Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Tale of Three Mamas

Finley and I lay in her bed, praying our nighttime prayer. Lately, her prayers are prayers of gratitude.

Thank you for Daddy,
thank you for Mama,
thank you for Gibson and Elliott,
thank you for sun...

The list goes on. This night Finely's added, thank you for foster mama, to her prayer. This was not unusual, but tonight she added, I have two mamas.

It caught me off guard a bit that we had not talked about her birth mama yet. 

For the sake of getting her to bed, I filed it away and made note that the next time we were talking about her mamas, I would tell her about her birth mama. 

Eventually, the topic came up again as Finley saw a picture and declared that the woman in the picture was her foster mama.

I gently told that she has another mama, a birth mama, and that she was in her tummy. 

Finley's response: Wow! I have a lot of mamas! Can I take a bath?

In that moment she took in her first realization that there was another, very important woman in her life. She took it in and she moved on.

Some time later, a picture surfaced of me when I was pregnant with Elliott, and the subject came up that Elliott was in mama's belly.

With that statement released into the air, Finley declared that she was in my belly too, and I reminded her that she grew in her birth mama's belly. 

Finley's response this time: I don't like my birth mama. I want to be in your belly.

My heart broke. I acknowledged the loss that this carried for my 3 year old little girl, and I told her that while she didn't grown in my belly, she grew in my heart. It felt cheap--like the true injustice that it really is.

But, instead of trying to make it less cheap and more just, we just sat in it. We talked a bit more about it and she eventually got up to go do what non-adopted toddlers do--going on with her day not concerned about whose belly she was in for the first 9 months of her life. 

I know this is just the beginning of Finley asking questions about her story. I know she is going to be angry at all three of her mamas at different times throughout her her life. And, that's ok, I welcome it, and even encourage it. Because, without the anger, she will never be able to grieve her great loss--a loss that is huge, even for a 3 year old girl.

I wish I knew more about her birth mama. I wish I had a picture of her and knew her personality. I wish I could tell her that she got her smile from her birth mama and her dimple from her birth daddy. 

I can't. I most likely never will be able to fill in these parts of her story.

My prayer is that while I can't fill in those parts of her story, and that she didn't grow in my belly, that Finley feels the grace of God as she discovers whom she is and where she came from. That although she grew in my heart, God planned her to be my daughter long before she was born.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Story Behind the Smiles

The recent passing of Robin Williams has left the world in shock.

There have been so many people putting words to the loss, and the cause of the loss this week. Glennon, Anne, Nish and so many more have used their voices in profound ways moving everyone to think from a deeper place in their hearts.

I am not writing to add another voice, but to share my story.

I am an open book. For those who know me, know the good, bad and ugly that is laced throughout my being.

I am writing this for those who only know the social media Theresa.

I am here to put words to my depression story... To put some context to smiles you often see on your screen, and to let you know that there is no shame in struggling, in needing help, and being sad.

As a 7 year old girl, I remember sitting by the front window of my house at the exact time my dad was expected to come home from work.

I would sit, with a pit in my stomach, as each car passed on our busy road that wasn't my dad's. As each car passed my worry would intensify. My thoughts would wander to the possible car crash my dad was in, and certainty he would never come home.

This snapshot is just a glimpse into the anxiety that has been present throughout my life.

As I got older and became a mother, the anxiety intensified and the depression set in. I always prided myself in being smart and beat myself up for not being able to control my profound darkness.

There had to be a 10 step plan, right?

There wasn't. There still isn't.

While in the middle of our long adoption journey, when I felt that I could no longer breathe, put one foot in front of another, or bear to face another day, I set my shame aside and began taking an anti-depressant.

It wasn't instant, but eventually I began to fully breath for the first time in my life. I wasn't letting fear manage my days, and I felt truly at peace. I had energy because I was no longer battling the darkness all day, and my family finally got the fully present mom that had always deserved.

I still take my Celexa everyday and have no plans of ever stopping.

As heartbreaking as this week has been, God's redemptive plan has already proven beautiful.

