A little over two months ago we met our girls for the first time in person. Those two months have been filled with wonder, sorrow, joy, discovery, accomplishment, setback, laughter, tears, excitement, smiles, pouts, hugs, pushaways, bonding, misunderstanding …

The nucleus during these two months has been my wife, Renee and Ragan’s mama — Tamara Lynn. It is truly amazing to watch her love these two girls as we work to gain their trust and their attachment. Her rudimentary start with two instant daughters is taking the form of a beautiful family unit.

Each day brings its challenges — formulating meals the girls like, learning how to cook Chinese, deciphering conversation with the girls via Google Translate (not exactly spot-on in its translations), teaching them English from the very beginning (A says … ), training them in elementary manners, stopping them from torturing the cat, creating routines for chores, fixing hurts, attempting to discern sudden mood swings, explaining for the tenth twentieth time why we: 1) don’t slam doors, 2) don’t leave exterior doors open, 3) can’t eat noodles at every meal, 4) can’t stay up til midnight watching movies… Then there’s the whole husband and job thing to manage as well.

The new normal means less time for grandchildren, exercise, reading, quiet, Braves games, sleep, among other things. She is doing all that amidst times of pushback, rejection, and unappreciation. Yet she knows and depends on a greater nucleus to make all this happen for our girls.

She knows that the nucleus is Christ. She knows that His mercy is new every morning. She knows that He gives her the daily strength to overlook a string of offenses she experiences from two girls who are still slaves to sin. She knows He orchestrated all the details that brought Renee and Ragan into our home. She knows that the eternal hope and future she has may be theirs as well one day.

She will admit that it is hard. She knows it’s worth it. She is reminded each night when she tucks the girls in bed. They wrap their arms around her say, “I lofah (love) you Mama.”

So do I.


One thought on “Nucleus

  1. LeighAnn and I were just saying last night that each day Tammy gets up each morning and chooses to love the girls despite everything you mentioned above. What a beautiful picture of what Christ does for us….loves us even though we are often “unloveable.” Thank you for sharing this. Your love is very evident for the girls and I can’t wait till they fully comprehend your love for them.

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