Now is a VERY rare moment! Very rare indeed!
All 3 of our children are asleep! I was beginning to think those days of “nap time,” where I actually got a true moment of rest, peace or chance to collect my thoughts and reset my mommy brain for “round 2” of the day, or the chaos as it sometimes is, were over for good, or at least until preschool begins next fall. But alas, after the crying and whining reached new decibels today napping for Mahlia was not really “optional” this afternoon. Her little body collapsed into sleep in under 2 minutes despite the fact that she screamed at me “I’m not sleeping!” as I put her back into her pack-n-play after round three of “I need to go potty (said in drawl whine)…[waiting for it], I can’t go! (in upbeat happy toddler, maybe I’ll get out of my nap voice).”
Into a diaper and into bed she went. See you in 90 minutes (or more if I’m lucky!)
So, I feel behind. Not like my blog has ever been a thing of real regular update or use but considering the news of our family and the level of emotions lately, I’m surprised I haven’t done more processing in writing either for my private eyes or my silly blog. I also should really be recording the hilariousness of potty training which is going on in our home. Perhaps I will have a top 10 list when it’s over. It will be over one day right? Like at some point I will be able to say finitely, they are “potty trained.” Or will I be over it by the time it comes and just never really tell myself it’s done? Let me know.
As of now, the exhaustion has been thick. I feel like the emotions of unknown, of waiting, of trying to prepare for the hardest of loss brought us to a level of exhaustion so heavy we couldn’t feel it. Then, in a moment, everything shifted. Everything was new. Everything was covered in a blanket not even of hope but of peace and life and yet, we are tired.
I felt that Saturday morning after court like I could go back to sleep and sleep for at least 3 days without getting up and that maybe then I’d be fractionally caught up on the sleep I needed to restore my body, my heart and my soul. A good friend from my old Eagle Lake Camp days used to say “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is sleep.” I wish I could ask him to come sit with our three kids for a week so I could be really spiritual.
Part of the tired though is a layer of darkness; a depression of sadness despite positive outcome, a re-adjusting to a new story, a heap of hormones that I forget are apart of who I am as a woman. It’s one step closer to forever (whatever that means), and now a growing impatience over wanting to know what else and who else make up that “forever story.” I just can’t seem to stay in a “resting” place of peace with trusting God’s plan and just watching it unfold. I want a peek at the next page a little early, I want to know the end of the story. I also want desperately to not want it. I want to rest. Not sleep but rest in Christ. He promises to restore and restoration is where I am in need. I’m totally that person that in the midst of a somewhat stressful novel will flip to the back pages and read to relieve my anxiety and then after I’ve read it will struggle to continue to read the book because I ruined it for myself. The details mean less when I know the ending. In the same way, I feel like I have the desire to jump to the end of the journey but I forget that the journey is the whole point, or at least a bigger piece than the end result. It’s hard to live that way.
This darkness is also coming from the knowledge that while we were attempting to prepare for a gut-wrenching decision that would mean saying goodbye, another family was preparing for a new start and a welcoming in of B. A new member to their family. Their hopes were dashed, there expectations were crushed, they have a suffering now to endure, an empty bedroom to cry in, and that is so hard to swallow, again. It is the reality of adoption that in order for the joy of a child to come in one family, the child and his/her biological family suffer. That once more, a gain always has a loss. In this case, a big loss. This over-empathizing heart of mine just aches all too often for the pain that I am not actually enduring or causing but that I imagine all too vividly and even feel somewhat guilty over. For my loss to be avoided someone else suffers. It’s icky. I hate it.
Some days I just wish I had a trap door where I could fall through and take 5 from the emotional, the physical even the spiritual. When you’re a parent, there really isn’t an “easy button” or a “take 5” option. It’s just what it is. Last night it was an up till midnight (yes I need to learn to go to bed sooner), then it was up an hour later to a screaming baby. An hour of attempting to calm, soothe, feed, change and do anything to alleviate the screaming. But the earth shattering, never heard before screams, of this precious 8 month old continued. I panicked and packed for the ER. One over-loaded diaper bag, lots of heavy, tired muscles, a bundled screaming baby and tired mommy set out at 2:30am for the crowded waiting room of the hospital. Of course the moment we arrived, all was well in the world and the decibels had been returned to normal and little miss A was quietly and busily checking out the new scene and smiling at strangers in an attempt to make new friends. “What the heck child!” Well, I was there, might as well make sure all is well.
It was. No issues, no burst ear drum as I half expected to hear, no nothing. My slip of paper for discharge said two words: “fussy baby.” For real! When did I become the mom who goes to the ER with a “fussy baby?” I suppose, it was sometime in between becoming a parent and feeling a responsibility not only to our kids but also to the families who helped usher them into the world, and the build up of paranoia after becoming a foster mom. It’s so weird. We love our kids, I mean like crazy love. Like, I’d gladly die in a heartbeat to know that it would ensure their safety and ability to know God’s love. Yet, with my own biological child I probably would not rush to the ER at 2am. In fact, even recently with Mahlia, I didn’t. When Mahlia had an almost 105 fever I diligently cared for her and prayed over her but I gave it through the night and at least waited till morning for the ER trip.
Somehow, there is this added level of responsibility when you care for another’s child. You love them yes, but you also are aware that in this world we live in everything is scrutinized and judged. Every action studied and questioned. I think my exhaustion is in part because while I KNOW I can’t be a “perfect” mom, being a foster mom has got me constantly trying to achieve that instead of resting in who I am as a mom. I’m still attempting to achieve an unreachable goal because I feel “under the microscope.” One day it will be nice to not feel that but until then I continue to think of how I would do it and then how another mom might and then how the “perfect mom” might and I go with the best of those choices that would be the easiest for others to agree with from the outside. It’s not all “momsense” in here but I’m trying to cope with the nonsense that is striving for the impossible.
So, A woke up and I stopped writing in the midst of thoughts, I don’t know where I was going with any of that rambling, or if I was actually going to hit the publish button on the blog but since I mentioned exhaustion I just thought I’d share. Tonight, after a rich and deep phone call, a large grocery shopping trip, making a casserole for MOPs, pouring a cup of tea and sitting down to relax with John, I heard B cry. B cries usually for one reason at night. He threw up. Ahh yes, it’s true, that was the cry. So, John went on clean up duty because I am incapable. (If I try it just adds to the mess.) I comforted B and got him cleaned up in the tub and then once all was clean and his bed re-made and B in it, and Mahlia moved into our room for the night I went down to finish that cup of tea with John before going to bed. Afterward, we put our cups in the dishwasher. I told John I’d run the dish washer and here’s what I did…
Yes, I put a scoop of baby formula into the soap dispenser. I think I’m tired. On that note, good night.