We have been home 4 1/2 months now and you would THINK we would be settled onto a great new schedule, new routine, new fun!
The answer is we are not. And I’m OK with that. And that last sentence took me 2 months to be able to type. Because I wanted things to be back to normal. Just as with labor, I forget how bad parts of our 12 weeks in country were. And how much they changed who we are and how we live. We had ABSOLUTELY AMAZING times, but we had really hard times too, with lots of crying, both me and Judah :). And, towards the end, when things felt like they were going well, I knew that it would change, because his WHOLE WORLD was about to change. We were happy to go back home; he didn’t know what ‘home’ was.
So, I braced myself for that. For back to square one with a little bonding under our belt. Happy to have my community around me, stepping in and filling the gaps. Letting me cry and grieve for him and with him through the pain. But that didn’t happen either. (**This was not because our friends and family weren’t there for us, or that they didn’t try. It was more because we weren’t ready for them and didn’t know what we needed yet.**)
We got home in what the rest of the world probably calls American chaos, or in other words, the Christmas season. There are plays and holiday parties and family gatherings on every side of the branched out family imaginable and end of semester events and the list goes on.
And I missed everyone so much that I semi-jumped back in.
We got to see friends. But we didn’t get to have conversations.
We had people over for dinner. But we hadn’t yet had time to think and process and grieve our time in country, so we were a little uninspired to hang out with.
We have four kids now. And as hard as that was in a foreign country, it’s even harder when you’re not living out of a few suitcases and there are now hundreds of books and toys to fight over and big feelings and jet lag.
We have four kids whose entire lives have changed once and now back twice again. And there parents weren’t doing that great either.
And now? Now we facilitate between Stage 2 and Stage 3. And though we’ve tried to be a voice of adoption in our circle, there is a much bigger circle who might need to hear this. Especially those who are still in the weeds and need to know they’re not alone. Or, especially those that thought we’d be done talking about bonding and self-care and loving touch and kind words by now. Because, believe me, I’m tired of explaining it over and over. But, I am extremely thankful for those friends that have gone before and who have helped me and answered late night texts and prayed over our family.
There is so much more to share and now that I feel like my voice is coming back and God can use my words, I can’t wait to make time to do it! So here is a quick start of ways you can bless someone in your life who has just completed an adoption. I’d say any adoption, but I can speak to foreign adoptions, well, because, that’s been our experience.