Last Thursday was 10 weeks since we’ve adopted. Today is day 74.
As I look back on the last 2 1/2 months, it feels like we were all stuffed in a small blender and someone pressed high speed. Chopped up and meshed together. It’s certainly has been a whirlwind. I’ve said it a few times to some people in real life, and I’ll say it here: if everything stopped today and there were no future with Jacob, I would do the last 74 days all over again.
I have seen God more clearly and so closely that every single tear and frustration has been worth it. I have learned more about myself and have grown more in 74 days than I have in a long time. I am a better parent and mother–person, even–than I was 74 days ago.
My eyes have been opened to the plight of the orphan. Do I get it all? No, of course not, but now I see how complicated and painful it is for so many involved.
My eyes have been opened to special needs children. I have a new compassion for the families of children with special needs and illnesses. I want to send you buckets of money, coffee and hugs. I see your hard work better now.
My eyes have been opened to the hard work that blended families go through. I never realized how many similarities we have, but now I do and I have a new compassion for you.
My eyes have been opened to God’s comfort and protection. Never have I understood it more than the last 74 days.
My eyes have been opened to my own deep need and flaws. I have dealt with more things from my past in the last 74 days than my entire life.
My eyes have been opened to the searing need for a support group around those struggling. Encouraging and listening to those in need is good, and sometimes hard, work.
I’m not even sure I can list all the things the past 74 days have done for me and our family. And we have not even touched what it has done for Jacob. No, I would not trade it.
And here’s the good news. At 74 days, I can tell you that somewhere about 65 days, we hit some kind of turning point. I don’t know what it was, but we got to the end of last week and Scott and I looked at each other and said, hey, it’s been a good week.
We can’t quite put our finger on the difference, but there is definitely some sort of settling in going on.
Even my mom, who went to go eat lunch with Jacob mid-week last week, said he was acting differently–more relaxed or something. We certainly still have issues. Oh, don’t let me convince you our problems are gone. But, this week, maybe the blender was turned down a notch. We can feel it. We can’t quite articulate what happened, but something good is happening.
Jen Hatmaker wrote a post after 1 year of adopting her children and I have read it so many times over the past months. Our timetable seems different than hers, but it does seem to follow the same trend. I feel like we moved last week to what she coined Stage 3:
Somewhere around the 4th or 5th month, you realize the fits are under ten minutes and only happening every fourth day. This alone is reason to live. You’re out of the weeds. Your little one has been pulled from the burning building and subsequent terror and spaz-o-rama, and she is now in triage. You are definitely not out of the woods – the assessments, the precision surgery, the rehab is still to come – but she is out of immediate danger and stabilizing.
Evidence of her preciousness keeps peeking out. You see her real self more and more frequently. She is feeling a teeny bit safer, just beginning to trust your love.
As for you, you’re coming out of the fog. You start returning phone calls. You brave a Date Night. You look at your bio kids and ask, “Oh, hi there. So how have you been the last seven months?” Maybe your new role as Trauma Counselor won’t be permanent after all. You color your two inches of gray and get a haircut. You step on the scale and realize you’ve either lost or gained ten pounds from stress. Okay, it’s gained. I’m just trying to give you hope.
I relate to this except the fits she described were made mostly by me, not Jacob.
And for the record, I gained five pounds from the stress. My sister’s wedding is this weekend and I can barely fit my bridesmaid dress I ordered this Spring (I ordered some wraps. I’ll let you know how they are. Also, WEDDING WEEK!).
As I’m typing this, Jacob has finished his bath and is in his footed Batman pajamas. Scott is tickling him in the living room. I hear the girls getting their showers before bed. I’m getting ready to run out to the store to buy some groceries so we can pack lunches tomorrow. I guess what I’m saying is we’re doing it. These 74 days have been so hard, but God has proven himself faithful. He has met me every single time I’ve cried, every single time I’ve had to make a decision, every single time I’ve needed to love when I didn’t feel like it. I am beginning to understand James, the brother of Jesus’, words and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.