Enter: Triage

31 Aug

I have a writer-crush on an adoption blogger/author/speaker named Jen Hatmaker.  She’s crazy talented with words and I secretly hate her simply out of envy of her ability to say what so many people feel. OK, I don’t hate her. I’m grateful for her and her ability. And I love her blog.

Her last post titled, “The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later” hit the nail on the head with so many mom’s who are parenting through adoption it was crazy. As in the tune of almost 300 comments. And it came at just the right time in my walk.

You’ll definitely want to click over and read her post, even if you’re not ever planning on adopting, cause it will help you see what your friends and family who adopt are going through in the first year home.  And bookmark it. We have absolutely 100% gone through her stages prior to the 4.5 month that we are at right now.

1.  Pre-Stage – Waiting“Of course, you don’t know this kid yet, but you love him in your heart, in your bones. You’ll fight like hell to get to him. You can’t think of anything else. You are obsessed. You dream about him like you did when you were pregnant.” (Sound familiar at all?)

2.  Honeymoon – the first 4 to 6 weeks home.   “This is Fake Life, and everyone is smiling. Your bios are more helpful than they will ever be again ever, and it’s like you are at Weird Family Camp. Nothing is normal. Everything is fragile and bizarre and unfamiliar. Your new one appears compliant and easy-going and obedient, and dear ones, this is because she is about to have the Most Epic Freak Out in the History of Life.” (Ha ha! SO SO true!)

3.  Spaz Out – 4-6 weeks to 3-4 months.  “Who knows what the straw on the camel’s back will be – maybe one more food he hates, maybe one final conversation he can’t decode, a moment of discipline, just a smell might trigger it – but something will happen, and your little one will finally lose it. Honeymoon is over. Once the damn has broken, it will flood for months.”  <–Actually, there is SO MUCH MORE here in this section to read in the blog. Go read. We felt it all, we said it all and it all happened. It’s so fresh in my mind. I felt like this every.single.day.

Let’s just say, the dam broke. And it flooded.  And she spazed.  And yes, I did too. I didn’t specifically write about all of those moments, but I did some. I guess I’m one of those blogs with the cute pictures and happy moments, but they’re not all that way.  And it was hard.  Add in the cancer diagnosis and it was pretty much a nighmare at our house for awhile.  I felt it, Dave felt it, the boys felt it. I cried many nights going to sleep because I didn’t know if I could do another day.  Oh, but I could.  Enter:

4. Triage – 3-4 months to 8 months.  Ding Ding!!  We’re here!!  Evidence of her preciousness keeps peeking out. You see her real self more and more frequently. She is feeling a teeny bit safer, just beginning to trust your love….you’re coming out of the fog. You start returning phone calls. You brave a Date Night. You look at your bio kids and ask, “Oh, hi there. So how have you been the last seven months?”  The day that I read this was right around the day of our first kid-parent date nights. They were the best thing ever. Days before they started, we grabbed one of our favorite teens that Cora knows and loves and Dave and I went for one hour to a pizza place 2 miles away.  For an entire HOUR.  We almost didn’t know what to say. I almost couldn’t breathe.

And we sit here right now for awhile.  We’ve only been in this stage for a couple week.  I have to say, it feels good!  SO good.  I look back at the past 4.5 months and it almost feels like we survived a tropical storm that blew our lives apart. Literally. And it brought me back to the whole “adoption isn’t for the faint-hearted” topic that I dissected before Cora came home. I get it. I get it.  (And psst! I’m really NOT faint hearted! Praise God for that one!)

We are definitely not in Rehab yet (the next step) but we are settling into to this new place. This place where family rules are pretty much known, boys finding it hard to remember when there wasn’t a sweet little princess demanding her turn on Mario cart and bedtime is easy.  We’re getting a full night of sleep and Cora’s choppy english is so much more put together.  She sings worship songs in the car with us.  (Her favorite? Bless the Lord, oh my soul.  Oh good gracious can she belt it out!)  We’re starting school and she’s excited and ready.  She’s still dealing with control issues quite a bit, but if you ask her who makes the rules, she’ll tell you that mom and dad do and when she’s a mom, she will, too! 😉 (Maybe she’ll start believing that one soon!)

Cora’s diagnosis still sucks, quite honestly, but we’ve left the place where we’re freaked out whenever we think of it and we’ve entered the place where we take charge and tackle it.  (Next up is surgery under her eyelid to remove a rather large cancerous mole. Plastic surgeon appt in a couple weeks and then surgery will be set shortly there after.)

It’s a big transition for 4.5 months. From “awww! LOOK at her!” to “OMGosh HELP ME!” to “Hey! Today went well. Like, pretty much all day. Except that one part. But pretty much all day!”

I’m at the point where I’m starting to see Jen again. (And yes, the 10 lbs and the grey hair (boo!!) and the need to turn my bathroom into a spa for a day to just recover. 😉  Oh wait, that means I have to clean my bathroom. ) What makes me tick, what my passions hold and what there is to me in addition to mom and wife.  I haven’t had a second to think about that since Cora came home and that’s OK! I mean, really, really OK!  I’m here, committed to doing whatever is needed to heal her heart and show her love and love and love. Unconditional love.  But now that school is starting, I’m questioning what it is that makes Jen…Jen! Lots of praying going on. Doors to open or doors to close or doors at all?

I could not have gotten to where I am without my husband who keeps me grounded and sane.  Our lives are pretty much secluded at this point because of the healing we had to do (not just for Cora’s heart, but all of our hearts)  and I couldn’t think of a better man to be secluded with. Even if that only means I get to talk to him for 10 minutes a day. I am blessed. SO very blessed.


3 Responses to “Enter: Triage”

  1. Wendi August 31, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Loved that blog!! So true!

    But I think your blog is very honest.. Much more than mine!!;) Miss Wonderful life over here.:)

    And love Cora’s new shoes!!!

  2. heidi August 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Jen- thanks for writing and blogging the truth. You are just as much a good blogger as Jen Hatmaker. 🙂 Truly. People need to read the rainbow posts sometimes, but a dose of realism thrown in there every once in awhile makes a perfect mix. You’ve got that down- especially throwing Cora’s cancer walk in there. Keep on. 🙂

  3. Amy Jeanroy September 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi Jen-
    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster Award. Not to add more work to your plate, but because I care about you so much and want to spread the word about your awesome journey.
    Here is a cyber squeeze ((((Jen)))) and know that your family inspires me on a daily basis.
    Amy J

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