Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Reflecting on our Second Year

A couple of nights ago I was looking back through my journal entries of the past couple of years. It hit me that, unlike what I would have expected, the second year of our adoption was much harder than the first. In fact, I think that's probably why I blogged so much less. The first was plenty hard, as you all know. But it was a different hard, and somehow one that was easier talk about and in many ways easier to bear. It was a hard full of giardia, poop samples, medical frustrations, language frustrations, legendary tantrums, and constant adjustment. But I felt like a superhuman mom-archaeologist on the dig of a lifetime, who just had to keep pushing through to discover something wonderful.

This second year, it was like I was still on the same dig, swollen with bug bites, tired, slogging through mud, mud and more mud, and still not reaching the buried treasure. And I was no longer high on the excitement of my big dig. I needed results to keep my going--and I wasn't getting them. Last year the hard wasn't about intestinal bugs. The hard was feeling frustrated all the time--losing patience, losing hope some days, and losing my cool a lot. It was about feeling like a bad mom--feeling guilty all the time--and wondering why the good feelings weren't coming along to balance out the bad as fast as they needed to.

This is something hard to talk about, or blog about. It's something, frankly, that most people don't want to hear about. They don't want to believe it.

But now that we've begun year three, I'm optimistic. I feel like we're close to discovering the good stuff. It's just hard to hang in there for so long. But we are hanging in, and we will keep hanging in.

5 comments:

Lisa said...

Em...I look and you and Steve, and I look at your kids. They are smiling when I see them. I just see normality. Looks good to me.

Lisa said...

Em...I look and you and Steve, and I look at your kids. They are smiling when I see them. I just see normality. Looks good to me.

Emily said...

Guess what? I didn't adopt my kids (although I must have since they can be like aliens) but I still went through a long phase of losing my patience, losing my drive, etc. I'm kinda more optimistic now as I'm collecting better and more realistic solutions. You are just doing it faster than me! Here's my theory: you have a lot of kids. I have a lot of kids. It's bound to happen, especially when you expounded your numbers so quickly. You are adjusting just fine and so am I but it doesn't just happen. You have to go through the muck to figure out where to step for a more sure footing and with less mess. Being a mom knocks off our rough edges slowly. That's why grandmas are so nice and patient. (Until they get too old and crotchety- some anyway!) You are a super role model for me because you are searching for the answers so intently and with definite purpose. One of life's best lessons for me is what your friend Lisa said about normality. It's OK to be normal. It does not mean you settled. It means it's ok to be normal. Pres. Hinckley said once that most children grow up to be normal adults, etc. and I'm letting go of all those expectations that trap me into feeling bad about how we're doing. You have a heavier yoke because you are taking more on than most, but I think you are just the woman for the job.
This comment is so long, it's a blog post. You don't have to publish it, sorry! I just wanted you to know I think you are great and I can identify with your words albeit I'm not in your shoes. We are all mothers trying to help these children cross that bridge to being adults infused with all the love and wisdom we can infuse them with. And it ain't easy. Keep diggin, my friend. The treasure does exist.

emily said...

I have had similar reflections as I begin another new year with my family. Our first year together was easier to get through because of the newness of it all. This past year has been a lot tougher for me; I lost my cool way more than I care to admit, but....it is what it is. And I'm willing to keep trying to make it better. And it's a lot easier to keep trying when there are two other great Emilys around me doing the same. Thanks for your examples of perseverance!

Emily said...

Lisa/Emily/Emily,
Thank you for your comments! I take strength from them. Our feelings are much the same I'm sure, even if our situations are different. I'll be plenty happy with normal--I'd give anything to give my kids normal right now. Let's just hope we're getting there. And Emily E, your normal is out the window with #6 on Friday. Wowsers! Good luck.