The Bib1e tells us that the fatherless have a special place in G0D's heart. He crafts them with great care. He brings them into this big world. His eyes never leave them. His angels surround them. He puts a yearning in the hearts of nothing-special-people like Kayla and Daniel Rupp to run after one of these children, in the craziest season of their lives, taking the most precious little girl in all the world as their very own. He gives that child a new name, Jubilee Sue, and The Rupps become a family of six with a little red book to prove it.
It's all sunshine and roses after that, right? Uh, no. Tears and fears mark their early days together. The whole group clings to G0D and each other, the six of them learning to trust like they never have before. It is a painful process. The old (in all of us) has to die so that the new (for all of us) can be born. For this kind of birth, however, there is no available epidural. The whole family feels every single thing.
Tomorrow marks four weeks since the day we first held our beloved Jubi Sue. These days she is no longer grieving. The only thing that makes her cry now is being smothered by her big-hearted, rhinoceros of a "twin" brother (she'll appreciate your awesome girth someday, Brave, especially in college when some ogre from psychology class can't take a hint).
I make her cry, too, every now and then. Gasp! I know, I know, adoptive mothers are supposed to be perfect. Well, we're not. We're just like everybody else. Right now, at least, it really gets me when I fail her. It's like I feel responsible for making the next 16 years of her life blissful, in order to make up for the way she had to spend her first 2. Talk about having too high of expectations!
I'm pretty sure Jubilee thought she had been adopted by Mary Poppins at first. I tip-toed around her with a goofy smile plastered to my freaked-out face. Not anymore. Mary Poppins has packed her leather handbag and left, leaving sweet Jubilee to be raised by regular ol' me. Daniel reminded me again today that she doesn't need a perfect mother, any more than our boys do. She needs a real mother, a forever mother, a through-thick-and-thin mother.
That's me, sweetheart. Real, forever; thick sometimes, and thin others. I'm going to look at you crossly. I'm going to lose my cool. I'm going to need your grace and forgiveness over the years. But you know what? That's what makes us a family. Daniel, Kayla, Bright, Zion, Brave, and Jubilee. Family.
Forever and always.