Friday, January 27, 2012

Stop Sucking Wind...It's a Marathon

I am here to confess...lately I have been a little worn out.  It doesn't help that I had a touch of a stomach bug, that Joe Paterno passed away this week (it's like a death in the family), and that I have been staying up way too late.  It feels like each morning I take a deep breath, but by the time mid afternoon rolls around I am out of oxygen.  By dinner time I'm turning blue.  By bedtime, well...the first stages of rigor mortis are setting in.  I feel behind in my housework.  I haven't made out a meal plan in  over a week.  (Don't panic - no one's starving here.)  Don't even ask about the laundry or my bedroom floor.  Please.  I have been slightly overwhelmed and totally under-oxygenated.  (I know this is probably not a word.)

I had such a nice conversation this morning with another Latvian adoptive parent, and it put so many things in perspective for me.  I am not here to whine.  I adore my family.  I adore my life.  There is no amount of money (or chocolate - and that's saying something!) you could offer me to trade my life with anyone else's.  But I need to be very honest with myself and with anyone else who may wonder about life post-adoption.  Every day I wake up and want this day to be the day it is all easy.  The day I see total peace and healing in my daughter.  The day that feels like we are a completely "normal" family.  (Pipe dream, even pre-adoption..I know...I know...)  The day we will be the poster family for successfully growing your family through adoption.  The day I will know with absolute certainty how to successfully and joyfully respond to everyone's needs in a way that blesses and encourages always.  By the end of the day, I am frantically searching for a stewardess who can point the way to the oxygen masks, and I flop in bed disappointed, exhausted, and thinking maybe tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow will be that day.  (Gasp, gasp...)

It hit me today talking with another adoption comrade in arms.  Our life isn't normal.  We deal with things "normal" families around us haven't dealt with - don't even think about.  My child has a past that colors the way she sees many of today's interactions.  All those parenting books I read before having Jude and Cal?  Throw those out the window - most of that stuff doesn't apply.  Now it's therapeutic parenting, and it isn't for the winded.  And that is the point where I took my first real deep breath in days and life is now a marathon and the finish line is far enough away I need to stop craning my neck to look for it.  My eyes are on the mile markers now.

I am not here to write that as a complaint.  I am here to write that as one of the most cheerful, encouraging revelations I've had in awhile.  There will be no more "Are we there yet?".  If I need to stop to "go to the bathroom", well, off the interstate of life we'll go for a break.  I actually have no idea where we will end up when (if) this is all said and done as a family.  But you know what?  Today I decided to stop worrying about getting "there", and just deal with where we are.  It is too big a burden to figure out where the finish line is right now or what it might look like someday when we get there.

I know this may not make much sense to someone who hasn't been through an adoption situation like ours.  I know it may sound slightly whiney and terribly over dramatic.  It probably seems like after nine months, I should be over talking about adoption and life change.  But the truth - the freeing truth of the day is - this is my life right now.  It will probably be my life tomorrow, too.  And the next day.  More than any fresh air, remembering that makes me breathe easier today than I have in days.


Jo said...

Thank you for posting this. We are pre-adoptive currently, and even though I read a ridiculous amount of therapeutic mom blogs and have read all the attachment books, it's still so easy to idealize the future. Even though it's hard, it's good to get the "real life" reminders.

For yourself, I have no good advice (remember I am pre-adoptive) but please try to take some time for yourself to recharge, however possible.

Judy said...

I don't know if this counsel will help but I will share it with you just in case it might. One thing that I am learning is that God calls me to be faithful in walking with Him and serving Him. It is my job to be busy about the work He has given me to do. But the outcome is up to Him. When I start working at trying to create a certain outcome, I begin to lose focus on Him and the work itself, and begin to think that I am in control. Which He has to remind me quiet often that I am not! I would just encourage you to keep being faithful day in and day out in loving and serving your husband and children and family. Keep worshiping beautiful Jesus and trust them and all outcomes in His hands :)