Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monkey Bars

Mommy!” Daniel called loudly from the monkey bars. He wanted me to see him in all of his bravery. But then fear crept in again, and both of his hands became frozen on the same bar for several moments before he dropped to the ground.

As I've watched Daniel struggle on the monkey bars, I've been reminded of how hard it can be to let go of what feels safe. In order to take a risk and move forward.

What if I fall?

But choosing to let go and move forward is the only way to conquer the monkey bars.

David has been working on the monkey bars this summer too. Overcoming his fear and developing confidence.

And now he's become Daniel's coach in the backyard. I love to hear him cheering Daniel on.

How wonderful it is to have people in our lives who are for us.

You can do it.

Don't give up.

You've got this.

A few months ago I wondered what it would be like for us making this big move from China to the US. Would we fit in here? Find friends?

Amazingly, Jordan was welcomed by the high school cross country team from the very first day of practice. What a great group of kids and wonderful team of coaches! Challenging and encouraging each other to do their best and to reach each of their personal goals this season.

Two weeks ago I took Daniel into a Sunday School class for the first time. As I was introducing him to the teacher, he decided to lay on the floor (I guess because the carpet looked soft). So I was trying to get him to stand back up in order to shake her hand and say hello. Then a little boy in the class with the cutest little bow tie appeared beside the teacher and stuck out his hand. “Hi Daniel. I'm Elijah.” And my heart melted at his welcoming spirit.

David and Daniel have been running in the cross country club at their school on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and last Friday was their first practice cross country meet. Charly ran the second half of the race with Daniel to encourage him along.

And as I was waiting for them to come up out of the woods, a few 2nd grade boys who had already finished yelled out to me, “Where's Daniel?”

“I'm not sure.” I answered. “I just saw him on the trail, but I don't know where he's supposed to come out.”

“OK,” they called back. “We'll wait for him.” And I marveled at little boys who care about the last one to finish the race.

I asked David if any kids at school have made fun of his club feet or asked him about it, and he said no. That had been a real struggle for him in Chinese school last year. And I'm so glad he is not facing the same kind of teasing here. 

What a blessing to have friends.

Charly and I were invited to join a small group last month with three other couples. And over dinner they asked us heart-level questions about our adoption. About living in the village. About Charly's PhD dissertation. They really listened to our stories. Giving value to our past and where we've come from.

We see you and we care. We hear you and we know how hard these struggles must be. We're here for you. You don't have to put on a mask and pretend to be someone you're not.

And so, with all of us on the monkey bars of life. We have to let go of the safety of where we are and take a risk to reach out to the new and unknown. But we have people who are cheering for us. And that makes all the difference.

What if I fall?

You can do it.

Don't give up.

You've got this.

God is with you. And so are we.


  1. Oh, this is beautiful. What sweet gifts of encouragement from God -- kids who care about your kids, and new friends who see and value your journey. So glad you shared this with Velvet Ashes!

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Danielle!



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