Monday, December 22, 2008

Just Imagine

6 weeks have come and gone. I can hardly believe it. It has dawned on me over the last couple of days (and nights, ouch), that I thought things would have been different by now. As quickly as the 6 weeks have gone, the "honeymoon" is over ... and I'm just plain tired. I guess somewhere in my vast parenting skills .... I just assumed that we'd get Malachi home, treat him like a newborn, and have the same expected results as my other children. (Well, except Sam ... he was a mystery.) I thought if we just gave him lot's of love, responded to every cry like there was a desperate need, got him on a sleep/eat/play schedule, that he would mold into this perfect child that they write books about.

Okay, so maybe I didn't really have THAT unrealistic of expectations. In all honesty, I didn't know what to expect. But I didn't ever think that 6 weeks in, I would feel every day that with every step we make forward, we often take 2 (or 3) back. I didn't imagine he would still be scared to have me out of his sight (or put him down for that matter) 6 weeks later. I'm making this all sound horrible. It's not. Like I said, I'm tired. All the cute things Malachi did upon his arrival aren't as cute as they were at first ... but perhaps, dare I say, sometimes just kinda annoying. Things like throwing his bottle, or hitting his siblings (or chucking toys at them ... the kid has got an arm!), or pulling my hair while he eats, or his idea of a meal, or his cry that moves from low octave to high in seconds, the way he cries when a stranger even looks at him, and the way he won't let go of my hip. He's still really cute, still really playful and joyful, and still makes us laugh all the time. I'm just tired. I've looked around and realized that 6 weeks later, I still don't know how to cook dinner again, or get the laundry done, or the bathrooms clean. (Good for me, all the books tell me none of that stuff is important anyway.) I still don't know how to be a friend again, or to teach my kids, or to serve again. My, how life has changed since my desperation in our waiting for him to come home.

Now that the whining is out of the way .... let me say a few more things. I ended all of that with - "My, how life has changed since my desperation in our waiting for him to come home" statement for a reason. I still so vividly remember all the feelings that would attach without ending prior to his arrival. The ones of fear for his health, sadness for his life, wonder of the first 7 months of his life, heartache for him being alone, heart wrenching for him not being with his family. These feelings haven't ended. Now I just get to be the one holding him, trying to put all the pieces together ... of his life, of our family, of my mommy heart. I count it a blessing, and joy, and honor to be the one God chose to do this for little Malachi. He has blessed me beyond belief in just 6 short weeks. Perspective is something I'm never very good at. (Anyone surprised? Didn't think so.) But this time around, I know that Christ alone is daily granting me with the perspective I need to continue in this ... especially since all my mommy potions and tactics aren't working this time around.

This is what runs through my head on a regular basis now that he is home:

Imagine yourself as an Orphan. Imagine how many nights you go through your days and nights with cries that NEED response, only no one is there to respond. Imagine being left for who knows how long, probably in the middle of the night when no one could even see you, by someone that was supposed to love you the most and keep you safe. Imagine being so hungry you didn't even know what to do with food when you got it. Imagine forming habits that don't come naturally to most children - habits that are needed for survival. Imagine being found by strangers. Imagine being given to strangers - a lot of them, who happened to be caring for 75 other kids. Imagine doing that again, only with 50 kids in their care. Now imagine it one more time ... this time being given to funny colored strangers who speak in "alien" and with just 3 other kids around. Imagine having attention for the first time in your life. Imagine realizing that you hold a power to make people smile. Imagine everyone that passes you wanting to hold you, and kiss you, and touch you. Imagine eating only new foods. Imagine having someone trying to break you of all the bad habits in attempt to show you love and family and stability. Imagine being scared to go to sleep because your life has proven to you that what is there when you wake up is a mystery. Just imagine.

I do. A lot. And then I realize that my imagination is my sons reality. And my heart breaks for him all over again. So I pick him up again, I kiss him again, I tell the friend who wants to hold him that they still can't, I don't try to make him shake hands politely with a stranger, I tell his siblings he doesn't know better when he smacks them, I pick up his bottle (again, and again, and again...), I keep trying to find foods that he will like, I keep waking up with him for hours on end in the middle of the night when he's too afraid to go back to sleep, I keep whispering at the end of everyday - "I love you, and I WILL be here when you wake." I keep praying his soul gets it.

