Elaine recently adopted her third child, and due to the extenuating circumstances of his birth and subsequent hospital stay, has some wise advice for the rest of us! I’m so happy to have Elaine with us. Be sure to read her last post, 5 things motherhood via adoption taught me.
When life is running like a well-oiled machine and then, in the blink of an eye, everything changes, what do we do? Suddenly nothing seems normal, everything is chaotic and the realization that life will never be the same is enough to make your head spin.
I think it’s safe to say Babywise Moms have Type-A personalities. The structure, consistency and order that Babywise affords us brings us much security in this life.
I fit that description to a T. I am a Type-A Babywise mom who has had not one but two instances just this year where life changed in an instant, never to be the same again. I had barely recovered from the first instance before the second instance came in the form of my newborn son.
In the span of just over two weeks I went from having a very enjoyable and organized life to one of complete chaos. I had spent the summer gearing up for our first official year of homeschooling. I was extremely excited to begin Kindergarten with our oldest daughter and preschool with our second daughter this fall. The homeschool room in our house was organized and ready to go. I was loving life! Having children five and three years old, we had come out of the baby and toddler phase of parenthood and life with the two girls was pretty much routine and pleasant most of the time.
And then, while on vacation, we received a phone call that rocked our world and 18 days later we found ourselves driving in the middle of the night 2.5 hours from our home to another city to adopt a baby boy! We arrived to find a very sick baby who would be withdrawing from drug exposure in the womb. We ended up being away from home and our girls for twenty-seven days as our son recovered in the NICU and we stood by his side.
From the moment of that phone call, life has been anything from normal and routine. I’ve been thrown one of the biggest curveballs of my life in the form of a five pound baby boy (who now I cannot imagine my life without) and I find myself, for the second time this year, living in survival mode until we find our new normal again!
Here are three ways I am surviving as we find our new normal:
Rely on the Lord
The events of my life this year have only made me realize even more how dependent on the Lord I am! I am nothing without Him. He is my strength and my peace through these times. The four weeks we were away and dealing with the adoption were four of the most stressful weeks of my entire life for many reasons.
God was faithful to walk with me those four weeks and He will be faithful to help me find a new sense of normal as a family of five. Beginning every day by reading His Word is imperative to making it through the day. I am currently reading a Psalms a day because the words there are so powerful and uplifting to anyone going through a challenging time.
Accept help from anyone willing to give it
My son requires a lot of attention (as all newborns do but his needs are different than the average newborn) and I found it nearly impossible to care for all three of my children upon returning home. My mom has been a complete lifesaver and stayed with us to help for the first two weeks after we came home. Our friends and family provided meals. I am used to doing it all (well, except cooking – that my husband oversees or we would all starve), but suddenly I wasn’t capable and I had to rely on the help from others.
Give yourself grace
This has been the hardest one for me to own and apply during this time and I know it is because I am a Type-A personality. I feel torn between my children. If I am caring for my girls, I am not adequately able to care for my son and must rely on others to meet his needs. If I am caring for my son, I cannot give my girls what they need because he requires my undivided attention at this stage in his life. I have had to make myself look at the Big Picture of all this and realize it is all just for a season and eventually, with time, everything will fall into place again and our family will once again operate like a well-oiled machine!
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