Thursday, January 6, 2011

Their Choice


Given a choice of whether to stay home, attend swimming and basketball, watch TV and eat junk food, relax without Mom giving them jobs to do every 10 minutes and experience 2 solid days free of their little brother underfoot...

Given the choice to stay home or drive 6 hours one way to Philly, sit in a crowded mini-van with little leg space for their ever-growing bodies, spend a night in a hotel without a pool, stand around the hospital all day Friday with nothing to do... given that choice....

They chose Aaron. 

They chose to go.  Without hesitation.  Without any pause between question and answer.  Both of them.  Discussions over.  Despite the warnings about the long ride and the long day.  Despite the discomfort of one of them sleeping on the floor and the other sharing a bed with the floppy little brother.  Despite it all, they chose Aaron. 



People wonder if adoption is fair to the biological children.  Is it right to force them to accept this new brother or sister into their home?  Doesn't it make them feel less loved, pushed aside?  Wouldn't they be jealous and hurt?  Won't it take away from them since you will have less time and money for them?  Shouldn't you wait until they are grown? 

I can't speak for anyone else.  All I can say is, they chose Aaron.  They chose their little brother.  They chose to go stand by his side and hold his hands because they love him.  He is their brother.  Completely.  Fully.  Theirs.  Grafted into their hearts, their minds.  Their lives are no longer complete without him in it.  He's their obnoxious, bossy, unbelievably cute, grumpy, funny, loud and silly little brother.  With all of his quirks and all of his style. 

They chose Aaron.  They chose love. 






They chose love despite what the adoption cost them.  And it was costly beyond belief.  It involved months and months of non-stop stress.  It affected every aspect of their lives as we had to weigh their activities, their wants, their needs with how it would affect the process to get Aaron.  It included chaos and tears, loneliness and sorrow.  They carried a huge burden on their shoulders.  The one traveled to another country in the absolute hottest time of the year without air conditioning or even a fan until RR friends intervened.   He spent a week walking the grounds of a closed mental institute. He saw and experienced things that shocked him to the core.   He is still processing and working through those weeks.  The other was left behind.  Twice.  That wasn't what we had planned.  He wanted to go but could not.  That hurt deeply.  He too is processing and working through what being left behind meant. 

Both of them lived through 6 solid weeks with just the two of them in the house to keep them company.   Alone.    Two brothers.  Waiting, waiting, waiting for the new little brother.  They were privy to all that took place with the adoption.  They knew every single part of the story, everything we couldn't blog about, everything we couldn't say, and because of that, they grieved, they cried, they struggled.  They were afraid.  Their parents were on the other side of the world.  The uncertainty of it all came with a heavy price.  They were forced to pray harder than they had ever prayed before for their parents and for this little brother whom they had yet to love.  They shed more tears in those months than ever before in their lives.  Our family went through fire to bring back one child.  But when given the choice - they chose Aaron.

I no longer wonder if it was right to force a new sibling into their lives.  I don't doubt that decision.  They love him.  He's their brother.  They fight with him.  They argue with him.  They get mad at him.  They are glad when he is tucked in bed at night so they can have peace for a few hours.  They get tired of tripping over his toys and hate having to clean up his messes.  They enjoy the times when he is occupied, and they can play their games without him.  But... Spend a short afternoon in our house and you will see why I don't question our decision. 

Ben and Elijah love Aaron.  They just dearly love him.  He is the most hugged, held, tickled and entertained little boy on the planet.  His big brothers look out for him in a way that brings tears to my eyes - every day.  Every single day.  They went through fire so that we could get him, but instead of anger and resentment, instead of bitterness and jealousy - they choose love.  And knowing that Friday will hurt him, will cause him grief and agony, knowing that having casts put on his legs will cause him to cry and fight, knowing this - they choose to stand with him.  Hold his hand.  Encourage him.  Help him. 

That's love.  Their choice.  Their hearts.  Godly hearts.  Godly minds.  My boys growing into men. 


30 comments:

  1. Ohh that made my cry! My siblings (2 brothers) have REALLY stepped up and helped these last 2 years. They've spent wks in the hospital w/ me and have driven thousands and thousands of miles to and from Philly. I'm thinking and praying for all of you on Friday. In the hard times keep your eyes on the prize...straight, flat feet that Aaron can keep his balance on easily.

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  2. A beautiful tribute to your wonderful sons!

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  3. Made me cry too! What beautiful sons you had- inside and out! Will be thinking of you all tomorrow and praying for a great result.

