Sunday, April 15, 2012

Three months in

Oh the fragility of the human existence. Why is it that growth feels as death? Before the beauty of a bloom is seen, months of cold, dark earth surrounds the plant as it struggles to reach the surface where it needs to be encouraged by not only the warmth of the sun but also the hard rains of Spring to show its beauty. And the moments right before a baby takes in her very first breath on this earth, sheer pain and deep struggle the mother bares as she brings life to the newborn.

Though every intention of our second adoption has been pure and hopeful, the reality of my limits have been painful. My heart longs to love as a saint. As Mother Theresa gave her life in such a remarkable, and yet such a painfully humble way, I so desire to be able to give of myself. I'm sure you can imagine my disappointment when day after day I  fell (fall) embarrassingly short.  "What?! I'm not a saint?!" Jokingly and tearfully I'd think. "God, Oh God" I whisper, "please help me love, help me be calm." Stress, tears, more stress, exhaustion and frustration would seem to answer my prayers. Then finally this week, I broke. While noodles flew across the dining room and the screaming had reached a new level, I sat on the floor and cried. I guess I had held it together just enough to prolong this moment for three months. Not to say that every day has been bad, we have had some really good days. We had just commented about a general feeling of having a grasp on life again, as well as a having a short lull in the screaming.  Just in the very recent week, it felt as though we were going backwards, loosing positive and hard worked for ground. Progress felt as though it had stopped and small pieces were being ripped from my hands. Nothing real specific or even horrific. But to have the overwhelming feeling come back with screaming in tow, hurt, hard.

I don't really know what I am trying to say exactly. I know it isn't earth shattering to find that you really aren't that wonderful of a person. That sometimes all my love and energies run dry. It hurts when the sacrifices being made seem to be falling short. And when everything you have isn't enough. Tears keep pouring out and I didn't think I'd make it through lunch, let alone the rest of the day. My human strength was not enough and my pure intentions did nothing to help me off the floor. After finishing the day, I found myself crying on my mom's kitchen floor the next morning, only to be followed by more crying in my friends living room that afternoon. Each crying session was less painful, and thankfully the last two were near people other than toddlers and babies. So here is my early stages of something that will help with the blooming and birthing process...

It is in that painful moment that you realize I am mere bones and flesh. Yet, though I am only human, I am also a child of the Divine. And this relationship with the Divine pours love and  grace back through me. Somehow I am both broken and mended. Broken enough to know it is not I who contains pure love but mended enough to give love to those in my life.

Also, no matter how hard we work at it, life is still life. Wild and unpredictable. And no amount of hard work or goodwill can master it's turns and hills. No, life cannot and will not be mastered. Yet, this little person, this weak, tired person holds the key to seeing the beauty at each turn and the views from both the top and the bottom of each hill. Some places aren't so beautiful and fun to visit, and thats okay, but each stop and start are valuable to the journey and it's story.

It's okay to want things to be "normal" or manageable again. But being realistic is really important. Being reminded that it has only been three months. And looking back, I can see how far we have come.

Here's to...

Fitting 3 kids in a two kid stroller

Spending Sundays outside together as a family

Being REALLY tired

Flying with two adults and three kids

Making up new stroller capacities 

Pulling the kids in bed with us because we really DO need an just.five.more.minutes.

Sad grumpy tired kids

To happy laughing giggling kids

a full bakfiets

a toy problem, along with a messy house

watching happy faces

wearing babies in the front and back
less crying

more happy faces

more baby wearing

more hiking

sad attempts at family photos

trying everything under the sun to soothe a big baby

sleeping babies in the stroller 

more baby wearing

early, early morning runs

More Sundays outside
Even more bad family pictures

A happy first birthday 
Seeing More laughing

And to a very long ago "first night home".


  1. Nicole NoltensmeyerApril 15, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Alyssa, having 3 boys in 3 years, I can so relate to your feelings. I birthed all three and I still have struggled with liking my children at times, so don't feel guilty. My favorite sobbing spot was in the car. Some days, I'd put one or more screaming kids in their crib and then go sit out in the car and cry my eyes out, just praying for Jim to get home from work. These struggles will pass, and new ones will come. You just do the best you can and know that the perfect Parent will take care of what you can't. And, by the way, I LOVE the family pictures, because they are REAL.

    1. Nicole, thank you for your kind words. Sometimes it hurts less knowing other people have been there too.

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  3. Alyssa, you are a beautiful person with beautiful intentions. All dreams come with sleepless nights, and all love comes with trials and sadly, some errors. Your heart and soul are strong, and 3 wonderful children are getting the benefit of knowing that their mother is giving every ounce she has, mind, body and soul to make their world a happy place. I couldn't potty train a dog in 3 months, give yourself some credit girl, you are working hard. Cry when you need to, have a house full of toys, those babies will grow up to know true sacrifice and love. It will all be worth it. It takes a village, let others help. You have great family support and you are a Child of God, you need no more than that to get through all that is in front of you. And remember..SMILE!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement...and all week I just keep telling myself SMILE!

  4. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this post! Our family does foster care and as much as I don't wish them on others, it's so nice to know there are hard days and screaming fits going on elsewhere in the world. Sometimes it can feel like we're the only home in chaos! lol

    I love the "real life" you post. It seems most adoption blogs are all about flowers and roses (which it definitely is, praise the Lord!), but the "real" stuff also needs to be portrayed. So thank you again for letting us catch a glimps into your beautiful life... the one God is creating just for you and your precious family!

    Prayers from your mother in law's friend's daughter! lol

    1. Aww, the sounds of screaming... thank you for sharing that it happens in other places! I felt better after reading this comment! Thank you!

  5. Beautiful words, beautiful babies, beautiful you!
    This mama gig is the hardest thing I've ever done — so nice to know others succumb to tears, too. Cleansing the soul, right?

    1. Thanks Lisa! Cleansing of the soul is right... at least I feel better when I'm done crying, usually!

  6. You are such an amazing mama Alyssa, these children of yours are so lucky to have you. Tears will come, both of joy and despair, but so much worth it in the end... at least that's what I keep telling myself ;) Love you!

    1. Thank you Anna, you are sweet and you are also very right! We love you too!