Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

This is a little disjointed and rambling. I'm sorry! It's where I am in my thought process right now.

When I first started this blog I wanted to be honest about what being a family is like, whether the family looks like mine or not. But making that commitment is hard. Sometimes I don't want to be honest. I want to say "I prayed for this family. God gave me this family. Everything is perfect!" But here's the truth: this is hard and I've been struggling. I've struggled with depression for most of my life but have had it under control for quite some time. But I can almost plan on some of those feelings creeping back into my life in January and lasting until around March every year. (Maybe I need to head south for the winter?) This year was different. I was so focused on our family in January with trying to get The Son (TS) to eat better and gain weight and to get The Daughter (TD) adjusted to being a big sister, potty training and moving to a big girl bed. I was so focused and thought "surely I don't have time to be depressed! I've got the family I've always wanted so I can't be depressed!" But here's the thing, depression doesn't care about that. No, depression doesn't discriminate.

After spending 4 weeks away from home while adopting TS and getting through his NICU stay I remember telling my husband that we probably wouldn't know the toll that 4 weeks of stress would take on my overall health for a while. Well, I'm finding that out. For the last 3 1/2 months I spent 27 days away from home with TS in the NICU for most of that and also got sick myself and then came home to a 2 year old who really needed my attention and a newborn who really needed to gain weight but struggled to eat. TS continued to have trouble eating through the holidays when we traveled for a week and half and continued to eat every 3 hours but throw up each time for a few more weeks before we found the right formula for him. The only 2 nights I've had more than 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in that length of time was when I had migraines, which I had 2 of in just a few weeks time. I had been steadily losing weight while following a plan with Isagenix products but having your sleep interrupted every 1-2 hours to comfort a baby throws your body into a state of confusion and my weight loss has stopped. And can we just talk about the crazy effects of sleep deprivation?????? No wonder that's a form of torture!

That's all the physical stuff, but if you've never had your whole life interrupted and turned upside down in an instant then you might not be able to understand what I'm about to say. Becoming an instant parent is hard. Yes, I was already a mom, but suddenly I was a mom of 2 with no warning. I was the mom of a preemie whose future was a huge unknown. I left my daughter at home and was handed a tiny little boy and was told he was my son. I was told to love him and nurture him. Ok, I did that. How could I not do that? But in a world where most instant things make life easy, becoming an instant parent is not. I like to plan, actually to over-plan and make lists. I wanted to have a room ready for a baby when we brought one home but the room was still our guest bedroom with lots of stuff in it. I wanted to go shopping for him and have a closet full of clothes and toys for him but instead I was buying clothes for him him as we went. I wanted it to be perfect when we brought him home but instead my husband and I were traveling separately and TD was sick when we got home. Is our sweet boy everything I had prayed for? Yes! Was the process to bring him home stressful and just not the picture perfect process I had in my dreams? Yes! Add in the emotions I've been feeling for his birthmom (love, sadness, grief, a little bit of anger and confusion) and I've just been a wreck.

Moms who deliver a baby are given a post-partum period that it is allowed and understood when they have crazy emotions. Adoption is different. My emotions aren't from a flood of hormones but from a flood of experiences. There is the feeling of not being allowed to complain about the same things because I made this happen. I know that's totally unrealistic but it's really the thought I kept having. And so, after weeks of trying to just make things work every day and keep a busy toddler happy while trying to get a fussy newborn to eat and letting the house just kind of fall apart, I did the same thing. 2 weeks ago I fell apart. I cried and cried and cried and then when I think I'm done crying those evil "Thanks Mom!" Olympic commercials come on and make me cry some more!

Don't worry, that's not where I'm at today. I have some great friends who have allowed me to come vent and help me out, an amazingly supportive group of adoptive moms who told me "I felt like that!!!!!"  and have supported me and a husband who is doing his best to help me in so many ways when he probably wants to run away from me! I'm getting great nutrition through my Isagenix products which I know is key to emotional and physical health. And slowly but surely we're getting TS to sleep a little longer at night which makes a huge difference.

If you've experienced any of these things and are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, sad or just confused, you are not alone. It will get better! Reach out to others for help - it's okay to ask for help!

So that's the end of my ramble for tonight. Adoption is hard. Motherhood is hard. Marriage is hard. Life is hard. But each one is so worth it!

Lord, You have blessed me and blessed me. You have trusted me with the gift of a child. I don't have enough words to explain the love I have for him. Thank You for continuing to have Your hand of comfort on my family and for allowing me to have supportive people in my life to help when times are crazy. But Lord I ask that You continue to help me feel stronger and more stable. I ask You to keep helping our little guy grow and develop like we know he can. Amen.


  1. Thanks for being real, Lana. All of these things really are hard...not to mention having TWO little ones to care for all day long. May He continue to uphold you in the tough and give you His strength.