Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Puzzle

My son and his brilliant costume imitation of Sharptooth.   It lasted a few days.

I have friends that are leaving for Seoul in less than a week.  As I am watching them pack and plan through the magic of social media, I am reminded of a trip we took to Seoul on the same week exactly 9 years ago.  Back then I kept a pretty thorough blog - spilling my guts with poor writing all over the interwebs.  It wasn't hard to figure out exactly what I was doing 9 years ago today.

Friends, I was so sad.  I was heartbroken and anxious.  I felt abandoned by God as I saw other adoption numbers gain ground on ours in line, and then pass it.  I watched as people who had attended our adoption class got calls and came home with their babies.  While I sat at home in cold windy Peoria folding cloth diapers over and over again - going to school everyday wishing there would be a voicemail waiting for me at every break.

And then suddenly there was. We bought insanely expensive plane tickets - two for there, three for back.We packed as though we might miss our flight that was actually 4 days off.    We threw in everything one might dream of needing on a 13 hour flight with a baby you only just met, but have loved for a lifetime. We made runs to Target. We called someone to feed our cats.  I called my sub.  I took a pregnancy test.  I told Dustin we were actually getting two babies now.  And then we got on a plane and met our son. The rest is history.

Except it's not.  Everyday I am confronted with new things I don't understand about this parenting thing. I knew parenting was going to be amazing, and joyful, and also hard.  I had no idea parenting was going to be like putting together the most intrinsic of puzzles, trying to figure out what will make my boy successful, what will show off his clever problem-solving brain, or what makes him tick.  I had no idea that other people were going to come along and throw their well-intentioned puzzle pieces into my pile and try to tell me it can all be figured out with this, this, and this. I didn't expect to have second guesses about the way he learns or how all of my boys will thrive in this set-up I've always accepted as good and true.

So today I'm coming from a place that feels hopeless in moments, but is also filled with moments of love and grace than 9 years ago today.  I have what I always wanted - a family.  I have our health.  I have giggles at bedtime, and surprise accomplishments.  I have snowball fights and nerf guns that always make someone cry. I have bedtimes that seem to take forever and mornings that come too soon.  I have my husband in the other room reading bedtime stories, the sound of his voice lulling them to sleep - pleas for just one more chapter of the Penderwick Sisters.  I have joy, peace, and goodness. 

But I also have immense moments of fear and anxiety, frustration and anger - bitterness that my puzzle will never be complete, or times when it seems like I am the only one trying to put it together.