We are currently living in uncharted waters and times. I have asked many of our grandparents if anything like this has happened in their time. Their answer. No. They have, however, lived through other tough times. Some of them through the great depression. Some through World War II. Some through the Vietnam War. Some of them through the Korean War. Some of them and we have lived through the Afghanistan War or the Iraq War. Or, if you are like me you remember all too well 9-11. All of which, we became stronger together. United as one. A stronger nation. A stronger united front. The unknowns of this time are unsettling. I am right there with you. Don’t get me wrong, I question a lot of what is going on in our world right now as I type this. But the way I see it, we will get through it one way or another. What we used to know as “normal” will probably never be the same. But, as our ancestors before us did, we will barge forward and adapt to the new normal, whatever that may be. Read More
“I wish I had more time.” “I thought I had more time.” Basically, my parenting life to date. I wish I had more time with Jackson. Yup, there I said it. I have mom guilt most of the time. I work too many hours, too many days, too often, and too hard. I love my job. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. And I know I am teaching Jackson more than just being a working mom. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have the guilt of wishing I had more time in the day to be with Jackson. Thankfully he has an incredibly awesome dad, who is there for him more than I am. At least for now. But that is not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is this:
“I thought I had more time.”
I know I have shared this poem on here before, but it is worth sharing again.
The Last Time (author unknown)
From the moment you hold your baby in your arms you will never be the same
You might long for the person you were before
When you had freedom and time
And nothing in particular to worry about
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before
Days will run into days that are exactly the same
Full of feedings and burping
Nappy changes and crying
Whining and fighting
Naps or a lack of naps
It might seem like a never-ending cycle
But don’t forget…
There is a last time for everything
There will come a time when you will feed your baby for the very last time
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down
And never pick them up that way again
You will scrub their hair in the bath for one last time
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone
They will hold your hand to cross the road
Then will never reach for it again
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus” and do all the actions
Then never sing them that song again
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times. And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
So while you are living in these times, remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
I have experienced plenty of the “last times” with Jackson over the years. Hence why I thought I had more time. Because they snuck up on me. I didn’t see them coming. I didn’t want to admit they were happening. But I have fed him his last bottle. Rocked him to sleep for the last time. Carried him on my chest for the last time. Carried him period for the last time. Had skin to skin contact for the last time. The hard part, I know there are more lasts coming. Some day, it will be the last time I read him a bedtime story or he wakes us up in the middle of the night. I just don’t know when those lasts will be. And that is the hardest part. You wake up one morning and those moments become a last without us ever knowing the last time we did it was going to be our last. Hence, why I feel I thought I had more time. But there is more…
So when I heard those six little words come out of Jackson’s mouth. I wasn’t ready. I thought I had more time. I thought I had more time before he said “You are not my real mom.” I know deep down in my core he only said them to get a reaction out of me. Just two days prior he told me that the world’s best mom was Heather, his birth mom. Well, I did have to agree with him on that one though! She made me the mom I am today. I wouldn’t be able to even hold the title mom, whether “real” or not without her. So, yes, Jackson I agree she is the world’s best mom.
But I would be lying to you all if I stood here and told you those six little worlds didn’t break my heart into a million little pieces. Whether he meant them or not. Whether he understands what he is saying or not. Because deep down inside, I question daily whether or not I am good enough to be his mom. Remember, the mom guilt I mentioned above. Yeah, it’s real. But more than that, is that what he sees when he looks at me, wishing I was someone else. I know not to think these things and I know he didn’t really mean them the way I took them. But I also know this will not be the last time I hear them. Somewhere inside of me, I thought, well maybe, if we do a good enough job he will just always know we were meant to be his parents and he will never say those words to me. So much for wishful thinking! Maybe I will only hear them this one time. Then again, there will be more times just like it. Maybe I will be better prepared in response.
