It’s been a long hiatus since I last blogged with the wonderful company of these adoptive families. In the past 9 months, our family has doubled in size, having brought home Leila and Daniel from the Republic of Congo. They have adjusted BEAUTIFULLY and it is all thanks to the loving care they received in the most amazing baby home and holistic orphan care organization imaginable, Mwana Villages. With the support of loving friends and family and some dream-worthy social workers giving us encouragement and advice, we truly feel as if the past few months have just been more family routine and less adoption transition. But…moving from two to four kids was no joke! The past 9 months have brought every emotion from sheer joy to absolutely exhaustion; delightful laughter to tearful anxiety. And one of the most profound things the Lord has been showing me was in the mindset shift between adoption process to parenting those kiddos and, most importantly, how to embrace the vulnerability through that process.
As adoptive mamas (and daddys!), we are a doggedly determined breed, to say the least. No one who had anything less than a giant’s amount of fight and resolve in them would ever move through the adoption process and survive. It takes every ounce of advocacy, hope, faith, grit, and perseverance just to get to that gotcha day…and then all of a sudden, there they are! For me, while I had done everything I could to prepare ourselves for parenting the actual children we were adopting, the mental shift from process to parenting was difficult. It’s as if I needed to pause time and let it sink it in that–phew! The fight to get them HOME is over!–and then (once I’ve had, oh I don’t know DAYS to relish in that fact!?) start the new journey of being a family. But let me tell you: kids don’t wait around for you to mentally, emotionally and spiritually process. Games, tears, laughter, tickles, feedings, bottles, diapers, naps, terrible nights of sleep, celebratory steps (Wow petting the dog! Yay they slept! Woohoo we didn’t fall on the floor when brother walked by!) sort of get in the way of the whole journaling-through-my-thoughts-to-gain-perspective. It took an awesome counselor to help me process all we had walked through in the past four years, great friends and family, and A LOT of vulnerability.
You see, this breed of mama who goes to the ends of the earth for her kids (isn’t that all of us mamas whether adoptive or not!?) sometimes has a hard time admitting that life with kids isn’t always sunshine and snuggles. Especially when adoptive mamas have fought through a long adoption process and put so much time, energy, resources, prayer and relationships into bringing these kids home, it can be very difficult to admit the times that are anything other than wonderful. But that’s simply not reality. I have felt the Holy Spirit’s nudging the past few months just to be real! Real with how we struggle with four kids, real with needing alone time that rarely comes, real with the dreams of vacations as empty-nesters!, and real with the delights as well. And let me just say…while difficult, this vulnerability has been so freeing. Not just for me, but for other mamas who needed that license to able to cry about what’s hard!
So how are we doing? Great! and… chaotic… and tired…and busy, amused, persevering, fumbling…but we’re in it together and THANKFUL for it all.