down the road to Colby’s family to get all the wedding festivities started.  After almost 9 years of being the only “in law” in the Brewer clan, I can’t believe in just 9 months there will be one for each sibling- yay!  We had the chance to spend some time with both of Colby’s sisters and his brother and all of their fiancees, and it was so much fun to enjoy being adult siblings.  We stuffed bags of wedding favors, saw new houses and gushed over the plans for all of their weddings.  And it is always such  a blessing to be the only grandkids at Grammy and Papa’s house where they get all the concentrated grandparent love with no sharing haha!

Saturday was the day that we came for, the BIG day….Elizabeth’s wedding day!  I was just a ball of nerves with all FIVE of us playing some role, and it was so beautiful, I don’t know why I was worried at all.  The boys were literally the.cutest. ring bearers you have ever seen (and Titus actually ran down the aisle!  He kept going for a minute and sort of ran crazy for a minute…but it was a brief minute) and Eden was shy at first(and wouldn’t let me get a good picture of her!), but so beautiful in her sweet dress and dreamy flower crown.  I was so proud of Colby officiating his first wedding that I almost burst (and looked pretty dadgum hot doing it!)…I can’t imagine my life with a better man and what better way to remind me how glad I am that I married him than to watch him lead another sweet couple into the same, life-changing covenant.  And Elizabeth, oh! what a beautiful bride!!!!!  She was absolutely radiant and we could not have imagined anyone in the world better for her than Hunter.  Congratulations to the Colemans!

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There is no way this day would have been possible for our family to survive without the loving sacrifice of my sister Elizabeth, who gave up her whole weekend for us to descend upon her house, put our kids to bed Friday night so we could go to the rehearsal dinner kid-free, and then came up and stayed all evening to help “manage” the menagerie of my life…aka my kids and then take them home and put them to bed so Colby and I could enjoy the reception and see his sister off.  SHE EVEN DID ALL OUR LAUNDRY!

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I’m in a life stage right now where I often feel needy and vulnerable, and it did my soul good to be home where we were all surrounded by love, comfort, understanding, acceptance, and encouragement that we are doing this parenting thing, this adoption thing, this special needs kid thing, this ministry thing…and we are surviving it all by His grace!  Needless to say, it was hard to leave this time…harder than it has been in a while and I was fighting back tears, feeling the loss of being so far away from family, trying to accept that it is a part of our calling.  That may be the one sacrifice of our lifestyle that stings the most.

We rushed to the airport early this morning, landed and I drove Colby straight to church where he was teaching on the “Person of Christ” this morning, and I could feel the weight of this week beginning to weigh down on me.  It’s a BIIIIIIIIIIG week at our house…..Titus starts preschool tomorrow!  And Colby will be out of town again for the better part of this week, and, honestly, that is just really hard on all of us.  I drove up, unlocked the door bracing myself to face the Home Alone-style mess, and it was perfectly neat and tidy.  Our precious church planting partners, CJ and Kelly, took their only day off together and drove down and cleaned our house.  Cleaned our house. Cleaned our house. Simply because they love us and knew how overwhelming it would be going into this week starting off with a messy house.  Oh, and did I mention that our a/c broke and we were in the process of getting it repaired when we had to leave town?!  And I even see His goodness there; today was unusually cool with incredible breezes blowing through all of our open windows…it’s not even hot in our house and it’s MAY, in TEXAS.

And in my sad of leaving home and all it’s comforts, I see that He has given me a home and comforts of home wherever we have been and I can cling to the truth that He will continue to wherever we go….all of these Amazing graces that He gives us each and every day.  Just little glimpses of how deep and intimate the care He has for us is, and how much He wants us to know it.  I’m so glad Amazing grace isn’t a one time occurrence, but rather a daily journey where we learn to trust Him more each day.

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