I keep thinking about all the reasons I have to be thankful. I need to write them down, so I don’t forget.
I’m thankful for the timing of our trip to Colombia. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced. It was a gift and a miracle. At first we hoped to travel in summer, so all five of us could go. We worked it out so Luke could stay longer, to help us with our Spanish. Instead we traveled over Christmas – the only time other than summer all of us could go. And Luke with an extra semester of college Spanish under his belt.
I’m thankful for seventeen days in Colombia. The perfect amount of time. Long enough to sample and savor the customs and culture of our new boys. But not too long. Any longer might have cemented bad habits typical to teenaged boys. Any longer and we might have gone broke buying food at restaurants. It’s good to be home to normal routines and structure.
I’m thankful for my laundry room just off the kitchen. No more hiking sixteen blocks to the Lava Sport. My washer and dryer have been running non-stop since Friday.
I’m thankful for Felipe’s beautiful Spanish music. This is an answer to my prayers. It was honestly one of the things that concerned me most. I’ve been spoiled all these years with the music in my home, and I wondered how I’d respond to unfamiliar noise, grating on my nerves. I prayed specifically, asking God to work it out, and he did. Thank you.
I’m thankful for two new boys who know their Bibles. Two boys who love the Church. Amazing, how God has laid the foundation, years in advance, and these values of ours are their values, too.
I’m thankful for friends and family. Every day since we’ve been back, the welcomes have been sweet. I’m sure the boys are a bit overwhelmed. So many faces, and so many greetings. But everywhere they go they’re hugged by people who have waited months for their arrival. They’re loved by people who have prayed for this day.
I’m thankful for my husband. He’s an amazing dad. He always has been, but this proves the point. His love for all five of his boys is genuine and untiring. He enjoys them. Enjoys hanging out with them. Playing Spike Ball and soccer, FIFA on the X-box, and basketball with Nils. Turning his workshop into an art studio for Felipe. Coaching Jimmy through leg stretches so his knees won’t hurt. “Come on, Dad. Let’s play.”
I’m thankful to be a mom. I’m thankful for simple ways I can serve my boys. Cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Tasks I once resented have become ways to show my love. It’s the answer to my question. What is my place in this family of boys? I don’t play X-box. I can’t shoot baskets. But I can care and provide and I can make a house a home. And it feels good. It feels right.
And I’m grateful.