Friday, March 3, 2017

Things you should know - 14 months home

-We have more good days than bad.

-I don't get as many headaches because I am not constantly clenching my jaw for hours on end.

-I love adoption even more than when we first started.  Its complicated and messy and not for everyone but its absolutely beautiful.

-I don't love my kids all the same.  Its completely different.  But I do love them.  All of them.  

-I ask for help more.  And I still feel guilty about not being able to 'do it all' but I am also reconciling that God made us for community to help one another.

-Trauma is still a very big presence in our house.  We see it every day.  

-Some days trauma looks like filling a backpack with all the toys and refusing to share.  But also refusing to play with any of the hoarded toys.

-Some days trauma looks like going bat-poop crazy when she gets hurt.  And instead of being comforted, she fights for her life against whoever is trying to help.

-And sometimes trauma visits us at night- in fitful rest and inconsolable sobs in her sleep that no amount of rocking or back patting can wish away.

-I still marvel at how far she has come.  When she eats a whole meal and asks for seconds.  When she  initiates play with her brothers or friends.  When she skips off to school with her classmates.  When she uses words- a complete sentence!- to ask for something.  

-I can now look back a few months ago and see the way God was taking me apart.  The pain of that is still sharp but it is no longer confusing.  I see why I was broken.  And why the cracks were allowed to show- and not be repaired exactly as I once was.

-Certain memories from those past months still cause a -brief- physical reaction of terror from me.  We were not ok and it left its mark.

-But scars are important.  Mila constantly shows me past scars- small scratches and bumps from normal childhood play- and declares them 'bad owie.' And though I acknowledge them and still kiss her 'bad owies,' I also know that they no longer pain her.  Her owies do not hurt anymore but they take time to fade.  And fading scars can serve as a reminder of how far we've come together.  

-I live with the conflict of desperately wanting to see Mila become 'typical' and fiercely defending, protecting, and celebrating her uniqueness.  

-I would do it all over again in heart beat.  And I pray that we will someday soon.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Feeding Challenges... Guest post on NHBO

My introduction to the world of feeding challenges coincided with me becoming a mother. 
My firstborn son – a perfect, squishy newborn – refused to eat. He had no physical limitations or reasons for refusing food, he just didn’t see the need nor possess the desire to fulfill his hunger by eating. 
The first six weeks of his life were the longest of mine… and are honestly a hazy blur of frustration, exasperation, and of feeling utterly helpless to provide for my baby. We persevered but the scars from our first tango with feeding challenges went deep. 
My picky infant turned into a picky toddler who morphed into a picky preschooler and is now a ‘particular’ kindergartner. We should have investigated things with an occupational therapist, but my son managed to sneak back onto the growth charts, and we got busy with having another baby and ultimately bringing a child into our home through adoption. 
Our second son ate like a champ. I took great pleasure in watching him gleefully experience food and was relieved to learn that my other son’s feeding issues were not really about me. I wish this lesson stuck.
And then we set out to adopt. And of course, we made the terrible-in-hindsight joke that as long as we don’t have to deal with food issues, we would be golden.