Saturday, March 23, 2013

I'd do it all over again

Adoption is full of emotional ups and downs, and they don't stop once your new child is home with you. If you asked me the week we got home from the Philippines with our new daughter if I would ever adopt again, my response would have been, "No way! Once is MORE than I can handle!" Now, almost six months later, I have to say, "Yes, absolutely!"  Some of you who have seen the trials we have gone through may ask "Why? Why would you put yourself and your family through all that again?"

Because it's simply not about me. It's about God's heart for the fatherless. It's about a child who needs a family. It's about following God wherever He calls me to go. It's about loving sacrificially, and no matter what the sacrifice God asks of you, it is ALWAYS worth it in the end. The mountains of paperwork. The excruciating long wait. The thousands of dollars and financial strain. The most terrible flight through a typhoon, including two hours of extreme turbulance. The disappointment and pain of rejection. The panic moments when I really thought "There is NO WAY I can do this! What in the world is God thinking, asking this of me?"(yes,it happened at the hotel in Manila,only a couple hours after picking our daughter up! I had a breakdown!-Just ask my husband!)  The weeks of jetlag and interrupted sleep. The continuing struggle with siblings. The melding of differences in personalities. The need for constant attention. The numerous medical and therapy appointments. The worries of learning delays. Yes. It is worth every single moment.

The big hugs around my neck. The unsolicited, "Mommy, I love you." The big smile when she puts on her new dress and exclaims "I princess!"  The contented sigh when she sits in my lap. The excitement when she sees her many new friends and family at church.  The joy of seeing her blossom and grow as she gains confidence in who God created her to be. Her little voice telling me, just a couple weeks ago. "I wait a long time for you to come. My family." And then a few days ago her declaration, "Mommy, I no miss Momma Tine anymore. I love Mommy and Daddy." It is OH, SO WORTH IT! 

It is worth every heartache, every tear I cried. It is worth every struggle and battle of the wills. It is worth every bruise on my arms from being pinched  and scratched. It is worth every time she rejected me by spitting in my face. It is worth every tantrum. (Even the ones on the airplane and at the airport on the way home!)  It is worth every sibling fight. It is worth every inner-struggle and insecurity I face. It is worth it ALL to see such a beautiful miracle unfold.

Yes, no question about it, I would do it all over again. If God opens the door for us to adopt another child, I will do it in a heartbeat because, even though the cost is great and the road is rough,  it is absolutely worth it! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm no Super-Mom!

I have been struggling lately. REALLY struggling.  Any of you who know me personally, know that my life's dreams always included being a stay at home mom and wife. From the time I was a little girl, people would ask me the classic question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My reply was always, "A Mom."  I know in today's world that may not seem like a very lofty goal, but honestly, I believe God placed that desire in my heart. I am struggling because for the past 5 years I have had to divide my "mom" time with a full-time outside-the-home job.  God has sustained me and our family. He has blessed me with the most AMAZING husband. I am not kidding when I say he does all this and more. He gets the kids ready for school every morning and gets them there on time,  picks them up after school, makes dinner EVERY night, grocery shops on his day off, helps clean the house, and takes the kids to dentist, doctor and therapy appointments. He is not a stay-at-home dad.  He is a full-time pastor, a part-time professor at a local university, and a soon to become a published author. I don't know how he does it all, and does it all so well. I am so thankful God gave him to me to walk beside me on this crazy parenthood journey! I love him with all my heart and I am blessed beyond measure and honored to call him my husband!

God has blessed me with a somewhat flexible job and a wonderful boss who acknowledges we are "parents first" before our job...BUT I still find myself struggling. I struggle because I feel I should be there more for my kids, especially our newly adopted one as she is still transitioning. I struggle because, despite all my husband does to help, the house does not stay clean and there is a continuously growing pile of dirty laundry.  I struggle because half of my day on Saturday, my "day off" to spend with the kids, is spent scrubbing bathrooms and washing, folding and putting away those massive piles of laundry.  I struggle because when I get home from work, I am tired and often don't feel like helping my new one learn to read or helping the kids with homework. I struggle because summer time is my busy time at my job and I feel I should be taking my kids to the pool, the zoo, and spending time with them....instead I am working extra hours. (Thankfully, the kids can come to the campgrounds where I work every day. They love it, but I am not sure that is the best option for Joy. That is a big concern for me.) I struggle because, even though I am soon-to-be the lead pastor's wife, I sometimes drag myself to church -especially on Wednesday nights and Sunday nights-because I am so worn out. I struggle because as a pastor's wife, I often find it hard to engage and minister to others, due to the fact I have too much else on my plate.  I struggle because I want to entertain guests in my home, but I am always so tired and my house is in constant need of attention. .I struggle because I feel like I am stretched too thin to do any one thing well, and instead of being super-mom, I am stressed-out mom!

I KNOW there are many working moms out there who handle it with ease, who work longer hours than I do, and have less help from their husband (or even no help!)  and yet are the most amazing mom, working with the kids on homework, making dinner when they get home, cleaning house, doing laundry...but I am definitely NOT that girl!  I don't know how they do it. God did not give me that kind of drive and energy!

My desire is to be at home taking care of my kids, my house, and my husband. My desire is to spend time advocating for adoption, foster care, and children. I believe God gave me a mother's heart because He wants me to care for children and help advocate for those without families. I don't know for sure if He has more children to be a part of our family, but I know He wants me to share this great need with others. I desire to lead a short term orphan care missions trip once a year as a part of advocating for children. My desire is to be a pastor's wife, excited to be a part of our church and minister to those in our church family, excited to entertain guests in my home.  Being in ministry isn't easy. We don't do it for the money.  I feel I have sacrificed by working full-time in order for us to be in ministry. Our family, honestly, cannot live on the salary my husband makes as an associate pastor at our church. As he transitions to the lead pastor in June, his salary will still not be enough for me to be a stay at home mom in the economy we live in, but we might be able to make a way for me to work part-time. I am feeling an overwhelming need to ease my husband's load with the kids and household because he will have many new pressures in ministry. I am feeling an overwhelming need to be at home more for our kids, especially our new little one. Please pray with me about this. Pray we will find the perfect balance. Pray for me as I enter this busy season with my job. Pray we will find the best tutoring/child care option for Joy this summer. Pray for me that I will not feel guilty for doing what I have to do.  Pray God will open the right doors for me to at least go part-time and give me more time with my family and the energy to minister to those in our church. Pray God will help me to not be stretched beyond my limits and He will give me the strength I need. Pray He will help me be the super-mom I need to be, because without Him there is no way I can do it! 

P.S. Please let me know if you are in the same position I am in by e-mailing me privately or posting below!  I would love to pray with you and talk with you! Sometimes just talking about it can help ease the burden! I share my struggles because I know I can't be the only one out there who is feeling this way!