The hard times and the good


Today was the day I was going to write about my son’s one month home. He’s been with us one month. I have so many pictures of this trouble-maker, you have no idea. And videos. And accomplishments. And joy. And love. And a high number of just his finger. (Stop pointing at the camera, my love, and keep doing the cute thing you were doing. I give up. Cameras are too cool and must be pointed at.)

But life is happening and it’s too much to find the time to write. I will share–believe me these picture demand to be shared–but not until next week. I hope next week. After we’re back home from medical travels. (Oh I’m not looking forward to having Mr.  Trauma  back on a plane. God help us.)

You see today is hard. Today my husband is sick. Today we missed the school bus. Today Roland has an appointment to get casts and we’re going to the appointment but refusing the casts… again… because our son is not ready. Tomorrow we fly to Philadelphia and Delaware for medical treatment for both kids. We arrive so late that we can’t get into the three Ronald McDonald Houses and must get a hotel. Today I called the rental car company and found out our reservation wasn’t put in. Today I feel defeated, busy and stressed.

But where my focus really is, even if it shouldn’t be, is that today is the last day of work for me. I had to leave my career. It was work-from-home, but my position required coming into the office for some much-needed meetings, and I just can’t. I don’t know when I could as my little one learns he is safe and that we won’t leave him. My family demands so much right now. I was pulling all-nighters to get my work done. Leaving my job to care for my family has made me feel like the biggest quitter ever. Six years I put into my company. Six years. I won’t even have more free time if I do this, just a couple more hours sleep a night… when Roland lets me. Oh and I’m good at what I do. I get a sense of self from what I do. A sense of pride. And we rely on my income. I don’t know what we’re going to do, although I know we have a few months to figure it out. Today is hard. Not just because I have a ton of work to do for my company before I leave everything in other’s hands, but because this was my life. The life I liked.

“If this life I lose I will follow you.”

This life is a blip. A blip. One tiny speck on our timeline of eternity. In that perspective it’s easy to lose this life to gain so much more. Is my son worth it? Damn right he is. Damn right.

(Yep cussing on the blog. First clue that I’m overly emotional.)

And I haven’t packed for Philly yet. In fact (shocker) I haven’t unpacked from Ukraine yet. Heh.

So instead of writing about all the joys of the first month, I’m going to leave you with some of the beauty in the pain.

I’ve talked a lot about the first three days of non-stop, mindless screaming from our new little son. (It helps that I’ve spoken with another family who adopted out of his orphanage and some of my  suspicions  were supported.) That was hard. But by day four, I don’t know, I was filled with love for this screamer. It could have been the wonderful prescription medication I was on, but something was different that day. We had just settled into the uncomfortable knowledge that this could be our life now. It could be our life for months or years. And we needed to function despite that. It’s scary when after three days you have no light at the end of the tunnel. Three days is long when your child is screaming at top volume, but it’s longer when you don’t know if it’s just three days or a lifetime.

Want to see a glimpse of day four? Turn your volume down and click here. By day four I loved this little boy. By day four his screams were not high-pitched anymore, and he seemed to be asking for comfort instead of reacting to an unseen terror. I held him on the couch after not showering or brushing my hair or teeth for three days. I held him and whispered love to him. I was able to smile–a small miracle. My husband took a video. We wanted to capture daily life.

Then, and I cry as I remember this, then this happened: This. For the first time ever he came back to us. Back out of the world he was in. I can’t describe how for three days his eyes were just blank, unfocused. Then he started to make eye contact. Then he didn’t thrash when I touched his face. He came back. He came back.

And he made kissy faces. “More kisses mom. Yep right there on my forehead. Perfect.”

When I wrote the blog post about (not) living happily ever after, I was being very honest. I thought maybe people would not want to adopt after reading how we were adjusting. Then THREE people emailed me after that and said that they read the post and were definitely going to adopt. One started the process. Another picked an agency. A third is definitely, seriously considering it a few years down the road. Wow. Wow. Really guys? After I post about screaming? Welcome my fellow crazies! Haha!

They get it; it’s about people.

Now do me a favor and click here. Read  this story and then you can tell me that we’re all crazy. (We won’t argue.) Go ahead. I read that link and cried my eyes out. It speaks truth to me. It lets me know I’m not a freak show for wanting to go back and get another one, or support others getting theirs even though I know it’s so hard. Just read it. (Despite the amazing support we’ve received, we still have the same crowd mentioned in the story.) Do me a favor and just read it. I didn’t write it, but we sure lived it.

See you in a week, friends. Hold onto this promise from me, incredible joyful stories are coming. Just give us one more week or so of hard. Pray for us.

7 Responses to “The hard times and the good”

  1. Colleen says:

    I am here for you. I know we didn’t get to hang out a ton in Kiev, but I know we would totally do that if you lived closer! :) I cannot tell you how much I understand all of this. We will be praying for you guys specifically for these issues this week, and let me know if you ever need to talk. You have a precious family and they are the biggest gift from God (apart from your salvation through Christ!)- everything else is chaff, sister. :) Thank you for living your life to testify to that…

  2. Colleen says:

    P.S. How is Chelsea? We have been praying for her… :)

  3. Misha says:

    I have wanted to adopt my entire life and reading the stories you post of your journey has done nothing but strengthen that desire. Thank you for sharing all you have been through, the good and the difficult.

  4. abby says:

    oh. my.

    Praying for you guys; and thank you for the perspective rearrangement. This is the blip friend, you’re right. a blip where we have a calling:) appreciate your honesty and your passion for doing what God asks

  5. C says:

    Wow, I hear your pain about the job. That’s rough. I’m sure some day it’ll all make sense and you’ll see how it worked out (eventually) to where you are using those specific gifts and experiences again…yada yada…but for now…it just stinks. From reading your blog, I’m certain you are making a wise choice…but…it still stinks and I’m sorry.

  6. Melissa Rowe says:

    You are planting seeds for sure. :] Even in the pain, I think people see the bigger picture of what you’re doing, and what people like you are doing. I think despite the hardships your testimony shows people “maybe I can do this…” I think you are doing great with everything, I really do. I’ll be praying Philly goes well. :]

  7. Linda Wesley says:

    I am so grateful for sweet Roland. Even though I have met him only once it is so clear that he is yours, and that he is mine (as in, my nephew). He belongs in our family. Even though many things are struggles in this time, your obedience to God and the honor you show him by loving your precious family (emotionally and in actions) is beautiful to see, and reflects his glory back to us, to those around you that watch. Thank you for what you are teaching your community and the world, whoever among us chooses to listen. May you continually experience God’s abundant grace and love.

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