Monday, January 21, 2013

The Reality...ONE Year Later, I Like Adoption

Our story of being an adoptive family began one year ago TODAY when we welcomed three of the most A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. kids ever into our home!

 I Like Adoption...


With no hesitation, one year into it, I can say that I like adoption. Even though this past year has been the HARDEST & MOST DIFFICULT year of my 30 year life. Let me explain...

I have been hit, kicked, scratched, bitten, and head butted.

I've put my children in "time-ins" and held on for dear life for over 30 minutes of flailing and screaming. At times getting bashed in the jaw with their head and trying not to let my child see the tears streaming down my face.

A dresser was thrown over in a tantrum, by someone who in my mind was too small to even be capable of that, leaving it broken, and unable to be repaired.

Kids have slammed doors, hurt each other, pulled hair, and screamed at each other. 

I've found out how much work it is to have twins.

I've sat in therapy offices desperate for answers. 

I've read books on how to explain adoption to kids.

I've been told (thankfully only a couple of times), "I hate you," "I hate this house," "you're not my mom!"

I've been fearful of the awkwardness of running into our kids bio family at the grocery store or around town. I've talked to the therapist about "my fears" as an adoptive mom and in the process I've had my views drastically changed as to how much an open adoption could benefit our kids and have wondered how in the world to take the next step towards that.

I've broken up fights...carried screaming kids up to their room while they've almost pulled the railing off of the stairway in the process.


I've never been more completely exhausted at the end of the day than almost every single day of this year.

I've made more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches than I think I ate in my whole childhood life (I guess that makes sense when you multiply times 5) and I've cleaned up more glasses of spilled milk than I can count. Heck, I've even decided that the only way to get through a meal with complete joy is to assume that under all circumstances someone will spill something at least once and then be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen! :-)

I've looked at our calendar and wondered, "how in the world do we do all of this?"

I've gone through a week of the flu hitting every member of our household only to claim Sam and I as its last victims at the very end. So, after the exhaustion of changing that many sheets and cleaning up that much puke, I will now quarantine any sick child to their room in our house to the best of my ability because letting the sickness just roll on through is crazy!

I've been homesick for my extended family but yet know that packing up a crew of seven and making the 24 hour drive back to where I grew up is an enormous feat.

I've been so calm and level when someone is screaming and hitting me and then other times I have snapped when a child comes and asks me a simple question.

I have walked out on my husband for the day, and left him home alone with all five kids because the day seemed like too much for me to handle.

I've had to say "I'm sorry" to the kids and to my husband, but I'll confess that I still need to practice that one.

It wouldn't be fair to tell you the reality of our first year together as a family of seven if it wasn't for one more thing...

With absolutely no hesitation I can also say that this past year has been HANDS DOWN the B.E.S.T. Y.E.A.R. of my LIFE!

My Entire Life

My WHOLE Entire Life!

Never before have I felt like my life had so much meaning, so much purpose. If I died tomorrow I would die having made a difference in a valuable life, FIVE little lives actually!

Never before have I loved so much!

Never before have I received so many snuggles, hugs and kisses.

Never before have I wanted to learn so much about children and adoption.

Never before have I been so desperate to learn more as a parent.

Never before has my heart been so overwhelmed by simply being called,"mom".

Never before have I been so thankful that it is going so well! No really, this was a description of the past year and when I think back I realize that it could have been way worse! I remember going into it not knowing exactly how things were going to work out and how things would go growing from a family of 4 to a family of 7. But then again my husband does always say that "God doesn't call us to what's comfortable or convenient." Over this past year I have found that to be very true and I have also discovered that it is way better to live a life of "challenge" than to just accept "comfortable."

The truth is adoption is hard, parenting kids who are adopted is hard, parenting biological kids who were born into your family is hard. But when you have purpose, when you have hope for the future, when your life is now a mission to love your family no matter how far from perfect it all is. It doesn't matter how hard it gets because it is SO GOOD, and is so right to love as we have been loved!

So whatever you might be considering that looks too hard in your life, that you might not have the answers for, that you can't see how exactly it is unfolding...but somewhere in there you feel the deep call that maybe this is bigger than you and maybe this is God's perfect plan for you then I would encourage you to GO FOR IT!

Here's a quote from the movie The Blind Side that captures how I feel about adoption one year into it:
 {source}


I Like Adoption...no wait, I LOVE Adoption!

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31 comments:

  1. I love you and you are such an amazing women and mother.
    I have learned alot from u.
    U encourage me to strive to be a better person. I love yea Sarah

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  2. This is awesome, Sarah!! So proud of you sister!!

