“How are you?”
“I’m in pain. I still can’t drive. I’m pretty sure the anesthesia from my surgeries has caused some major hair loss. A rare reaction, but then I am the Murphey’s Law of patients. And when I tuck my daughter in I have to do it via phone call because she’s in a therapeutic facility. Because we weren’t save when she was home. Because she wasn’t safe. Oh yeah and sometimes I have to ask my husband or son to tie my shoes.”
Ok, it sounds bad, I know. But adopting children from hard places can be…well, hard. And then the rest of life happens.
Let’s try this again.
“How are you?”
“Fine,” I reply. “Getting better every day. I’m working really hard in physical therapy.”
“How is your daughter?”
“She’s working hard in therapy.”
She is. And so am I. Only it’s really slow going.
But that’s not all that is happening. My parents are here with me. They moved halfway across the US to be near my family. Luke and I got to adopt the most amazing kids. We really did.
I have great friends. We have support. And they never give up on me. I have rides. I have encouragement. We are not alone.
And get this, I am a mom! Yeah, that’s me, the proud Mama milking every last moment for family-goodness. Sorry about all the pictures, Facebook. My family is CUTE!
Our son is flourishing. Carl has become a topless chef. Yeah it’s true. He cooks dinner without a shirt. He bakes pies and cakes without a shirt. Who needs an apron?!. We fill our days measuring and mixing in the kitchen. Then we spend the evening playing card games like Uno, Skip-Bo, Monopoly Deal and Exploding Kittens (that last one is, believe it or not, is a real game.) Oh yeah, and there are no meltdowns. I mean, none. I hope I’m not jinxing this!
Having peace in the house has had an amazing effect on all of us. We aren’t walking on eggshells. For the most part I’m sleeping at night. And when we visit Mary our time is spent having fun rather than struggling to get through.
The truth is that developmental trauma sucks. It’s an ugly beast. Disorganized attachment patterns suck. Mental illness? It’s so hard. And our daughter deals with all of these things. And we deal with all of these things, too. It kills me that I cannot protect her from any of this. When I became her mom, it had already happened.
So how am I? That’s a tough question. Right now I’m just counting my blessings.
**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.
*If you’ve ever struggled with “How are you?” I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!