There is a song that Aaron wrote (well, he sorta stoll some of the words from this one really cool book.... ) that came to my head over an over the last few weeks before getting Malachi. I kept thinking it was strange, as it wasn't all that comforting to me at the time. The song went away for a while, then returned one day amidst a fit that Malachi was having. Now I understand. He now also hears this song daily, along with my whispers.

Bring Peace to My Soul,
Let your Healing Waters Flow again,
to my thirsty soul.
Earnestly I seek you,
my body longs for you.
In a dry and weary land.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
My soul clings to you ,
you uphold me with your right hand.
And I will praise you Lord,
as long as I live.

This is my prayer for my sweet child who has found a home.


Kara said...

WOW! Beautiful writing. Totally touched me.


Kara (YG friend)

kangaj1 said...

Jody, thanks for sharing your heart. Really.

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

Jody, I have tears in my eyes...
Some of the things your wrote I feel like I've said myself...
Yes, I am tired and I am trying to find the new "norm" in all the areas of my life while at the same time seeing things I let slide while I was in that "desperate waiting period." :( Hard. But mainly I am just tired and it's good for me to know that someone else is tired too. I will think of you when I am so and pray for you. It will do me good I am sure.
If there's one thing I've learned from the first 3 kids it's that I don't do well on little sleep (become a bit mental! :D) and I don't see out of what I'm in very well. But at least I can identify those things this time around. :)
Thanks for your honesty...I think it's one of the better "honesty posts" I've read. :) Thank you.
With love and prayers,

petiteblogger said...

I'm praying for Malachi- to feel secure in his new family and love, for you and Aaron and the kids to have the strength and abundance of patience to get through this tough time. Thanks for sharing so we can pray specifically... :)

He's just so cute- I'll point at his little finger anytime! :)

Nunez Family said...

Dearest Jody,
Tears in my eye's & lump in my throat. Your heart is so pure...thank you for that! Showing & sharing the truth of your world right now only makes you more of an example to new moms like me! I have so much fear sometimes & I'm realising that its all part of it huh? I was never supposed to just know how to do it all.
I get scared that I want to do it all over again but can I do it Again? But then I realise its not about me. Its about these children & God calling us to be the ones to care for them like you said. I have to believe that he will give us all we need when that time comes. Just like he will now for you:)
I wish I could help heal your heart a lil' but I know God will do that & carry you in a mighty way through this season! We think of you often...Sam was even trying to write Aron durring the Blazer/Denver game LOL! ( but he couldn't find an e-mal for him)

I will pray for you my sister! Many blessing to you all this Christmas:)
Love Ana Nunez

Karen said...

Jodi - I check in regularly with your blog to see how you and your family are doing! Adoption is a beautiful blessed thing - but it is also tough work! I so appreciate your honesty! Love you - Karen Wistrom

Ray and Lisa said...

You almost made me cry, because I can relate (especially the TIRED part:), because I know I'm not alone, and because I know what a blessing and honor we have been given to be the mommies of these precious kids. Thanks for your post.

Jori said...

Gotta love the "honest" mommy posts! Thanks for sharing ~ It helps to kow we are not alone in this "blessed adventure". Sometimes having to remember the facts first to make it through.
love, jori

brandts brandts everywhere said...

he is so blessed to have you. we all are.

Steve and Anna said...

Thank you for your post a tired woman home just barely one week with our little one, it is a good reminder to me to not make my expectations become my satisfaction and to keep leaning on Jesus for strength and wisdom and healing for these children. I will be praying for you and Malachi.
With love,

this is us said...

Love this post Jody. So many parts of this journey just can't be explained til you live through them. Your heart breaks in new ways, things you thought you knew you really don't, and on and on. It's good to find others along the way living the same thing to lean on.

Melodie Monberg said...

I love your honesty. Thank you. I am over here complaining about waiting and your post was a good reality check of what is still to maybe I should use this time a bit more constructively than just whining!


missy said...

i just read this old post of yours and wanted to comment on it's beauty. it is heartfelt and raw and full of gratitude. thanks. as we anticipate when it will be our turn to be done with the ache of waiting and move onto the realities of having our little one home, i will go back to this post again and again. may god hold you close.