Today makes 6 weeks that our new family has been together. If I had birthed Jac0b, it would be time for me to go back to work. My body would be healed, he would be eating a little less frequently and we’d be getting on a good schedule.
In a lot of ways, I feel like we are getting into a groove like that. The shock of a new family member is wearing off. And yet, on my first day back to work after Emma, I bawled like a baby. I did some of that last night too.
Even though everyone is beginning to find their place, I have begun to mourn both the family we were and the one I had envisioned for us.
I don’t mean to say I have any regrets about adopting or any of it is a disappointment. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt we are meant to be a family.
There have been moments–glimpses of hope–that I have seen.
Jac0b and I cracking up laughing at Emma and Lexi singing their own version of Let it Go from the back seat.
Watching Jac0b absolutely shine like a rock star at soccer practice. (Y’all, he is REALLY good).
Him cuddling with me at night when we read. And then writing a story at school about how he loves it.
Pulling up into the driveway and seeing Jac0b sitting with Scott on the lawn mower cutting the yard.
Seeing all three of the kids laughing and jumping with the water hose on the trampoline.
All such good moments.
And yet, a lot of the time I am breaking up arguments between the kids. Lexi and Jac0b in particular are both a little too stubborn for their own good. They’re trying to parent one another and prove themselves right about everything and anything. Neither will give up. They even argue when they are both right. It’s insanity. The more I talk to moms, the more I hear this is normal sibling behavior for two strong-willed kids. And the more I hear that, I am both comforted and frightened. If this is the new norm, I am going to go stark raving mad.
Jac0b and I are making progress. Mostly I have learned to give a little grace, not to take it personally and yet, put my foot down a little harder. The behavior chart is working. The day after day of providing is working. It’s slow, but I see progress from 6 weeks ago. And yet, I see a different Jac0b when he’s with Scott on his own. We’re still not there yet.
It’s in those moments that I seriously wonder if I will be able to make it. Where is my little family of four? Where is that family of five that I imagined?
In the midst of this, Emma is quietly playing the neutral older sister. She has slipped into middle school and youth group. She is doing amazing. If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that starting elementary school was difficult for her. But she blossomed. She started middle school excited and ready. She had no hesitation whatsoever. As I watch our family struggle, I also feel like I’m watching my little girl slip away. Just when I want to slide in and spend the most time with her, she is slipping into her own little person that needs more freedom than ever. It’s breaking my heart.
And so, at this 6 week mark, I am both hopeful and sorrowful. Our little family is changing and it’s not easy on this momma.
But God is providing comfort and rest. With Him, his mercies are new every morning. I may have a moment of tears, but He meets me there and I get back up and do it again. He’s so good to bring just what I need when I need it. All things are possible with Him, including helping a changing family find their way.