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  4. Wonderful post! What a gift that the boys are part of Team Family! :)

    Love is so powerful, jealousy so destructive. So glad that your boys have chosen the narrow path of love.
    You taught them well mama and papa! :)

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  5. WOW - how God blesses us in so many ways we can not even imagine!!! This says it all! I will pray for Aaron on Friday - hope all goes well. - Margie

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  6. Wonderful, wonderful post, Julia. What a testimony of God's grace at work. I'm very proud to call your young men cousins.

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  7. Julia,
    I you need ANYTHING while you are here in Philly please don't hesitate to call me! I will be back and fourth to the Ronald McDonald House with Tammy E. and her cuties and I would be happy to help any way that I can. We are praying for Aaron,hope all goes well.
    Becky
    becky@sammyskatewear.com
    484-431-4792

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  8. You´re sons are clearly amazing, absolutely amazing. I wish you all the best and know God will continue to bless you.

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  9. Wonderful, wonderful post. What incredible young men you have. Hugs

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  10. This brought tears to my eyes - What wonderful sons you have!!

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  11. My favorite pictures are the ones showing Aaron in the arms of one or both of his big brothers. The smiles on every face tell it all. This is where I come first thing each morning. Last place I check late at night. You are always in my prayers. How proud you must be of your amazing 3.I love each and every one of you. God Bless,deb

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  12. I've always wanted girls and have a hard time seeing myself raising boys. That said, someone needs to be raising Godly young men (after all, Isabel will likely want a husband someday!), and you're obviously doing an awesome job! Beautiful!

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  13. Julia, you have such a lovely family. Aaron is certainly, EXACTLY where he is meant to be. Your post has me in tears. My heart is full reading about what wonderful young men your boys are. Standing beside, supporting, and encouraging your siblings, wanting the best for them is a choice, and I am so happy for you that your children choose so well:) You are obviously very proud, as you should be!

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  14. Oh, you should have started this post with a warning: not for emotional people :-) How I cried while reading..... Such wonderful brothers! How wonderful that the three of them are so tightly knit together!

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  15. Wow. As a mom of two bio boys, I can imagine how incredibly proud you are of B & E. What extraordinary young men the Lord has given you to raise. Your family continues to amaze and inspire me!

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  16. You have wonderful boys Julia!!

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  17. Wow. That was simply beautiful. I'm speechless beyond that.

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  18. Ahh! So sweet! You must be so proud of your boys. I'm praying for Aaron that he will tolerate the casts well and get great results. By the way -- I loved getting your Christmas letter and picture of the boys. So nice of you to send it to me even though we have never met in person. Thanks for thinking of me!

    God bless always!

    Pam K
    CA

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  19. You are so right. We've seen it in our kids too...its not easy--sometimes quite difficult--but they wouldn't trade it and are so glad we brought our 3 home. Its so neat to see God growing their hearts through adoption...and it seems our children love so much quicker and easier in some ways than we do --they teach me alot. :)

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  20. Your family amazes and inspires me!

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  21. Julia, you and your husband have raised these boys well in the Lord. They are going to be amazing fathers some day. God Bless you all!

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  22. I can attest to how much those boys love their brother. Witnessing them comfort him, snuggle him, wrestle with him, was amazing. Seeing Ben fall asleep on the couch so that Aaron had someone to watch his discs (dvd) with. Or seeing Aaron and Elijah band together to lock Ben out of his own bedroom. Or seeing aaron call "Li-ja!" when one of his train tracks breaks.

    These three boys are brothers, through and through. I am so glad they will be there today for him.

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  23. What amazing, loving, compassionate young men you have! Praying everything goes well on Friday.

    Blessings,
    Barbara

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  24. BELLISIMO.ESTOY LLORANDO TANTO QUE NO PUEDO ULIZAR EL TRADUCTOR..........

    Teresa

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  25. This is my very favorite blog! Sniff...keep up the good work Mama :) Will be praying for little Aaron!

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  26. You have amazing children. All 3 of them. I hope my city (Philly) is good to you all. Please let me know if you need ANYTHING.

    Christine
    christinedchambers@yahoo.com

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  27. Beautiful boys with such hearts! I love the pics you post of them with Aaron, the love is just jumping out of them. You can see it, almost hear it in their smiles and laughs!!

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  28. I'm wiping away tears. I love reading about the work the Lord has done in your older sons. I pray that one day my oldest son will grow up to be like your boys and love and care for his little brother the way your older boys love and care for Aaron!

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  29. Praying for Aaron; so thankful he has you all to love and hold him through this trial. God bless and keep you all~

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  30. How do you feel about arranged marriages? (my daughter is only 15 months!) :) Praying for your family, knowing God has such special plans for all 5 of you!

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