Pride in the Wait

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Pride often sneaks up on me. It’s always there, of course, asleep on my shoulders, but I’m not always aware of it until it wakes up and rears its ugly head in my face.

It’s been over 400 days since we started our second adoption from foster care process and we still have not brought home our child.

There was that first match meeting which was postponed for months only for us to not get picked. Then there was the adoption disruption. And then, more waiting.

We took family photos and captioned them things like, “Last Christmas as a family of four” and “Last time we’ll ever do ___" and instead we’re ending a school year and heading into the summer and still there are only four of us.

This was not how it was supposed to go. We were cocky. We had planned our calendars. We had requested maternity/paternity leave. We had postponed our own trips, wanting to save outings for next child. We knew we’d have one or two more children by now. We knew 400 days would not go by until we were a family of 5 or 6.

And yet we’re still waiting.

The feelings of failure have been strong. More so with this second adoption than we’ve ever felt in our infertility journey. At this point in 9 years of marriage it’s almost expected we won’t have biological children. No, it’s less shameful for us to not have birthed a child than it is for us to not adopt again. I mean, we attend our foster care support group regularly! So we need stories to add. We regularly speak and preach about why people need to enter into foster care! Where is our new child(ren)?!

It’s been hard. Dejecting and hard. It’s hard not to take it personally when you’re not the family that’s picked for a child (even though we make it a point to pray and rejoice knowing that child has a family). It’s hard not to take it personally when an adoption disruption (even though we’re rejoicing in seeing fruit from that hardship). It’s hard to put non-refundable deposits on summer trips and vacation homes and use pen to fill our calendars with plans because shouldn’t we wait? The What If Game is repeated over and over in our home.

At the end I know it will be worth it. I know because I’ve walked that road and even though it was significantly shorter I know the outcome will be similar.

At the end it will be worth it. I just wish we knew when the end was going to be.

Mothering with Chronic Pain

by Erin

I type this as I sit with a heating pad on my abdomen, Tylenol within arms reach, a baby is in his walker and a toddler is fighting a nap in her crib. Days like this are some of the hardest days. Not because of DCS or court or toddler behavior. Days like this are hard because of me- my body.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to call the DCS office so my husband and I could start the foster parenting process. I had a whole long list of reasons not to but ultimately, there was really only one question that mattered in my mind. Will I be healthy enough?

You see, there are days where I lay in the bathtub for hours just to try and find some relief. There are days when I can barely stand upright because the pain won’t allow. There are days where I simply cry because I know next month I’ll just have to do this all over again. I’ve tried herbs and homeopathic medicine and yoga and massages. I’ve tried all of the oils and the anti-inflammatories. I’ve tried less caffeine, more caffeine, no dairy and no gluten.

I have endometriosis. And this disease is trying to steal my motherhood.

I don’t really talk a lot about it anymore, the endometriosis. And now that I’m a momma, everyone seems to think it has gone away. But the truth of the matter is- it’s never been more real. You see, now the pain days aren’t just a reminder of my infertility. The pain days now also prevent me from being a momma. But I won’t allow them to steal my motherhood.

I used to always think that endometriosis would make me an inadequate parent but I’m learning that’s not true. Does it add certain challenges? Certainly. The truth is, I am an inadequate mother- not because of chronic pain, but because I’m human. And I can be ever thankful that His grace and mercy covers my motherhood.

So I’ll say to you, momma with chronic pain, you’re not alone. You don’t have to pretend to feel better than you are. And you certainly don’t have to allow your pain to steal your motherhood.

Erin is a foster momma in small-town Indiana where she spends her days doing life with her husband of 5 years, chasing her two littles and styling hair in a local salon. She loves Jesus and enjoys all things beer, coffee, wine and kombucha. You can find her at www.thebelovedbabe.com.