Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An anniversary

Two years ago today, God brought Michael into our family. Here is what I wrote on June 11, 2006:

Krabels, party of seven...

Yep, that's right. Our family has added a new member. The young man who stayed with us a couple of weeks ago has moved in for keeps.

I actually knew this was coming about a week ago, but since my oldest likes to read my blog sometimes, I wanted to wait until it was official before I said anything about it here. The kids so enjoyed their time with him before. They were sad when he left.

He's been staying with a dear and generous lady. However, it seems that after his week with us, he felt very at home here. He liked being part of a family. He enjoyed our kids. And I think he really enjoyed having a father figure in Dan. They have so much in common. I remember that after the first time we met him, I told Dan that it was like Michael was meant to be his kid. He just fits in with the rest of us.

After he told us how he felt, we talked it over with the woman he'd been staying with. She is genuinely fond of Michael and was understandably disappointed, but agreed that it was probably best for him to stay with us. She wants only the best for him, and for some reasons that were not anyone's fault, it didn't seem to be working out.

So now he's back. And we couldn't be happier. I confess to being a little nervous. Somedays I feel like I can't keep up with what's already on my plate. And a teenage boy is certainly unchartered territory in our experience. But I am so humbled that the Lord would bring this young man into our lives. It is an answer to our prayers. Is it the answer that I expected? No, but I have learned that God rarely answers my prayers in the manner I expect. I prayed for another child. God sent me an almost seventeen year old boy with baggy jeans, two earrings and the sweetest smile. Not what I expected, but perfect for our family just the same. "God sets the lonely in families..." Proverbs 68:6

And about two weeks later, I wrote:

It's been a little over a week since Michael joined our family and I think over all things have gone very well. We have his room mostly put together. God is so good to provide all we need. A wonderful Christian friend who owns a furniture store gave us a brand new mattress, box spring and bed frame absolutely free. If you ever need furniture in the east central Illinois area, shop at Duzan's Furniture in Oakland, Illinois!! We also got a dresser from my parents, and the Lord even providentially provided an old truck for Michael to drive so he can get work. All free. Can I say it again? God is so good!

Our kids love Michael and have so much fun with him. I am especially proud of Elijah, who had to give up his room and move in with his sisters. He was so sweet and generous about it, with not even a hint of hesitation.

I am learning to be a little (lot) more organized with my responsibilities around here. It's amazing how much more work just having one more person here creates. He doesn't have many clothes right now (something we need to work on before school starts), so I am trying to keep up with the laundry even more than usual. I'm also cooking a lot more, because one of the things I've noticed is how much Michael seems to enjoy sitting down to eat meals as a family. And let me tell you, that boy can eat! It's good for me, too. I'd become lazy about planning weekly menus and shopping for meals. Lately it had become more like, "It's 5:30, I wonder what I can throw together for supper..."

Tonight is a new experience for me as a parent. It's the weekend, and Michael is out with friends. Driving. I thought I had a few more years before I had to deal with this, but now it's upon me. He is a great kid, he's with great kids, but I am a nervous wreck. Because they're kids. I was a kid once, and I remember what bad drivers my friends and I were. But he's in God's hands. I'll just be glad when he gets home in a little more than an hour.

Mostly I just feel blessed. Lots of people have told us that we've done a great thing to take Michael into our home. To be honest, I don't see it that way. Rather, I feel like God has done a great thing by bringing him to us. Certainly Michael needed a family. But as much as he may have needed us, I also know that we have been given a gift in having him here. I am thankful and humbled that God loves us so much that He put this all together. Can I say it just one more time? God is so good!

My head swims when I think how much has changed in two years. The shy, scruffy boy who came into our home two years ago is now a man, fighting in a war on the other side of the world, engaged to be married when he comes home.

One thing has not changed, however, and that is how incredibly thankful I am that God added Michael to our family. It has not always been a bed of roses--in fact things got quite thorny a time or two--but through it all, that fact has not changed. Words cannot express what a blessing it has been to be part of his life. I am so proud of all he has accomplished, and pray that God will continue the good work He has started in Michael's life. We love you, Michael!

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