Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bold Faith

With plane tickets in hand and empty suitcases waiting to be filled, I was struggling. Struggling with the enormity of what is about to happen with meeting (and leaving) Ryan. Struggling with accepting how very different this adoption has been compared to McKenzie's. There were just so many things weighing so heavily and the more I worked and planned and relied on myself to fix all this anxiety, the worse it got. I tried blame shifting the problem on all sorts of things, but last night I was trying to fall asleep and I were called to be bold in your faith. 

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of that, and the farther I veered off the path, the harder I struggled with everything that is happening. I know with absolute certainty that God has called us to these children, but I've made the mistake of letting fear of the unknown and fear of change take over. I haven't been trusting the Lord to go before me, I've been relying on myself to handle everything about a journey that isn't even about me. It's about Him, and honoring Him by saying yes to His will for my life, and being bold and finding strength in Him. He is faithful, and He is in charge, and He will bring Ryan home, and it will all be for His glory. My job is to obey, and get out of the way.

For the first time in weeks I slept like a baby. It's so very freeing to know that we have a Heavenly Father that comforts us when we're fearful, but also reminds us that as Christians we aren't called to be comfortable, we're just called. I woke up renewed, peaceful, and so excited about the journey ahead. Less than 2 weeks to go! 

will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. 

Isaiah 42:16

Monday, June 8, 2015

Not all who wander are lost

It's 3:30am and I'm wide awake debating whether or not I should go for a run since sleep won't be happening anytime soon. It's been a couple weeks of roller coaster emotions. We got travel dates to go meet Ryan and I have been going back and forth between being incredibly excited to finally meet him, to terrified about what I might see when I do meet him, to overwhelmed by all the things I need to do to prepare to go, to being really sad that Dave isn't going to be there with me, but yet totally happy that I'll get to experience the whole Europe thing with an awesome friend. I'm all over the place and yesterday it just all kind of hit at once and it was pretty overwhelming. 

This adoption process has been so much different than when we adopted Kenzi. Dave has a different job that keeps him away all the time. Either he's traveling or gone 12-14 hours a day so I'm pretty much doing the single parent thing while trying to get everything done for the adoption and keep up with the kids and the house and fundraising and lots of crazy life stuff that keeps happening and to be honest I feel like I'm drowning. I don't know how to juggle this many balls in the air by myself and I'm always lacking in at least one area. I might get all my adoption paperwork done but I have a mountain of laundry and a naked kid who can't find a clean towel after their bath. Or maybe I'm rocking the fundraising thing but that means I had to stay up all night and make my house look like a ribbon bomb went off and my kids ate frozen pizza for dinner...again. Or maybe I'm completely on point with the mom stuff and my kids are all squeaky clean and smelling sweet and we did crafts and went to the park...but I have 40 packages that really needed to get labeled and shipped out. I could go on and on but you get the idea. Couple all that stress and feelings of inadequacy with having basically no adult interaction 90% of the time and it really makes for a sad situation! Now with doing everything to prepare for this trip by myself, the anxiety is even worse. I can't eat, I can't sleep, I'm constantly in a state of "OMG I'm going to screw everything up...I'm going to forget this, or that, omg I'm going to get lost or forget my flight number...or or or..." And it's just nonstop. When we were adopting Kenzi I was so chilled out about the first trip, nothing but excitement and I know it was because I was kind of just the sidekick. Dave handled everything, I just had to pack a suitcase and show up. This time, he's swamped with work and as much as he wants to help he just can't. He can't even be there with me and that fact is hitting me a lot harder than I expected it too. Don't get me wrong I'm so excited to have a week of "girl time" that I can barely function...but I kind of equate it to having a baby and your husband not being there with you. It's sad. 

If anything good has come out of all this, it's that I'm learning to take the things I have no control over and lay them down at Jesus' feet, without trying to pick them back up again. It's a slow process though, but I'm trying. I used to kind of roll my eyes when people would say "satan hates adoption" but I get it now. Only when I'm in the adoption process do I constantly feel like a battle is raging inside of me. I know that sounds dramatic but it's absolutely the most accurate description and it's the most exhausting, draining feeling. Our first adoption almost cost us our marriage, we had to fight and claw our way back from a really bad place, and God used all of that to make us stronger. The fact that I've been able to not only keep it together enough to do all the adoption stuff without Dave being able to help much but also be compassionate towards his feelings of guilt about not being as involved as he would like to be is a true testament of how far we've come in the last few years. So, I know God will use all of these spiritual battles to mold us into better, stronger people so we can face everything that is coming our way with Ryan and all of his medical needs, but that doesn't make the battle any easier and it's hard to stay focused on the finish line sometimes when you're struggling, and tired, and often times feeling really alone.

 I know there are other adoptive mamas out there who get it, and probably feel really lonely too. It's not easy to talk about the scary side of adoption, and there are a lot of us who lose friends and family because adoption is time consuming, and not so fun, and it changes you, and people don't know what to say so they just avoid us, or maybe people just don't agree with your decision to adopt especially where special needs are you're kind of left with all these feelings and struggles and you look around and everyone is gone. One of my friends who, like me, has adopted more than once said that some days the difference between throwing in the towel, and having the courage to keep pushing forward, was a phone call from a friend, or a coffee invite, just a little something that reminded her that she wasn't battling alone. How accurate is that?! Adoption is really hard and we all hear the same lines "you chose this" or "you knew what you were getting into" and those comments are only socially acceptable when said to an adopting mother. No one would have the stones to say "well you're the one who chose this"
to a pregnant woman who was nervous about childbirth! So, I guess I say all this to say...I get it. I'm there too and I'm fighting all these adoption demons too. I know without a doubt that no matter what struggles the process brings, if God called you to this wild adoption ride, it will all be ok in the end. 

Maybe there is someone who needed to hear all this and that's why I'm rambling at 3am. Sometimes it helps to know that you're not the only one who is going through a hard time. Adoption is hard, it's the hardest thing I've ever done, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get to it if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other and always, always remember to let God go before us.