Please remember to be kind. I have been on both sides of kindness and know that for someone fighting a battle of depression your kindness may mean the world.

Much love,

Friday, August 1, 2014

When You Don't Want To Go Home

My children are dancing on my last nerve.

I am exhausted.


And, can't find the pocket where I stored the good of summer for when this day struck.

I was supposed to work today. The office day was canceled.

My kids and my sitter all think that I am at work. I didn't have the energy to tell them otherwise.

Since 8:30am, I have been wandering, and I am not a wanderer. I often feel guilt with wandering, wondering if I am spending these few sacred hours away from my children wisely.

The pressure of what to do with the first 5 free hours I have had in the last two months nearly kills me each time.

Not today.

Today, I feel empty.


And, I am just going with it and giving myself grace.

My initial morning wandering lead me on the hunt for a cardigan to wear to an unseasonably cold summer wedding this weekend.

I never did find a cardigan, I can't say that I looked that hard.

I did, however, drink Rwandan coffee loaded with half-n-half - while it was still warm, stop at a garage sale, drove with my windows down, and picked myself fresh flowers.

It's okay to wander, to buy polka dot measuring cups that you don't really need at a clothing boutique, to peruse books at a local bookstore and walk away with two you may never read. It's okay to purchase a charming gray and white striped rug just because you like it but don't necessarily love it.

And, it's okay not to want to go home to your kids yet.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Homemade Sunscreen

While we are on the topic of sharing good things, I wanted to pass this along.  I have made a few adjustments, and would love to hear what works for you! My only complaint is the whining children that I am rubbing the sunscreen on! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Going Back to the Basics

Three summers ago I was inspired to go back to the basics. I spent the summer with watching less tv, reading more books and living like it was 1976. It was good and it was great and then I saw something bright it the distance and got distracted. Wasn't the first time I've been distracted from something good and it won't be the last.

This summer I am finding myself being called back to the basics.  While I will always be an advocate for disposable diapers, oreos, and half and half I found this recipe for bug and tick spray and thought it looked pretty painless and could possibly earn me my jr. "natural" mom badge.

And because it was so easy and the easiest point of reference for me in my blog, I thought I'd share the goodness here.

You too could earn your jr. "natural" mom badge.

Fast and Furious

We are two weeks into summer, and it has been fast and furious. Our days have been filled with swimming, canoeing, bike riding, soccer ball kicking and baseball playing.

For my introverted, down time loving self it has been exhausting, yet so heart filling. While I am anti-fill up our schedules with wall-to-wallsportsactivitiesfriendsandnonstopmovement, I daresay I am starting to find joy in the busy.

Last night, as we sat at playoff game #2 of the week I was thankful. Gibson was in his glory tearing up the baseball field, Elliott was playing his usual pick-up game of baseball with any sibling who was up for a game, and Finley was being her usual three year old self...and life was good.

I am going to take that good and store it in my pocket for the rest of the summer when my blood pressure is rising, my kids are bickering and exhaustion is creeping in .

Here's hoping I can remember which pocket I put it in.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

While Waiting For My Money Tree

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
Theodore Roosevelt

For so many years I have dreamed of a floor to ceiling, wall to wall bookshelf.  The bookshelf of my dreams has weight - it's substantial, the color of whipping cream, and filled with books upon books.  It has family pictures scattered throughout and holds family memories in the form of a ticket stub to a turquoise bowl filled with special rocks.  Three dull copper sconces illuminate my dream bookshelf and a barn wood ladder that rolls effortlessly on large industrial wheels from wall to wall. 

Sounds dreamy, I know. 

I have stored so many books waiting to be placed on the bookshelf of my dreams. As I have waited for the money tree that would fund my bookshelf, my hefty collection of books have spent the last ten years in blue Rubbermaid tubs. A tragic turn of events for such a great collection.

I decided it was time to stop waiting for my perfect, and do what I can with what I have.  I now have a home for a few in my beloved books, and I think I am in love. So in love, I almost don't notice the television circa 1997. 

It may not be floor to ceiling or wall to wall, but in it's own small way, I think it is quite dreamy. 

our five... un.tied

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