sleep deprived & living to tell about it

January 1, 2013 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

It’s funny just how fast we forget the hard stuff.

Like labor and delivery. Or training for an athletic goal. Or the first few weeks of full on reentry after an international adoption.

We were blessed with two daughters by birth. After the first traumatic delivery, for a solid 18 months, I said “never again!” But at 19 months, was asking hubby in my nicest, pretty please voice, if we could try for #2.

And a few years ago, my SIL approached me about walking 60 miles in three days to raise money for breast cancer. I’m an athlete, but doubted if I could accomplish this. And on the occasion during training that I walked just 13 miles in a single day, I figured that it was hopeless. I was hurting at 13 and while I knew I could do more at that moment, I wondered how in the world I would get through 20 the next day and the next. But after 60 miles walking into that arena, having completed the training, the course and the required fundraising, my thought was, “This was not terrible. It wasn’t a breeze. But I could totally do it again.”

When our Joel came home nearly three and a half years ago, and we were exhausted and there was no light in his eyes and he seemed lost and had some SN’s that we didn’t anticipate and would tantrum out of control at the slightest thing, I feared that life as we knew it was over. Sure, I put on a good face for those I kept at a distance but reached out to our parents, best friends and social worker for help. We loved Joel desperately and though his adoption {from Thailand} couldn’t legally be completed for 6 months post placement, we had no thoughts whatsoever of disrupting it. He was ours and we were his. Forever. But we all endured too many hard moments and sleepless nights to count. And though it sounds so trite and selfish to admit now, I felt good. I loved what adoption symbolized. I was happy we really followed through and pleased that we had obeyed the Lord’s call to adopt. We had found our Joel and brought him home to a family who would love him for the rest of his life. However, the rose colored glasses I had worn for the previous year and a half had been thrown across the room by our new son. Reality set in and deep down I didn’t think I would really ever be up for this again.

Thanks to wonderful advice from our social worker and even our pediatrician {who has 6 IA kids of her own}, things began to turn around in our home. And slowly but surely, he was melded into us more and more. And with Joel tantrum free, and I well rested, my thoughts turned more children. That story is a long and winding road that I will spare you the details of.

But sufficed to say, #4 needed a nap today. He was about an hour overdue and so I took him into our bedroom and prayed with him and kissed his face 20 times and whispered my love to him. And I put him in the crib and went to the bathroom. Sorry. Real life here. Upon walking back into our bedroom, I saw this.

90 seconds.

This little China prince, with new scratches on his sweet head, fell asleep in 90 seconds.

Or maybe less. Since I was in the bathroom, I can’t really say!

My first thought was to grab my camera. That it’s been a while since I photographed him sleeping. And then it hit me. I had received a text this weekend from someone I love very much who is in the midst of her own reentry from China.

And the days are hard.

And the nights are harder.

And questions linger and tears are shed and sleep is in small quantity.

And I remembered the struggle. I remembered the hard. The tantrums Joel had and the lack of sleep we all experienced. The sickness hubby and I dealt with in September this year after our return from China and how Gabe didn’t sleep well which meant I didn’t either. I thought of family after family who post to a private FB group I’m on about how hard their lives are now with lack of attachment and behavior problems and previously undisclosed diagnoses.

And my heart hurt. Because I get it. But I had already kind of forgotten.

Forgotten the hard stuff.

Because the stuff is so good now.

Thus my resolution for 2013. To not forget the hard stuff {and to read the Bible through again}. But to contemplate it often. To come alongside those who are living in it. Adoption is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And to God be the glory, it’s been the biggest blessing as well.

Happy New Year y’all.




3 Responses to “sleep deprived & living to tell about it”

  1. Julie says:

    I have spent our entire first year saying “How do families go back again and again?” this is SO hard….and I thought I was completely prepared for all the what ifs. Praying for the good stuff soon :)

  2. Judy says:

    I’m with Julie above! 8months in…with 2 five year olds from China…..2 surgeries for 2 different special needs…HOW do they do it again and again. Praying and trusting for the good stuff. We have seen some good days…..but still a lot of tough ones too. LOVED this post! Oh how true:) thanks for posting.

  3. Aus says:

    Julie and Judy – the good stuff will come – and one day you’ll sound just like Kam!

    And Kam – it’s not often that I disagree with you – but this time I will – I choose to forget the hard stuff – it’s a reasoned and purposeful choice on my part.

    Because it DOES make life easier – it’s not necessarily logical – but is is often true!

    hugs – and Happy New Year to all –

    aus and co.

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