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Thursday, January 17, 2013

What I didn't know...

It's been months since I have last been able to sit down and pour my heart out over a keyboard. Being a parent is HARD.  Being an adoptive parent?  REAL hard.  And it's not that I elevate my life of parenting above others, because I truly believe that regardless of how you become a parent, or who you parent, it's one of life's biggest challenges.  Each experience is different, and unique in it's difficulties, and in it's victories.  But I only have my story to tell, and I am one that HATES the comparison game, so today I had to make a conscious effort to lay my comparisons down, shed the "tough skin" that disables me from being vulnerable, and instead, embrace it all:  the milestones, the setbacks, the joy, the sadness, the humor, and anger, strengths, weaknesses, victories, and even the failures... Every single one of them that all add up to make one heck of a past 15 months.. a very bittersweet 15 months.

I have never known exhaustion like this. ever. in. my. life.  She is a talker, this child of mine. And she doesn't even say very many words yet.  She knows what she means, we're just trying to learn her ways and interpret this newfound language.  She has more attitude and sass than her two and a half foot frame can handle.  She started walking 2 months ago, and I'm pretty sure she learned to run two seconds later.  She's fast.  She's hungry.  She is LOUD.  And she hates to sit still.  Hates it.  Her will is so strong, that there are days when I feel like my will as a parent can't even compete.  So I relax a little too much and let her push me a little farther than I'd like, so the next day we are set back quite a few steps in the obedience department.  She is rough.  And heavy.  She gives me bruises.  So so messy.  And she likes to steal my food, but doesn't ever want to share hers.

Then there's the sickness.  Selah is only 15 months old, but I feel like she has been sick for half of those.  It has gone down like this:
2 months old: first cold
4 months old:  first stomach bug
6 months old: another cold
8 months: ear infections
9 months: respiratory infection
10 months: more ear infections
11 months: more ear infections + surgery for tubes in the ears; major stomach bug (that both me and my husband caught)
13 months:  UTI
15 months:  stomach bug (minus any puking), ear infection, fever

Whew.  The poor girl.  She's had a rough time.  And as her mom, I've had a rough time taking care of her.  I feel like this amount of sickness has bred this major fear in me that every time I go into her room to get her out of bed, that I'm gonna get blindsided by some other ailment.  I've been desperately looking forward to this long stretch (that at this point seems imaginary) of good health.  Don't get me wrong, though.  I count my blessings and the fact that these sicknesses are minor in the grand scheme of things.  But it hasn't been easy.  She's had her fair share (and a lot of other babies fair shares) of antibiotics, and I pray every single day that her little body would be granted some insanely beautiful immune system boost.  I feel like I look to the sky just about every day, reminding God that we could use a little break.  "Hey there Lord, are you listening??"

I waited and waited for years to be a mom.  I struggled to wrap my head around how it can be so easy for so many families to get pregnant.  I accepted the word "waiting", and got used to the thought that I would do a lot of it before God revealed His plan for this adoption journey.  Then it happened.  In three days it happened.  And it was a whirlwind.  Then I spent months waiting for it to sink in that this is real.  Here at 15 months,
I feel like it's sinking in.  
I feel like that whirlwind is catching up to me.
Some days feel like they're spiraling out of control.
Some days I feel like I cannot do this.
It's too hard.
I'm too tired.

She's here, she's staying, I am Mom.

But after I do my crying and pick myself back up off the floor, I realize that it's gonna be okay.  

After we get through another daunting week of sickness and I see good health begin returning to my little girl's body, I remember that God is near, and I am able to see how He answered even our smallest of prayers to make our baby well again.

After I make yet another parenting mistake...
After I lose my temper...
When I wish the day away...
When I let a circumstance blind me to blessings...
If I feel frozen in my fears...
When I miss the past...
As I long for some quiet...
And when I feel like I've had just about all I can take...

This little brown-eyed-girl walks up to me, wraps her chunky little arms around my neck, and whispers through a toothy smile, "I wuv tu".  And I decide, with tear-filled eyes and a thankful heart, that I can do this again tomorrow.  Being a mom might be HARD, but it's not TOO hard. Because our God swoops in, and He fills us with just enough of whatever we need to get through the day.  We may have a couple bad days here and there, and the months may seem like they've been overshadowed by infirmity, but the Blessings are bigger.  God is Greater.  Grace is Stronger.  God, give me your eyes to see it.

At this point, I'm good with just her.  Maybe God has a different plan for later on, and He will reveal it when He is ready.  But this little stinker is it for now.  She's exactly what I need, and everything I want in a child.  She makes life exciting, to say the least.  If someone were to ask me what makes me happiest, what scares me, frustrates me, makes me laugh the hardest, and exhausts me all at the same time?  This thing right here.  My little love :)

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

1 comment:

PraiseJunky said...

Wow! Beautifully said Jessica. And you are right, parenting is tough and there are days when the tunnel seems long. Days when there are more questions than answers and moments of weakness and doubt. But hang in there. God has equipped you and is continuing to uphold you with His hands. We have loved getting to witness the miracle of Selah and the testimony of your sweet family. Keep sharing and please know that while we all have different stories so many of our story lines overlap and we DO know how you feel. Praying for peace, comfort, health, strength and the ability to see forward in those moments when it gets too hard. Love you girl!!!