I have thought a lot lately about what things Nephtali is going to have to learn when she gets here. There will be so much and at first it will all teeter on being overwhelming. From English to winter weather. From abundant food to dogs as pets not pests. The list go on and on from simple to complex. In all these things we will work through together, but there is one that I pray about every day: What it means to be a family.
Erma Bombeck said, when speaking about family that it was:
"... a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."
In our house, she will learn that the common thread is our Lord and Savior. And being part of a family of 8... she will learn many of those other things right away. : )
But I also want her to learn that having a family means you are loved and will always be loved... for the rest of your life. You have a place you will always belong. A place where people believe in you and pray for your dreams. It is a place where you are safe and can trust. It's place where you can learn, explore, play, and laugh everyday. It's where you will always be forgiven and will always have room to grow. A family is where love is unconditional. It is sharing in and building traditions. It is hugs and kisses and a happy heart.
And in the famous words from Lilo & Stitch "family means no one gets left behind... or forgotten."
Nephtali, my precious daughter, we will never leave you behind. We will never forget you. We are forever your mommy and daddy. We are forever your family... no matter what!
So I pray each day that the 7 of us here, her daddy, her mommy, her brothers and sisters can show her what it means to be a family and soon.