We all need a tribe. A tribe consists of your people, your family and friends and teachers and neighbors…..and we need a tribe to raise our children. One important person in my tribe is my friend Jen. We were having babies in the same season, in a women’s bible study together. About the time we adopted our daughter Precious, our bible study was disbanding because of busy lives and young children…..My only sibling had recently divorced the only one I ever called sister….and I was in need of a tribe. Precious came home and all of our friends brought meals and baby gifts, as you do to welcome a new addition to the family. We were loved and lavished and supported. Precious was a hard baby. She was jumpy and jittery and did not sleep. Therefore we did not sleep. In those first months with her, we were exhausted and overwhelmed….and my friend Jen came over. In fact, she came over at 11pm on night, after putting her own kids to bed, and gently picked Precious up from my chest. You see, the only way she slept was on our chests….so we split the night and each slept 4 hours and held her the other 4…..I had just fallen asleep and Jen came in and picked her up and said to me, “sleep. I will take her down to the basement and just hold her and pray for a few hours. when I am ready to leave I will bring her back to you.” And she did. That is what a tribe does.
This week has been a hard week with Precious, too. The changes that come with the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year are hard. She turns 8 on Monday and although birthdays are fun the are also stressful. She and I have been butting heads all week…..we both know it is time for the kids to go back to school and for me to have my time back to work, rest, exercise……it is time for structure and routine again. Jen was over last night after our older boys played football against each other ( so weird) and we had a glass of wine together. I mentioned that it had been a long week with P. Today, she called at noon and invited her over to play with her daughter and she has been there for almost 8 hours! Having fun. Doing great. I got a break that I needed…..and was able to clean the carpets, pull lots of weeds, work in the yard, and spend time with other kids. She got a break that she needed too, a distraction from home and family life. The tribe is important.
If you don’t have a tribe, pray for one. Find one. Ask for help to be part of one. If you are able….be part of the tribe for another family, especially an adoptive family. Tribes rock.