What the...? Perfect? Who me? Sure, why not.
I have spent my whole life trying to attain perfection. This is a raw transparent post born of grief and pain.
Perfection in my family pre and post marriage, in my body (babies killed that one), in the way I dressed, spoke, where I lived, what I drove, the friends I had.........and on and on. Are you exhausted yet? I am. I.Am.Exhausted.
The last bit of perfection I tried to attain, you guessed it. This adoption. Of course the paperwork trail was a train wreck and I don't think I've ever cried that much in my entire life but 6 years after our initial sign up, we were home. It was done. She was ours. And then, I derailed. And it was bad.
I have spent the last 6 years, off and on, reading hundreds of blogs. Hundreds of posts on adoption. On "Gotcha Day", on coming home etc. and either everyone is lying or I am just an extreme case. Because the LARGE majority of what I read was perfect. Or at least that is the way it sounded coming through the computer screen. Maybe it was just "those" blogs. But seriously, it was so far from perfect when we came home and started settling in. And the craziest thing is it had almost nothing to do with Jenna Grace.
In all our time before travel there was so much talk about what life would be like for her. How her life was going to be flipped upside down because she was being ripped away from everything she had ever known. And while all this is true I am pretty sure that at just 21 months old and now on the verge of being 2 China is barely even in her memory bank. And I am sure there are "experts" out there who would strongly disagree but this is how I feel about it.
And so we prayed and prayed for her. She was always at the top of the list and I agonized over how to make life super comfortable for her because of the trauma she was about to experience. What I failed to realize at the time and no one warned me about was the trauma I would experience. How my life would be completely ripped out from under me. I had no preparation for this.
When you have a baby, you ease into toddler hood. Not so with the adoption of a toddler, we were just dropped in it. BOOM! No one said anything. NOT ONE PERSON!!! Oh sure since being home and being somewhat honest to people they have made the odd comment here and there like, "yeah I wondered how you were gonna handle it all" REALLY?! WOW!
I felt judged and misunderstood and felt like I could talk to no one about it, so I didn't.
I am not very good at fully articulating my thoughts and feelings so you'll have to bear with me. And the truth is, I think I am really writing this for myself so I can look back and remember with clarity or even help someone else out.
The depression I sank into was unprecedented and I've been depressed before so I have something to compare it to. I felt stuck, hopeless, and completely alone. Allow me to state for the record that I have THE most amazing and supportive hubby in the world and if it wasn't for him I don't think I would be this far out. I have no regrets about our choice to adopt but I was reeling. I was grieving in such a real way. I missed my old life. I missed being able to leave at the drop of a hat and do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. My days were suddenly mandated by nap time and dirty diapers. Cleaning up constant messes and play time with a child I didn't even know and who most of the time didn't want to know me. She was difficult and would look at me with such disdain I wanted to scream "do you have any idea what I've gone through to get you?!!!!!"
But the truth is she was the normal one, I was the one in a crisis. And a large majority of it had to do with me and my selfishness. I mean we are all selfish. But I didn't realize just how selfish I was until Jenna Grace came home.
And it took me awhile to see it and it wasn't just the adoption. I haven't shared this on my blog because it has been too personal and way too painful but my dad cut me out of his life last Christmas. It is a long story with a 40 year history and I've been coming to terms with so much junk I never could admit let alone accept and have started The Healing Path. Its been life changing. Anyway, I digress...the worst part is when I tried to make amends and apologize he told me it was too late. For the last 8 months, silence! So all of that pain of rejection coupled with this new pain of this new life that I didn't realize I had signed up for culminated and I felt myself spinning out of control. So, I did the only thing I knew to do, besides pray, I isolated. I cut myself off from the outside world and withdrew into a pit. I was in a valley and it was dark and cold and painful and worst of all, it was lonely. I cried and I cried and I cried until I had nothing left. I begged God to take this from me. I begged him to remove the thorn from my flesh, like Paul, and I waited. I waited on Him. I talked to my husband at length and a couple of close friends and I hoped.
And then, there was light. Just a little. Just enough to know I was going to climb out of this and that is what I am doing. Climbing my way out of the valley a little at a time. I've had several moments that have snagged me and I'll feel like I'm falling back down but I'm not and I know God has me. I know He won't let me fall and even if I do fall, I am never alone because He promises I won't be.
Its not easy being this transparent in such a public forum but lucky for me only a handful of people grace me with their presence on this blog.
So, where are we now? Jenna Grace is doing fabulously. She is such a parrot and thinks she is so funny with all the repeating. She is potty training. I know, crazy right? But it just kind of happened and so I ran with it. She gets a sticker every time she goes and has a little paper in her room that is full of them. So proud.
She loves bubbles and her swing set and going for walks. She is so smily and happy almost all the time. She understands everything we say and I'm sure one day out of the blue she's just gonna blow us away and be a little chatter box. She will be 2 on the 22nd. No party this year. And the only presents allowed are books and puzzles. Mama's a nazi. I just don't want more toys when she barely plays with the ones she has. She loves counting and reciting the alphabet with me, and we do it several times a day. She loves loves loves her baba. I do not exist once Brian comes home. Its so precious. She seems to be naturally helpful, when we came home from grocery shopping she started putting away the groceries. So cute. I am looking forward to doing lots of girly things with her as she gets older. She melts my heart daily and I am so thankful God chose her for our family.