*I originally wrote this in 2015, five months after we brought our two boys home from Brazil. I’m so glad I didn’t know then how much harder this road would be. I don’t think my heart could have handled it. As much as we want to know what’s ahead for us, I think it’s a blessing we don’t.
I still re-read this one, especially on those days your son is yelling, “You will never understand me because you weren’t born in Brazil”. Ugh, the adoption road is not for the faint of heart.
I’ll be honest, life is hard. For the last 4-6 weeks (I’m losing count) we’ve been in a tough season with our family transition. It’s nothing we didn’t expect, just our current reality.
Adoption is beautiful, but adoption is messy. On both sides.
For an adopted child, getting a new family doesn’t erase the pain and loss they’ve gone through. It doesn’t erase the years of neglect and abandonment. They still feel it, but they don’t understand.
We can’t undo what’s been done, but we can help them heal. We can’t fix their past, but we can help them thrive in their future, their scars are a part of their new story.
Getting Through a Day
My goal right now is to love my kids the best I can and point them to Jesus (and maybe teach them to take showers regularly). In the meantime, here are a few practical things I’m currently doing to make it through.
1. Small, measurable goals.
I signed up to run a half marathon. I wanted a goal that required me to get outside of parenting and required some extra discipline. The half marathon is at Disneyland on Mothers Day and will mark 6 months having the boys in our family. It’s both a challenge and reward (for all of us). When days are tough I tell myself, “It hasn’t even been six months!”.
2. Early Bedtime
My kids go to bed early. Like when the sun is still out early. And I don’t feel bad in the least. Knowing that I can mentally check-out around 7:30 makes the days easier to manage and gives Filipe and I time together. They get a full nights sleep, I get some down time, and no matter what happened that day, tomorrow we can start fresh. Early bedtime keeps me sane.
I used to watch a lot more serious TV- cop shows, the investigative type, etc. Now, I can’t handle them. I need to laugh, so I find things to laugh about. Jimmy Fallon is a regular on our TV. In fact, I’m watching him now as I type. Thank you notes is on, my favorite.
*I have resumed watching more realistic television again (watched West Wing last summer), but The Tonight Show is still a regular.
4. Enjoy the Simple Things
Sometimes we make life harder by restricting all enjoyment from our life. I do not think it’s wise to go on a strict diet during a hard season. When we’re going through a hard day/season, the simple pleasures of life have a way of putting a smile on our face. And if you’ve been through a really hard season (whether it’s parenting or caregiving), you’ll take a smile anyway you can. For us, a little red wine is something we enjoy occasionally (your drink of choice might be lavender chamomile tea or a La Croix). Enjoy the chocolate, hire a babysitter, and go see a movie. NOT every night, but occasionally give yourself good things too.
5. Give Grace
The most important person for me to show grace to right now is myself. I could do a lot of things better- I could type out a full page list. But I’m doing my best and each day strive to do better.
I spend most of my day praying for wisdom and asking God for strength. So much about what I’m doing doesn’t come natural, I’m completely out of my comfort zone. But as uncomfortable it is, it’s so good and it will be worth it.
No matter what you’re facing, God gives us grace and strength for hard days. I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe you don’t have kids, but maybe you’re surrounded by difficult people. Hopefully, you can look to God for the wisdom to get through your hard days.