Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear Tisha,

Warm weather and expansive holes suddenly found in schedules that are usually filled to the brim with school work and activity have afforded us many opportunities to socialize this summer. Our brood has had such fun spending hours with friends, both old and new. Many precious memories have been made.

**Added perk to all that mingling and mixing with other human beings: The ability to tell folks who are worried about my poor, under-engaged children that my kids ARE becoming socialized, you see?**

While the kids play (or awkwardly sit and stare at each other because they are homeschooled ☺) and the moms (and sometimes dads) chat, discussing all kinds of things from home projects to vacations to food and family and children and school and gardens and politics and budgeting and theology and marriage and books we've read and movies we've seen, one topic inevitably rears its head. Adoption. Fellow adoptive parents share struggles and accomplishments, trials and tribulations. They shed tears of sorrow, stories of hope and healing. Those who have not adopted often want the scoop on what it's like. Some even want to know how it really is.

It's through these moments spent in the company of others that I've come to the (completely unbiased) conclusion that my girlfriends must be some of the warmest, most encouraging, uplifting, compassionate, kind hearted, empathetic ladies on the planet. I'm sure of it. (Aren't women great like that?) As I think back on the times shared between allies, as I recall the sweet words uttered friend to friend, with hearts wide open, I realize something that I finally, in my older age, think is kind of important. My friends are so much better to me than I am to myself. Translation: I am not a very good friend to me.

What would I tell someone like me, if I were a friend to them? Would I say what I say to myself? Would I put upon another soul the barrage of guilt inducing thoughts I so willingly heap upon myself?

No. I would not. Not ever. Never.

If I were truly a friend to me, the way I try to be a friend to others, I would offer sentiments much kinder, gentler, more patient and tender than what I usually say to myself regarding all things related to the adoption and raising of our Ethiopian treasures.

If I were to be a true friend to myself, rather than my usual self talk, I might say something along these lines:

Dear Tisha,

What you're doing is a hard thing. Please, take it easy on yourself.

It's not just every person that signs up to raise other people's children - to welcome them into their family as their very own - to be there for the days upon days and the sleepless nights and the seasons and the months that turn into years and the meals and the education and the snacks and and the homework and the activities and the braces and the broken bones and the new shoes and the medical appointments and the bed wetting and the pants wetting and the training and the grieving and the attitudes and the outbursts and the silences and the blank spaces and the seemingly endless needs and the prayers and the giving it to God and the teaching and the rocking and the starting over again and the questions and the fatigue and the filling of voids and the trying to understand and the breakthroughs and the setbacks and the lies that are told and the truths that are hard to hear and the difficulties and the rage and the laughter and the empty eyes and the sadness and the promise of better days and the wondering where to go from here and the not knowing, the not knowing, the not knowing, the not ever really knowing how to help and heal and what exactly to do next. To be mom.

You are mom to them.With all that entails. Mom! These beloved children who have been through more than you can ever imagine and express their pain and loss in ways that are incredibly challenging to sort through, call you mom. It's a privilege. They need you. It's so not very easy, my friend. But, one minute at a time, hour by hour and day by day, you are up for the task.You're doing just fine. Just keep on keeping on. If you ever need me, I'm always here. I am forever, without fail, on your side. ♥

With love always,

1 comment:

Erika said...

Like,like,like. So much resignation. What happened to the boxes that I could check so easily?

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