Friday was the BIG day. Lemuel rejoined our family full time! I drove up to the facility along with my two youngest children to bring him home for good. Withdrawal from the school and discharge from the facility were seamless. I had to sign a couple of forms and take the yellow copy for my records and we were back on the road for the two hour drive home. Although Lemuel has had many home visits during his time in treatment, I have to admit it's good to have him back home permanently. There's a different spirit among our whole family when we know a visit is just a visit.
Prior to heading up to the treatment center, we had a family devotion. We talked, we prayed and we asked the Lord to give us a new start with Lemuel. We talked about our part in the strained relationship and how we could start anew. It was a wonderful time where each member of our family prayed aloud and shared from the heart.
I have to say in complete honesty, it is great to have him home! I missed him. WE missed him.
We went out to dinner as a family to celebrate his return and made sure the conversation focused on him and his
"adventures" while he was away from us. He's a good kid and he really wants to start fresh. I know there will be setbacks because nobody's perfect but my heart's desire is that the setbacks just remind us of how far he's come. We need to be slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen. We need to focus on extending grace and forgiving even as we train and disciple.
Our adoption agency happened to be having a family picnic yesterday and the timing was great! There are several families with children from The Philippines and we have begun to form a tightly-knit group. Unfortunately, several of those families had to cancel their plans to attend the picnic last minute but one of my VERY FAVORITE families was in attendance. This family has 9 children, seven of them adopted from The Philippines. One of my friend's sons is super athletic, just like Lemuel. The two of them played basketball, soccer, fished and just hung out. What a blessing!
Everything is just the way it's supposed to be. God ordained. He has brought each person to our table at the time He chose with needs that were fully known to Him. And HE IS GOOD.