(it took me a few days to write this with lots of interruptions) Today, after talking to two (now THREE) separate foster care moms, i realized that i have never done anything close to this in my life. ETHAN is like being my 'first child'. You know, like me-as i am a first-born, where we are the ones where the parents learn on! THAT is what i am seeing with Ethan. It feels like i am a first time parent!! As i started asking for insight, wisdom, help, prayers, encouragement from just a few people who have been there before...i realized that sometimes THIS parenting is almost the total opposite of what i would "normally' parent....as in this parenting is NOT what you may do instinctively!
Nope, i wasn't ready for being home alone in this adventure. Nope, i wasn't ready to have no time for recovery from jet lag and get right into LIFE. Nope, i wasn't ready for the orphanage behaviors. Nope, i wasn't ready for the issues that come with having a son who lived three years without a Mommy, Daddy, sisters, and brother-in-law. Nope, i wasn't ready for the exhaustion. Nope, i wasn't ready for the poop....the stench....the WORK/MESS of the clean up...the reality that it got ON me more than i ever dreamed poop could. Nope, i wasn't ready for the inability to get out, to BE WITH people, to TALK to people, to FEEL a hug, to hear an encouraging word SPOKEN to me. Nope, i wasn't ready for the feeling as if we were the only ones who were struggling after reading of SO MANY stories where there weren't issues like what we were dealing with. Nope, i wasn't ready to feel that i was not good enough to be Ethan's mommy. Nope, i wasn't ready for the overwhelming emotions. Nope, i wasn't ready for all of these things happening at once. ( i could keep going but you get the picture )
One (now TWO and i don't know of what the third went through) of these moms said that she was feeling 'just like me' when she first started fostering. I doubt that she will understand what those words meant to me! Thank you A. It gave me such hope!!! You see, this mother is the mother of....well, LOTS and LOTS of children. It was as soon as that FB messaging was done that i realized HOPE! I am LEARNING....just like i learned with our eldest daughter, now married.
1) I HAVE been parenting here at home alone for way over a full year....those first few months after Scott got his job were SO INTENSELY hard BUT then...we both learned and adapted to our new 'normal'. Those months seemed like forever! BUT THEY WERE NOT! They were but a wisp of time when you look at my 45 years of life! Yep, AND i am 45 years old! Nope, i do not feel old........BUT there ARE days where i DO feel my age! ((that is NOT old ;} just older than the thirty-year-olds that i love))
2) I have had children before.....but NEVER twins!!! WOWZA!!! Both with lives that need special attention and DIFFERENT kinds of attention! It is a completely DIFFERENT parenting.
3) Yep, i did read the books. Yep, i DID do the classes and then some. (another tid bit from another foster/adoptive mom that i love dearly...."you could read all of the adoption books and still not be ready for THAT child"
Knowing that someone DOES understand, that people HAVE felt like i have been, that people HAVE gotten through it, that people HAVE even adopted again after their many months of hard struggles with their first adoption, HAVE learned to love that child in the way that that child should go, etc..... has helped bring HOPE to me and i have needed HOPE for a long time.
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew
PRAYER REQUESTS....Ethan and the whole family's transitioning; his health as we prepare for his tonsil, adenoid, and ear tube surgery coming up at the end of the month; our extended family reunion would be a time of rest, renewal, and bonding that wouldn't have been done without going as a whole family- it is in about two weeks and it IS a concern as to how Ethan AND Sophina will do there and IF i will have ANY time to be with the rest of the people myself; for our Ally who is in China on a missions trip for the next five weeks....and much more but you can just pray as the Lord leads! We so much appreciate your encouragement...it is HUGE to me AND Scott, your PRAYERS....just can't do this without it, and your WORDS....BIG for me!