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  3. You're amazing and a true inspiration. This is a beautiful post. God bless you and your family.
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrowerhome.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Nancy, God is so good. I just popped on your site and loved the inspiration and decor that you have done! I can't wait to stop back in. :-)

      ~Sarah

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  4. Sarah, You are such an inspiration! thanks for your candidness. Thanks for reminding us that God has not called us to the comfortable but to the convenient. These 5 lives that you and Sam are pouring into now are going to reap you an abundant harvest in years to come. Thanks again for this post! Andee

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    1. Awww Andee, thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words (us moms have to stick together!) Your little crew is SO blessed to call YOU their MOM!

      ~Sarah

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  5. Hey, I saw your comment on the foster care article on the NY times blog and I wanted to stop in and say hi! My husband and I just got approved for foster care so we are waiting on placements now. This is a beautiful post and I'm so encouraged by the way the Lord brought you all together, even if you had to go through some really hard stuff to get to where you are now.
    I am also loving your parenting tips that you have put up, since we don't have any kids yet and the idea of jumping in with both feet is both exciting and overwhelming!

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    1. Hi Amber,

      Thanks so much for stopping by! How exciting that you just got approved for foster care! That is SO GREAT! The journey is fun and so rewarding. Keep me posted on how things go once you get your first placement. From experience I would say that jumping in with both feet is the thrill of a lifetime! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  6. Wow, what a year! Congratulations on making it through - and for only gaining 10 pounds. I think I would probably gain a lot more if it was me ;) As someone who was adopted as a child, thank you for all of the hard work you are doing. Adoption isn't a calling for everyone, and those who do receive that calling are very special.

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    1. Heather,

      Haha, thanks! I'm hoping the scale only goes down now that we have hit the one year mark. :-) Thank you for your encouragement.

      ~Sarah

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  7. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. WOW! I so admire the people who are obedient to Christ calling in this way. I cannot imagine. May the Lord bless you and keep all of you are you continue to grow together and live the life God planned for your family. I am 30 too and to think of all that you have been through is incredible!! You are doing something great, far greater than anything you could've ever done on your own!

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    1. Miranda,

      You are certainly right about the "far greater than anything you could've ever done on your own!" It definitely isn't in any of my strength that any of this is possible...God is so GOOD!

      ~Sarah

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  9. This a beautifully honest post. Thank you for sharing it with us. I find myself in a difficult situation and not knowing where to turn but I know that my Heavenly Father is right by my side.
    Ruth

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    1. Ruth,

      You are SO RIGHT, He is right by your side!

      ~Sarah

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  10. So much beauty in the struggle.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    xoxo,
    edie

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    1. Edie,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story of love.

      ~Sarah

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  11. what a beautiful soul you have revealed in this post. thank you, thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine the pain, yet, the joy is beyond imagining, too, isn't it?

    God bless you, Sarah, and your beautiful family, too.

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    1. The joy is truly SO GREAT!

      God bless you, Jeannine!

      ~Sarah

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  12. Love this. We are parents to two biological kids, an 18yo we adopted at age 14, and now two new foster-adopt kids (age 4 and 5). I can SO relate to this post. I think this is my first visit to your blog and love this post. :)

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    1. Jamie,

      Welcome! :-) I can't wait to pop over to your blog, it sounds like you must have a lot of fun going on there! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  13. I'm so glad to find a blog about adopted siblings!! I've been looking! We are fostering to adopt 4 little ones and they were placed almost 3 months ago. The first month was exactly the same terrible descriptions you had with hitting, yelling, and broken furniture!! Thankfully things have calmed down and settled so much! Through all the craziness - I know we are doing the right thing and I love them so much.

    Keep in touch and stop by my blog :)

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    1. Erica,

      Congratulations on your 4 littles ones! Such a joy and things get better...I promise! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  14. Thank you so much for posting this! We are currently waiting to be matched to adopt from foster care and this was exactly what I needed to read today!!

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    1. Be encouraged...it is such a wonderful journey!

      ~Sarah

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  15. Thank you so much for this post!! Even though our story has been different from yours, I feel the same way as you in our fostering. It's been hard, but yet it actually matters and is therefore rewarding and purposeful! Thanks for putting it to words better than I ever could! I can already tell this is gonna be a new favorite blog of mine!

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    1. Katy,

      It matters SO MUCH...thank you for doing all that you are doing!

      ~Sarah

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  16. Thank you for being so honest about the ups and downs of adoption! LOVE IT!

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Thank you for commenting, I read every single one. Because spam is so prevalent I moderate all comments. I also will delete any that are inappropriate or hurtful. All other comments will be approved and published in between me chasing around my five little tornadoes! For any specific questions feel free to email me at aninvitinghome@gmail.com. Thanks for reading and following along!

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