Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Sunday, April 20, 2008

If my life were a book...

the chapter I would title "Bringing Home New Life" is ending and a new chapter is beginning.
I'm not sure what I would call the phase we are entering. Time will tell what it holds. For now, I am allowing myself to grieve the end of this stage. To me, it is a sad ending. Not sad in a 'I want to have more biological babies' way, but sad in a 'that went by in a hurry' way.
I believe our future does hold adopted children. I cling to that as I relax to enjoy this season with our beautiful family. It's mind boggling how God can change a person. I never, ever thought this would be me. Never. 5 babies and finding myself mourning the fact that there will be no more. I credit only that Amazing Grace of God for this in which my life has become. The family life we have been able to build far exceeds my every expectation. I think often of the lyrics of a favorite worship song...."You have given me more than I could ever have wanted, and I want to give you my heart and my soul." This is it for me. THE life. More than I ever could have wanted. Better than good. Babies and children fill our house, making it a *loud* home and life is sweet. We are very rich.
While it is fresh on my mind, I want to pass along something for my children, especially the girls, who may become moms one day.

To my kids,

This is what I would like to share with you if/when you enter the season of your own life, "Bringing Home New Life."
I remember when I first had Jayla. It was like a whirlwind. Going from just your dad and myself, to having a fragile, tiny, needy newborn was exciting, wonderful and full of challenges. I recall how difficult it first was to give up certain ways of eating hot meals and enjoying long baths. It wasn't easy to go from taking care of myself alone, to having a tiny, helpless little newborn needing me at all hours of the day and night. You get used to it though, and you soon realize you don't need as much as you used to, you can get by with much less. You can give more than you thought you had, and some food still tastes pretty good cold.

I loved Jayla with a brand new kind of love that I didn't have before and I suddenly realized a brand new kind of fear too. The fear of keeping her safe. If you experience those fears, give them to God. Pray. A lot.

When I cut her nails for the first time, I cut too short and her finger bled. This was scene 1 of another brand-spankin new emotion for me, mommy guilt. Oh, my goodness. Have I felt that one more fully and frequently than I ever wanted! My advice would be don't waste too much time with that. It can torment you. The shoulda, woulda, coulda stuff can be haunting to parents, especially moms, because there are always ways we could do better. I'm still working on more productive ways to weed this out of my life. Not easy. Know that it will be there....just try your best to live and learn and move on. Those little ones are much more resilient than you might think, and they will love you more than you know. Most of all, they just want you to love them and be who exactly you are.

When Jayla was 1 1/2 and Onyx was a newborn, I was feeling overwhelmed, talking to my mother on the phone. I said, "Jayla just stands at the top of the stairs crying, wanting me to carry her down all the time. But, I've got Onyx to carry, and usually a basket of laundry too. It's driving me crazy." My mom said, "one day she just won't do that anymore, and she will walk down by herself and this struggle will be over." THAT was one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard, and I still think of it to this day. No matter what the current challenge is, it will most likely end at some point. Your kids will pass through phases quickly, so as you encounter their stages, recognize the temporary nature of them. It will one day end, and they will be on to something else. Even try to enjoy the irritating toddler behavior as much as you can. See the humor in it. It will be gone one day and you will miss it. Snuggle your babies as they wake during the night to feed and thank God for their precious lives. One night, they will sleep through those nighttime feedings, and you will realize you miss them too.

Your capacity to handle things will grow as your family expands. The growing pains you experience might hurt a bit, but if you allow yourself to be changed and matured, it will be worth every single uncomfortable minute.

In the blink of an eye, the time goes by. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Savor the moments. Relax in your days as much as possible. New life is breathtaking. Thank God for your babies and for the precious gift of much time as you can possibly spend with them, they are only yours for a moment.
I love you. Thank you for coming into my life and filling my heart with joy.


Keana said...

I so wish we lived closer to you. I love reading the things you write. You make me a better Mommy, and make me want to be a better mommy. Thank you for always sharing so honestly.

Courtney said...

oh, Tisha, i've sat down to ready this post a couple times - and been interrupted. i finally got through it and am sobbing. i love how you can speak my heart. it's kinda weird. i'm feeling on the verge of all you said - knowing this is my last baby growing inside of me. i'm going to print this out, put it in a very safe place (hmmm...i'll have to figure out where that might be) and come back to it later. thanks for sharing your heart!

Courtney said...

i meant "read" this post - not "ready"

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