This post is paid for by the Ad Council. All opinions are my own.
This weekend Aaron and I had a very busy weekend, but we were also kid free so we actually had more moments to connect and chat than we would have in a non busy weekend with our kids home. It's funny how it worked out that way. Saturday night as we settled into a booth at a favorite restaurant in town with no worries in the world except for each other, we began to reminiscence. I love those moments, and Aaron acts like he does as well, just to be a good husband!
In these moments I always come back to the same fact that never seems to get old to me. I always look into Aaron's eyes and say to him,” I thought I loved you when I married you, but now I realize that was nothing. My love has grown so much over the past 13 years, that I laugh when I think about my affection for you then.” It never gets old to me how much more I love my man today than I did when we got married. Thirteen years ago I never thought that would be possible. I also didn't have a clue what I was doing 13 years ago in marriage. We brought all of our junk to the table and began to figure out what it looks like to be married. Year by year we get better.
It was in that conversation that I started to talk about us as parents. When our kids are gone I always reflect on parenting. It's easy to do since they aren't there, and it seems to feel safer and easier to be honest and to think. I feel like marriage and parenting share a lot of the same common fears, successes, joys, pains and sorrows. You think you know it all, but in a year you're different and better (hopefully) than you were the year before. We're a constant student in marriage and parenting, always learning.
I started thinking about how far we have come as parents. We were young when we had Cayden and had no clue as to how to raise a kid. Who does with the first one? Then we jumped into domestic adoption and now I not only had no clue how to raise one kid, but now I was responsible for two kids and an open adoption. A year and a half later we jumped in with two feet to international adoption and that was a whole new ball game to us as parents. Now we were parenting two kids in our home and loving two kids in another land for two and a half years.
You see, just like in marriage, we have learned along the way how to do this thing called parenting. We do a lot of things really well, and a few things pretty crappy. One day something is right, and the next day it's wrong. This journey of parenting hasn't come easy, and the road has been paved with valley's and mountain tops, but it's our journey and we're loving it.
Parenting our children that have joined our family from some hard places has been one of the hardest feats we have ever encountered, but also the most rewarding. The challenges are great, but the accomplishments are hundreds of times better. The days are long, but the tuck-in's are the best. The hurt hearts are hard to bear, but to sit back and watch God mend those hearts and bring peace and joy to a child is the best ever!
Right now the AdoptUSKids campaign is called YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO BE A PERFECT PARENT. The truth of this is that there is no perfect parent and there is no perfect child. Neither exist. This truth is one that can set you free with your parenting. I'm the perfect parent for my kids, but I'm not perfect. They know that and so do I.
If you have ever considered adding to your family via adoption I would highly suggest you check out AdoptUsKids and see the faces of those kids that are yearning for a parent. Not a perfect parent, just a parent. 21,226 pervious kids listed on AdoptUsKids have now been placed within families forever. AdoptUSKids states that there are over 104,000 children that are legally free for adoption and desperate for a home. A home. That's what they need. We're not perfect, and neither are they. Let's lay it all out on the table and offer what we have. Love. Not perfection. That's what kids want is love. Who can you bring this love to?