Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Friday

I’m starting a new feature here on my little blog.  I’ve stolen borrowed the idea from my friend, Jessi, whom I highly recommend you visit over at Life with Jack. (But don’t click over yet, because once you do, you’ll be hooked forever – Jackpants couldn’t get any cuter and Jessi is multi-talented)!  Every Friday I’m going jump back in time and revisit something…..anything….could be a time that was fun or sad or life-altering.  Maybe I’ll just post a picture or maybe I’ll feel like writing a lot.  My goal is to at least show up every Friday and post something!
This week, thanks to my dear friend, Jes & her husband Ryan, who are in Ecuador at this very moment adopting their incredibly beautiful daughter, E; I am feeling nostalgic.  I’ve been in contact with them this week about their experiences with E and the bonding process and it’s taking me back to our experiences those first days with each of our children.  It’s crazy how quickly memories fade.  Don't get me wrong, I can still remember every single second, but the ‘hardness’ of it has softened over time.  The drama and the fear that I know I felt in those first minutes, days and weeks isn’t sitting front and center anymore. 
Kamila - July 2008
For those who have adopted children from hard places, children who have experienced trauma, older children, children with medical needs, you know what I’m talking about.   Parenting in general is hard work, but it is compounded when you have to travel to a foreign country to bring home a child who does not speak your language, who is older, perhaps has medical issues, physical pain, emotional issues that stem from years of neglect or abuse; and to be on your own with no family or friends to drop by and help.  You’re also away from the comforts of home while trying to take care of said child who incidentally may want nothing to do with you.  You’re managing all of this after waiting and fighting for years to be with your child.  You’re trying to do what’s best, trying not fail, while trying to manage your own feelings of rejection and exhaustion.  That’s a lot to overcome and it’s hard and it’s painful, but it’s also joyous as you watch your child begin to come out of their shell and grow to trust you and like you; and as the weeks and months go by, actually begin to even love you. 
Esen's Gotcha Day - April 24, 2007
I’ll never forget walking up to Esen’s orphanage that first time.  I was filled with excitement and anticipation until they brought him out.  Then, my instinct was to turn and run.  I was so scared because he looked so sick and so small.  I thought:  “There is no way I can do this.”  Obviously, I didn’t (run, that is) or we wouldn’t be where we are now.  That experience and those feelings made me stronger.   Acknowledging them and allowing myself to be open to the experience opened a whole new world for us.  
Meeting Marissa for the first time - October 31, 2009
Two and half years later when we walked into that New Orleans NICU to meet our fragile, little Noodle, I felt ready for absolutely anything the Universe had to throw at us.  Little did I know the ride we were about to go on, but we have managed and we continue to grow strong.  Some days, I have it all together and things go smoothly and some days I can't tell my you know what from a hole in the ground.  I've learned that it's okay.  I've learned that I am so not Superwoman and that my kids are okay with that.  I've learned that I can screw up and the Earth continues to rotate on it's axis.  
Court Day - December 7, 2011
 I guess my point is, hold on tight, but don't be afraid to let yourself go.  Let yourself feel the the good, bad and ugly feelings.  Let yourself ‘fail’ (you’re probably not actually failing anyway).  I can’t believe how many times over the last 6 years there’s been a little voice in my head that has said “you can’t” or “you’ll never be able to” or “that’s crazy” or “you shouldn’t,”  and we’ve done it anyway.  The fact that we’ve persevered in spite of those voices and the negativity is the only reason all of our children are here.  And, it's the reason we continue to fight for the one who's not. 

Happy Friday - have a great weekend!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You guys are the greatest people I know. The things you have been through, and keep marching on to achieve your dream to save these children is so admirable. It is an honor to call your family my friends. You have no idea how it touches my heart when I walk into your home, and the kids give their unconditional love, and call us Uncle Peck, and Aunt Jeanie. Love you guys!!!;>)