In any event, I know, he is only five years old and is starting to question his identity and figure out who he is. I know this. We studied this. We knew this would come. This is the age when they start to figure out identity, family connections, etc. This isn’t new to me. What’s new to me is I thought I would have had more time to be prepared for this. He is only five. But then again, how do you ever prepare yourself for it? So my advice to you mommas out there that might hear “you are not my real mom.” Find someone to talk to. Find a support person. Find a support group. Find someone that understands. Find someone who has adopted children to talk to. Because no matter how much you tell me that it will be ok, or he only said that because he was angry, or he doesn’t really know what he said, it’s not helpful. I know those things. I have read numerous books, articles, etc., on adoption and adoption-related issues. I know. But what you don’t know is that even though you know those things and you know those words weren’t meant to hurt you, they still do.
Essentially, I wish I had more time and thought I had more time but will utilize the time I do have to treasure every day that I get to be Jackson’s mom, real or otherwise.
I know I told y’all that my 2020 word of the year was self. And I talked about how I wanted 2020 to be more about myself in an attempt to be the best version of myself. Well, prior to that I had something that has been pressing on my heart for some time now. As in, months this has been weighing heavily on my heart. I didn’t quite know how to write the words or if the words would even be perceived the way I wanted them to. So, here it goes. I don’t know who needs to hear it but I needed to get it off my chest. Read More
Hello, virtual world. It seems like it has been a lifetime since I last penned any words to this blog. In fact, I don’t think I have penned any words anywhere in quite some time. Thankfully I know you don’t judge my lack of appearances here on Three is My Happy Place! With that being said, Happy New Year. I cannot believe it is the year 2020. I feel trapped somewhere between the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s. Whether we like it or not, here we are in a new decade. The new roaring 20’s! Sounds pretty darn fun to me. If you say it out loud 2020 just sounds like it is going to be a great year. Even if it turns out not to be so, at least it still sounds cool. Read More
I wrote those words on a sticky note in my bible years ago after hearing a message preached in church. The truth of those words struck me like a lightning bolt. Let them sink in. The all mighty Heavenly Father, King of kings, Lord of Lords, loves me (and you) as His beloved. Let them sink it again. You are His Beloved. Read More
The other day (which I guess has been more like the other month) I was doing my morning devotion- thank you Jesus for sneaking back into my life and reminding me that I needed to put you first or I wouldn’t have been doing a morning devotion. And afterwards I did just one of the things my devotion recommended, write on a sticky note that said, “bad moments don’t make bad moms.” There were also a few other quotes to write down and post around your house as constant reminders. Well, I did just that. Then I put that sticky note on Instagram and Facebook. I was blown away by the amount of love and support I got from it. Read More
One of the best lessons I learned a few years ago was the process of learning how to build margins in to your day. I know, I know, we are all super busy. We go from one place to another, shuffles kids from here to there and wonder how we will get through the days sometimes. I wish there was a way I could explain to you how important this is. Not filling your entire day with stuff, leaving room for the neighbor that needs sudden help, the teacher that needs an extra hand, the kid that needs a little more attention. Or if you are lucky, the aunt that needs someone to go to the concert with her. Read More
Have you ever experienced something and then thought to yourself, well that didn’t go the way I thought it was going to. For me, I usually think that just about every time I decide I want to cook something with Jackson. I always see the cute little picture of us baking in my head and in reality it is a disaster in my kitchen; I have egg in my hair and Jackson is done after the first two steps. I have said it many times after a project we did together and I end up doing most of the work. Or times when I think this is going to be a really cute picture and then Jackson sticks out his tongue or makes a silly face. Yup, that didn’t go according to plan.
The other day we were struggling with some things with Jackson’s behavior and I thought to myself, again, well that night didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go. And right in that moment I heard God say to me those same exact words, “Well that didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go.” Jackson and I were in the car when it happened and I said to Jackson, do you ever hear Jesus talking to you? He said, “No, not much.” Of course he did, he is only four and doesn’t quite get the concept of the Holy Spirit. Oh, but did I hear Him in that moment. I just smiled and thought more about what Jesus was trying to tell me.
How many times have you tried to fix something on your own? Or completely do something on your own without consulting with Jesus first? I cannot tell you how many times I have done and have looked back on those times and thought to myself, well that didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go. Hmm… I wonder why.
