This past week marked ten years since our boys moved in with us. Ten years since God physically put us together as family.

Many families celebrate something called “gotcha day," a celebration of this exact kind of day. We’ve tried a couple times to celebrate it with the boys and been met with little enthusiasm and mostly melancholy.

I think for our boys, to celebrate the day is a painful reminder of what they’ve lost. They’re not even fully sure how to process it. They just know they don’t want to be reminded of it.

The day is bittersweet for me. I hate the pain they’ve endured in their young lives and the loss they’ve experienced. I can never “fix" it. But I am also grateful. Grateful for the last ten years.

Grateful for two beautiful boys I can’t imagine life without.

Grateful for how the Lord has grown me through them, what He’s taught me about myself, and about how much He loves me.

Grateful for the hard days, the tears, the moments when I questioned myself as a mother.

Grateful that those moments made me stronger, by reminding me that relying on God was my only way through it.

Grateful that it made me face my own selfishness and pushed me towards choosing others.

Grateful to be part of their journey.

Grateful for the joy and laughter my boys have brought us.

Grateful for thousands of tuck-ins, stories read, songs sung.

Grateful they made me a mother, even when I wasn’t ready (ps, you’re never ready).

Jesus, thank you for our boys. Thank you for covering our mistakes with your grace. Please continue to lead us as we lead them, in how to men who follow You. Amen.