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A Perfect Metaphor

Life has been weirdly complicated lately, which I just really don’t understand. Spencer and I both just want things to make sense-we have that in common. (That’s one of his famous phrases “it doesn’t make sense!”)

Lately, a lot has felt overwhelming, and I’m not usually overwhelmed easily.

There have been a lot of things that have felt unjust, and I can not stand for injustice.

There have been a lot of things that have felt really stressful, and I just want to simplify them…

But yesterday,

when the planter I bought and patiently waited for,

and took time out of all the craziness and stress and

stupid kidney stone pain (because

yes, I also have my first ever kidney

stone right now)

to go with my oldest two to the

plant store and buy plants,

and plant them,

and hang the planter to create a little beauty in my everyday life

and it had only hung on the wall for ONE DAY making me feel so happy… when the planter (that was just mine) crashed to the floor from a child slamming doors in the midst of yet another meltdown and it shattered into a million pieces…. I felt so sad.

I realized that it’s been a really long time since I allowed myself to just feel sad.

My kiddo told me “at least one of the pieces didn’t break”, and I felt like that is the perfect metaphor for my life. The one unbroken whole piece of pottery-my kid-and the rest of the shattered pile is me. I am trying so desperately to make everything work and keep everything together and orchestrate this beautiful arrangement I had always envisioned. But, somehow, despite all my eager efforts, it all comes crashing down around me. While at the same time, somehow, that kid who is making my life fall apart, stays completely intact and together.

And, strangely, that’s how it should be. If God gave His life to love them, so will I.

I have been so beyond myself lately. And, the recent realization hit me hard- being an adoptive parent is so different from being a foster parent. I am still settling into a new normal, a new everyday meltdown and everyday hard work and I have recently come to realize with fresh eyes that, in this forever, a new lifetime of work begins.

Being a foster parent was so exciting and unpredictable. I was living on the edge of new and unexpected chaos and had the ability to show up bravely for a child in need of a home and take on all the to-dos that are required in a placement. This is apparently where I thrive (who knew?!?!).

Settling into this permanent, adoptive family, and attempting to let my heart just focus on this massive job in front of me- parenting my five children- without adding more distraction and the additional chaos and excitement of a new child has proven extremely difficult for me. The idea of dealing with the same meltdowns, and the same arguments, and the same issues, without adding any new adrenaline to the mix is completely terrifying. What does that say about me that I think more chaos is the answer to deal with my current overwhelming chaos??? I am coming to realize that distraction and new is probably the reason we got this far.

Now, I’m attempting to do the work of focusing on the present. On allowing myself to feel sad. On all the present feelings- on grieving and on pain and on sadness and on joy and on delight and on my new identity as an adoptive parent. The most difficult and most rewarding title I have held in my life. Now, my job is to be with my children- to be present in the mess and in the brokenness, to pick up the pieces as they shatter to the ground and while doing so to be able to feel the inevitable sadness of what each member of our family has lost even in our gains. I am learning and working and fighting to be able to just be. God knows there is still more than enough work to do right where I am.


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