The Choice of Love:: More on My TEENAGE Boys

Stepping IN: When you want to step OUT.

Oh how I know the choice of love.

and I know it the most because of my teenagers.

Often times people comment that we only have one child.. which is fine! I know that it looks like that to many...

but we do in fact have three children.

Two of them just happen to be teenagers, and ones that I didn't give birth to.

No, our situation is ANYTHING but ordinary.. but honestly I wouldn't have it any other way.

My house is messier than I prefer, food disappears faster than I can get it in the fridge, and the toilet is always covered in boy pee...

But let me tell you, these boys have taught me everything (and anything.. Im not sure how much I really know) about parenting.

-To step into their world, when it is so easy and convenient to step out.

-To not take it personally when I hear I hate you, I'm never going to talk to you again

-The importance and the gravity that stability and love gives a child.

Next week will mark THREE years our older boys have been with us.

I always love to do a post reflecting on them when its what we call our "fam-iversary"

The day we became a family.

It was the day before Thanksgiving.

It was the day we found Hylan's name on a road sign in new york that means to us, "stepping out in faith" 

Its been three years since we brought them home to an unmarried almost-engaged couple, a house in the not so great area of town, a bank account full of debt from our younger years, and hearts that were merely willing to learn and to love.

Three years ago I dont think I could have ever imagined how unbelievably hard, painful, and joyful this journey was going to be for us.

It has strengthened our marriage in more ways than we could ever know.

Our relationships with the boys, our relationship with Hylan, our relationship with God.

All have been so greatly and positively effected by this choice of love.

Our boys have been through more than I would ever mention in a blog post, mainly for their support, security, and privacy. 

But we truly could not be more proud of the young men that they have grown to be.

There are literally about 1 million things I could type here that they have overcome, ways they have grown, ways their hearts have expanded, and ways they have succeeded.

The choice of love.

Well my friends, I can tell you that three years ago... the world thought we were nuts. 

Im sure some still think we're nuts but we are oddly okay with it now.

People have grown to understand,

Shoot we have grown to understand.

As the dust settled, and the shock wore off.. of everyone else, and us. We have found our home.

We've found who we are as a family.

A place where our doors stay open, in our hearts and in our home.

Never closed to our idea of what "family" should look like.

But open to the concept, idea, and not so practical ideas God seems to always have for our family.

What that looks like in the long run? Who in the world knows... to be honest I'm a little scared to ask. ha.

But I know that I am so grateful.

That three years ago, we took a chance,

we walked out in faith.

we made the choice to love.

Can this be my encouragement to you?

To those who may be reading our story for the first time wondering how it came to be? What type of issues we have had to face? What these boys could have gone through?

Can I ask instead...

Who in your life can you STEP IN towards?

It is so so so so easy and HUMAN NATURE to want to step OUT when life gets tough, and trust me when I say I am NO Expert. Stepping in when someone hurts us, when people drive us crazy, or just are down right annoying... its the high and HARD road.

Can I encourage you to step IN to that situation.. and even to continue stepping in when you may be pushed away?

Because that my friends... 

that is the choice of love I am referring to.

not the one that is picking up your toddlers mess.

but Lord knows that's a choice too ;)

But ...perhaps the choice to pick up the phone and call your dad after 4 years of not speaking.

Or to forgive that friend who hurt you last month.

The choice to say yes to the orphan,

or the one to say YES to mentoring the struggling and new mom, even though your schedule is full.

The one that sacrifices our own wants, desires, and time for that of others.

The Choice of love.

The Choice that is truly, and surely, worth it.