Or how many times I have thought to myself my life hadn’t gone according to plan. Well of course, that was my plan. I was going to have two car seats and a minivan way before I was 30. That was my dream. That was my plan for my life. Jesus had a different plan. A plan that included suffering, pain, hurt and longing to be a mommy. And a subtle reminder that my life had already been planned out, long before I came along. A reminder that no matter what plan I came up for my life, there was something better that lied ahead. It may not come the way I had imagined it or thought it would go but somehow in the end, it always ends up better than I imagined.
Now imagine Jesus saying it to you. Well that didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go. Talk about conviction. I wonder how many times he has thought that about me? Probably too many times to count. Well guess what? It is a good thing he doesn’t keep track of my mistakes or failures. But even better, He quietly reminds me that I need Him more than I think do.
Listen for Jesus’ quiet and soft reminders today that your life is in His hands.
Ya’ all. I cannot believe this day has come and gone again. It seems like not that long ago we were anxiously awaiting our court appearance for a judge to tell us he was ours. I am not sure if those memories will ever fade (with age it seems things get harder and harder to remember!). I was so thankful the Judge asked JJ what it meant to have Jackson as our son. I wouldn’t have been able to say a single word, I was crying so much. For those of you who don’t know, JJ is a man of the least amount of words spoken! I love that about him. Maybe because I talk too much! When he spoke those words in court that day, I couldn’t have been more proud to be his wife and share this parenting journey with him. He spoke from the heart. He reassured me, the judge and everyone in that courtroom that it didn’t matter that Jackson was born to another woman, but that we would love him as our own. Oh, I just get all teary-eyed thinking back to that day!
I shared with you all, what we did last year for Jackson’s gotcha day in a three part series– you can check it out here in case you missed it. But now he is learning more and more about being adopted. Still, the other day he told me he wasn’t adopted. I don’t know if it is him trying to figure out who he is or if he is in denial, but he most certainly was adopted! He just doesn’t think so!
We have been explaining more and more to Jackson this year about being adopted and why he even has a gotcha day. He just thinks he gets a present. Maybe we need to work on his thankfulness! Just when I thought I got this parenting thing under control, we get thrown a wrench. Like, learning how to deal with him processing these emotions. Half the time I can’t even process them, can you imagine how hard it is for a four year old? Uftah, do we have a task ahead of us!
This year, we decided to travel down to Brookfield for Jackson’s gotcha day. Which also means, I had to work. Oh, this working mom stuff pulls on my heart strings every single day, but even more when I can’t spend such a special day with him. You know what though? I did get to spend the day with him. No, not the whole day like dad did, but the extra 2+ hour car ride there and the 2+ hour car ride home was 4+ extra hours I got with him that I don’t usually get with him. There is one thing I have learned in this life, it is that you take every and I mean every single chance you can get to spend extra time with your loved ones, no matter how small that extra time is. So was my heart breaking that he got to do all kinds of fun stuff with dad, yes, yes it did.
It was also really cool that he got to spend the day with just dad. They too need to spend one on one time together. The way they both talked about their day when they picked me up was beautiful! Jackson was excited about all the cool experiences he got to do, Discovery World, Children’s Museum, getting his haircut the way he wanted, and of course a new toy! JJ was so excited to share with me their time together and explain how good of a mood Jackson was in and how well he did that day. I might have missed out on being there with them, but I gained way more watching them bond and talk about their day together than I could have had I been there.
Oh and this year he picked out his on gotcha day presents, dinosaurs. He has really been into them lately! In fact, maybe that is a new trend we will start, he gets to pick out his gotcha day present. It is HIS day, after all! He also got his hair cut just the way he wanted it, short on the sides and long on the top!
And… this year he was the lucky recipient of influenza and strep throat on his gotcha day on the way back from Milwaukee. Parenting can result in some of the biggest highs to the lowest lows. Having sick children is absolutely the worst.
Do any of you celebrate Gotcha Day for your children? We would love to hear about what your family does to celebrate!