I just realized this is my first post in the 3 months since we’ve been home from India. When you hear my next words…that will make more sense. I am happy to be writing. It gives me an outlet to share some feelings, and maybe even encourage someone else along the way.
I’ve been spending the last hour trying to clean out my email from this summer. I’m a person that loves to have an empty inbox. I had over 800 emails in there. I’ve read all the important ones…but they are looming. So sometimes during quiet moments I set back to cleaning them out. This time it was different. I was slowly reminded of ALL the things I committed to doing last year. Room mom, discipleship group, home group, host a sign language club in my home, Children’s minister at a struggling church, ballet on the other side of town, and posting animals that need homes for adoption.
All of these things were blessings in my life. They served a purpose and grew me in a season. The thing is….I’m not in that season anymore. I am in fact in a VERY new season of life. A season of adjusting a five year old with severe trauma and multiple special needs. I’ve spent these last three months scheduling and going to multiple specialists, dentists, pediatricians, shots, international adoption specialist. Scheduling MRIs, trying to get our foot in the door with therapies, trying to adjust a very apprehensive and traumatized child that these therapies are good , and the doctors are not out to kill her.
I spend moments crying in the bathroom when I’ve been scratched for the 1000th time. I cry for the hurt I see in her eyes. I cry that sometimes she doesn’t fully feel like “mine” when she rejects me. I cry when I see the jealously in her sister. I cry when I have to say no to something her sister wants to do. I cry a lot….and that’s normal. It would be weird if I wasn’t crying. It would be building and exploding on my kids if I wasn’t.
You know what else I’ve spent the last three months doing? LETTING GO! Yeah Elsa was on to something with this one. I have let go of every single thing I listed above. In fact I’ve probably let go of a lot more than that. In our first adoption, I struggled greatly with letting anything go. The mom guilt, the friend guilt, the social media guilt…it was all too much. Each time I let something go, I spend days thinking about it. I spend time feeling guilty and anxious. I’m here to tell you every single thing that I’ve let go of has been a blessing. Do I miss some of my friends? Sure! Do I miss some of the activities? Meh. Do I feel guilty my daughter is not in ballet? A little. When you really sit down and think about it though, my children have numerous blessings in their lives. They have opportunities to do things they wouldn’t have with other families. They are loved and understood. They have a healthier mom. Their parents are more able to take deep breaths.
What’s our formula? Our biggest mission in life is to raise these children to know the Lord and feel safe and secure. We can model the love of Christ everyday in our home, we don’t have to be overcommitted in church for that. Safe and secure? Well that is of course the primary basis to how we decide if it’s worth it. I read a quote recently, “Decide what kind of life you actually want, then say no to anything that isn’t that”. So simple, but so deep. This is where we start now. My husband and I decided this would be the year things will be hard for us, we will say no to a lot of things in order to simplify our lives. We also promised ourselves we would say yes to things that are really important.
What kind of things get a yes? Travel to see family, it’s so hard, but we want our girls surrounded by love and family. Our tightest circle of friends, acquaintances are blessings in our lives, but if we’re going to go out or have people over, it’s in our immediate group this year. Things that connect our girls to their culture, these are tough, but important. Most other things are kept simple. The simple life is much more freeing than I ever thought possible. In the age of instagram and facebook I want to do more. The temptation is there for sure. The thing we have to remember is we chose this path. We chose to grow our family differently. Now we have to choose what sacrifices we are willing to make for mental clarity for parents and happiness and healing for our girls!