Oct 8, 2012 was "Gotcha Day" for our boys. So we made it...1 year, whew! and Whooohoooo!
When we had our 1 year post-adoption visit with our social worker she asked us a question...something like, how would we describe our past year. That is a hard one. It's been tough, I won't lie. I quit reading other adoptees' blogs a long time ago. I just couldn't read all the gushy "we are so blessed" happy blogs. I felt NONE of that. It was hard, plain and simple. We have made ENORMOUS strides, but it has not FELT good for the most part.
I realize most of the difficulty is our own fault. Mine mostly...and Waverly's (well, it's true). WE talked DW into getting both boys when he was determined to adopt only one. I look back on that discussion and for the life of me I can't explain it. I remember it, our impassioned speech right here in this kitchen. And part of me realizes that even then, it felt like something (or someONE) other than me speaking.
For those of you who know me well, you have probably been confused with my life over the past 8 years or so. I am not what you would call a "touchy-feely" Mom. I can be tough, abrasive, opinionated, inflexible. (I mean, I am nice too but once the toughness is established.) I love my kids FIERCELY and would do anything for them, which does explain my toughness a little. Sometimes that is what they need. Touchy-feely does not train them to LIVE, it just trains them to feel. If there is anything I have learned over the past year, it is that feelings have nothing to do with anything. I mean it. They mean nothing. They are fleeting and fickle. And yet, God created us to have them...weird. I think they are not supposed to guide us but they are just little bonuses to make life bearable. Because life is hard.
If I knew a couple years ago how hard this year would be, would I have still chosen to do this? Absolutely not...what idiot makes choices knowing that they are choosing the hardest, most painful route?!? But that is the beauty in all of this. God only revealed to us what we needed to know to make the right choices at the time. HE knew these two boys were ours. All we had to do was make the choice to do what He asked. So, am I GLAD I chose to do it...Absolutely! It was hard, maybe the second hardest year of my life to date. Was it worth it?...YES! Is there more to come? Definitely! Are we becoming a family? A weird, quirky, family? yes. Do I love that? A thousand times, YES.
I think it is funny that I am the combination of a Mom who is practical, responsible, down-to-earth, grounded, "not very adventuresome"(her own words), and fiercely devoted to her kids and family, and a Dad who was lovable, fun, happy-go-lucky (emphasis on the lucky), irresponsible, care-free, "throw caution to the wind", and overextended in almost every way. My family unit growing up was unconventional to say the least. In a society that put so much emphasis (in the 60's & 70's) on a traditional functional family unit (and rightly so), we stood out as "what not to do". God's grace is so amazing in that I get to have a "do-over". And guess what? I get to be quirky and unconventional while I do it (perfect!). It's like God really knows me ;-) and what makes me tick...like He is saying, "All of what you thought was crap while you were going through it growing up was training for what I have for you later...you're gonna laugh when you see it!" I couldn't have planned it, I wouldn't have chosen it. He chose me for it. I am just going with it.
So, when I think about my family...sisters, parents, husband, kids...I think about only one thing...LOVE. That's really all there is. Do we make each other mad, yell, betray, lie, cheat, fight, lash out? Yep. Do we confess, hold hands, hug, kiss, cry, pray, try again, relax, play? Of course. It is not about the feeling...it is about the DOing.
This is how I feel about it all..."I Can't Change the World", Brad Paisley