Monday, March 24, 2014

19 Months with Family

19 Months.  Hard to believe we've been a family of 8 for 19 months.  Some days it seems fast, other days it seems like we've been this large family forever.

A lot has happened in 19 months.  I wish I could say everything is perfect and great.  But honestly, who has a perfect family?  I have not met one yet, at least one who is being honest. :-)  I can say that we're doing better.  19 months ago was HARD!  I realize now that I had a lot that was going on at the time we adopted the girls, that I had not really dealt with before we adopted them.  For example, 1 month before Gotcha Day my brother got married.  A very happy day.  12 hours later my grandmother passed away.  I grieved hard.  5 days later, we received our Travel Approval for the girls and then quickly started planning our trip.  I did not get to fully grieve my grandmother's passing. I did not get to fully grasp my brother being married before we added 2 preteens to our life.

Not only did adopting two preteens cause some hard times, 10 days after flying home from China Abby & Jadyn got baptized.  This should have been a glorious moment, but I was overly stressed out by the 2 newest additions and their lack of social capabilities. And 12 days after flying home, I turned 40.  This was supposed to be a BIG birthday.  And yes I was celebrated. But I felt it was pushed aside because of all the newness of the girls.

So for a long time, not only was I dealing with having 6 kids, and 2 preteens who had a lot to overcome, I was also dealing with the happiness of my brother getting married, the loss of my grandmother, trying to enjoy a glorious moment of Abby & Jadyn getting baptized and turning 40.  It all just hit me all at once.  Then was the icing on the cake, Tiffani was a senior in high school and graduating.

Fast forward 19 months.  And yes, somedays it does seem to have gone by fast.  I feel a normalcy here now.  Not what we were used to.  It's definitely louder here now. There is still a lot more stress and frustration here now than there used to be. And there is definitely a lot more teenage hormones now.  We are all dealing with this.  It's been hard. But we're getting by.  The tantrums from the kids (and from me) are less than they used to be.  There is more silliness. And we're still trying to show craziness/fun to the girls to get laughs.  We're getting there.

Pictures say a thousand words.  And I agree.  I look back at photos and I see a huge change.  I don't notice in the every day dealings.  But looking back, wow!  The girls have grown.

We are scared. I will not lie.  We're scared of what their future will be like.  We know that God is with them. We are teaching them about His love. And they are asking questions.  We want them to fully, 100% without a doubt understand what it means to accept Jesus as their personal Savior.  We're getting close.  And they are asking the right questions.  But we're still scared of their physical future.  Will they find true love.  Will they get the social skills they will need to get a job. Will they get a job? And what kind of job?  Right now the girls are not at their age of maturity.  They are at an age 7-8 and age 9-10.  Yes, they have grown in maturity in the 19 months.  We're praying they will catch up before they graduate in 5 years.

Life has been different.  It's had a lot of hard moments.  BUT, when I hear "I love you mommy", then my heart melts.  That's all I ever wanted.  Was to have children to love, and who loved me back.  I have not been the best mother these past 19 months. But I'm trying.  It's been hard for me.  I want to be the best mother that they deserve.  I pray to God daily to help me to be what they need.  Satan has been attacking.  He knows my weakness is "quick to anger".  And he's used that against me a lot.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Adoption IS Awesome!  But it's also hard.  It does get better.  If it didn't, then we would not have have adopted 5 kids.  :-)  And we would not be discussing adopting again. (yes, that has been discussed several times in the last month).  I know I would not have been able to get through the hard times without God, without family and friends being there for me to vent to, or cry with or to just talk.

I will leave you with some photos of the girls.  God is SO good.  He loves us.  He cares for us. He will never leave us alone!

The first 4 photos were all taken in China:

these next photos were all taken once HOME!