This past decade has been in some ways the hardest decade of my life (and I’ve had some doozies – ahem 2000 stunk). I knew I was mentally strong going into 2010 from my marathoning but nothing prepared me for the challenges of starting a family. Life wasn’t fair to us. Fertility treatments were unfairly expensive and unsuccessful. My body was in constant pain and I spent years unknowingly severely anemic. We lost a baby in Ethiopia to an upper respiratory infection, we lost a baby locally when the birth mom changed her mind last minute (after getting our $) and we made so many changes to what countries we were adopting from, it would have been hard for anyone to keep track. Through the trials, there was hope and light. We made two trips to Ethiopia and met our son. The second trip I made by myself with a one way airline ticket intent on staying in Ethiopia with Asher until we had all of the necessary paperwork to come home. I just needed him out of that orphanage. I don’t think I would have the strength to do that trip again. But at the time, God took care of me and my boy. Once bringing our boy home, we were met with a baby who grieved and cried 50 minutes out of every hour. It was hard. But look now. I have a smiling, outgoing, friendly and loving boy. We then started the China special needs adoption process. We headed to China for 3 weeks and met our heart baby Jolie. We learned quickly she’s tough as nails, adorable and has an amazing devotion to Jeff. Our first year with her she was by my side 24 hours a day. It was trying. But now she’s thriving, loves her brother, loves to giggle and is a hard worker.
Marriage has been hard. It’s always hard though. Working with our kiddos has brought a team mentality as we’ve tackled connected parenting, special needs, doctor appointments and my freak out anxieties together. Jeff gets frustrated that I go to bed so early every night. But maybe once my iron levels improve even more I will have more energy once the kids finally pass out!?! Let’s be honest though, I love sleep ?
My career went from flourishing to slowly chugging around. It’s hard to work as one should when you have little kids at home and are unknowingly anemic. Ive also struggled with watching fellow bloggers grow while I feel stuck. I used to be the blogger others came to for advice. Now I’m humbled. I’m praying for guidance on how to resurrect my career in the next decade.
My health is improving. I had a disappointing and emotionally challenging surgery and I can’t say I’ve grieved it yet. But it is helping my health improve and for that I’m grateful. Jolie’s has had two heart surgeries since we’ve brought her home. She’s flourishing and you can’t tell she has severe heart disease. I’m praying by the time her pulmonary valve needs to be replaced that they can do it via catheter instead of open heart. Either way she’s a tough cookie and I know she will fight like the fighter she is.
We moved to our house five years ago. While it needs some expensive work done – which we can’t afford right now (new roof, new screen on birdcage, resurfacing of pool, and a house painting besides minor cosmetic jobs) it’s been a wonderful place to live and we are blessed. The pool has proved to be an amazing way for my kids to burn energy. And during rare quiet moments I love to destress and read sitting by it.
We lost our sweet cat Rosie who was 17. We also lost my best dog friend Pacey one week after we brought Asher home. Pacey waited for me to get home before passing. We added to our family our dog Louie 8 years ago. My love for animals hasn’t declined and I’m excited to start fostering puppies this upcoming year.
My hubby’s non-profit organization is thriving and while I think he works too much, I’m impressed with his hard work and the amazing results to his efforts.
This past decade has been hard, disappointing and challenging. It has also rewarded me greater than I could have imagined. My motto for this next decade is Choose Hope. That might be my next tattoo ?
Cheers to everyone in the New Year and I pray that this upcoming decade is your best decade yet.