one month in.

. . . we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.

I am currently in a place of abundance.

An abundance of noise, an abundance of laundry, an abundance of little voices calling, “Mo-om!!!”

It’s the oddest feeling . . . first living in what felt like a long season of lack — of waiting, of wondering, of not understanding the story. And then everything changed very, very suddenly. After the desert there is water, but not just a trickle — a full-on waterfall.  And I spent that first month just gasping, trying to come up for air. I hardly had time to reflect on the abundance that God has heaped on me.

Also to be perfectly honest: sometimes it didn’t feel like the kind of abundance I wanted. It felt a little more like drowning.

But I am here on the other side of the first month, and while each day brings its challenges, life is a routine again. We’re all growing familiar with each other, coming to know what to expect. There are new family jokes and laughter and the chatter of siblings playing together. I find myself able to snatch conversations with my husband (and they aren’t all about our kids!), to greet friends at church, and with a few moments here and there to soak in this strange new life I lead.

I’m an introvert, but this winter I grew to dread the drive to drop Judah and Amie off at their cousins’ for an afternoon of playing. I returned home, all by myself, and walked listlessly from room to room. Instead of enjoying my alone time, instead of feeling comforted by the peace of our little house, I just felt lost. It’s too quiet.

But now.

There are shrieks and sometimes wails and little feet pounding across hardwood and a dripping-wet bathroom. Sometimes I want to turn and walk away from the noise of my home. But mostly, mostly I smile. Because my house isn’t too quiet any more.

Come and see what God has done:
He is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

In the mornings after we eat breakfast, I pour sippy cups of juice and turn on our church worship album. I listened to it over and over the last 5 months. Some days the hymns would be my prayers when I couldn’t form any. They were an enormous comfort to me when things didn’t make sense.

And today as the music starts, Noah comes running into the room — this person that I didn’t even know existed two months ago — all smiles, his little voice belting out, Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, and I stare down at him in joy and wonder. If only I’d known.

Gabriel stumbles in with arms full of board books and climbs up into my lap and says, “Will you read, Mommy?” and as I pull him close I pause half a second and kiss his hair and whisper, “Do you know how long Mommy waited for you?”

Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

I sat down the other day and read back through every adoption blog post I’d written since we started this journey last March. I found myself crying. I ached for all we didn’t know, for how hard and scary it would be — for how deserted by God I’d feel. But I also couldn’t stop smiling because I knew. I knew what was waiting for us just around the corner. I believe that when God was walking with me through that hard year, He felt the same way.

I’m not naive enough to think everything has been tidily wrapped up with a bow and there will be no more challenges for the Gentino family. Even now, this place of abundance is hard. A friend told me, “One of the lies we believe as Americans is that good equals easy.” I’ve been guilty of believing that lie.

And yet sometimes the good road is the hard road, the scary road.

With each twist and turn in my story, each trial God brings me through — both the ones that do make sense and the ones that don’t — I believe a little more in His goodness. I believe that He never, ever leaves me. I believe that He knows what I need more than I do.

I believe that His way is perfect.

Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

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(all Scripture verses from Psalm 66)

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