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Archive for 2012

Finding the Joy

It’s hard to believe that the last time I updated my blog was when Isaiah turned 1. Now, nearly a year later, he is merely two months away from turning 2, and two months into life as a big brother. Yes, Isaiah has a little baby sister, and it has taken me two whole months to write about it.

Karina Joy came into our lives like a whirlwind. Completely unexpected yet absolutely wanted, her adoption is something I am still trying to process. It hasn’t been an easy two months either. She has been either sleeping or screaming for most of her life. Colic, reflux, gas, anger, grief… your guess is as good as mine as to why she has had such a hard time. She’s seemingly healthy and we’ve tried countless things to make Karina happy, but happy is not an emotion Karina seems to feel much of yet. We’re working on it.

Karina Joy. It took a very long time to come up with her name. “Pure joy” is its meaning, and what we long for in our lives together. Some days I wonder though if we made the right choice in naming her. Grace was a middle name we considered, and many days I feel like it would have been a better choice. For it is only by the grace of God that I have these two beautiful children in my life, and some days it’s only by my grace that they aren’t eaten with a thick layer of chocolate sauce on top. Grace. Though we often fail, we try to live it and breathe it around here. Then there is Hope… Karina Hope? I hope so greatly that she finds her happy, and hope with all that is in me that I can be the mother she needs me to be. Faith would have been an excellent choice as well, since most of the time faith is the only thing that keeps me going. Faith that this season will pass. Faith that God will bring us through it relatively unscathed. Faith that He knew what He was doing by bringing us all together.

Then there are the names that aren’t fitting for a child by any means, but fitting in my life at the moment. Doubt. Fear. Guilt. Some days I feel only these things and it’s a struggle to move past them. Some days mothering two high needs children under 2 is an extreme challenge fit only for the most terrifying of reality TV shows. Some days I feel like I need an intervention.

It has been a difficult journey so far, and some days it’s hard to see anything but negatives down the road. But then! Then she sneaks in a little bit of that Joy. Like how on my 32nd birthday, which was a very difficult day, she smiles at me for the first time, and I get a glimmer of Hope and have a little more Faith that Karina will someday find her happy and the road will be a little less treacherous.

I look at these beautiful children and while they are 100% mine, I still wonder. I wonder if Isaiah looks like his birth mom. Does he have her eyes? Does she share his contagious smile and infectious laugh? How much will it hurt him to never have those answers? How would his life be different if I were not in it? Would it be better? What if we had not pursued Karina’s adoption? To whose family would she belong? Would her life be better? Would she be happier? How can I make them understand the difficult choices their original families made for them? And what would my life be like if they weren’t in it? What would I be doing right now?

Then like an innocent child wondrously blowing the seeds of a dandelion, I watch those thoughts fade into the sunlight as they vanish with the wind. One or two seeds might crop up again someday I’m sure, but every smile and every giggle… every hug and every snuggle… every kiss and every “mommy!”… every delicious sniff of their beautiful heads reminds of of why they are in my life.

They’re my crazy.
My doubt.
My laughter.
My fear.
My silly.
My guilt.
My snuggles.
My kisses.
My hope.
My faith.
My grace.
My world.
My everything.

Yes, they are even my joy. These little creatures waltzed right into my life, turning it upside down and inside out, challenging me in ways I never thought possible. But even on the hardest of days, they still bring me joy. And on the better days that are filled with all the goodness that motherhood has to offer, I find new determination in that Joy and the strength to do everything within me to help Karina find hers. After all, it is her name. Her destiny. She will find her Joy and be a Joy to all who are lucky enough to know her.

I know it.
I feel it.
I will help her realize it.

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