Monday, July 5, 2010

3 years ago...


I have been thinking a lot about how drastically my life has changed over these last three years.
Three years ago, I was just a retired high school teacher and cheer coach with two children at home and a husband who had just completed his MBA. Life was easy... and predictable.
And then I think about how drastically all of my children's lives have changed in the last three years...
Three years ago, B-Man and Bellyome were being cared for by a staff of people paid to care for them. Three years ago, they had only seen pictures of their future family.
Three years ago, Bubba and Magoo only had to fight each other for my attention.

Three years ago today, Nate and I were packing our suitcases for Ethiopia. Getting ready for the biggest roller coaster of all of our lives.
I'm not gonna lie and say that it has all been easy. For a good while after coming home, Nutella was my best friend rather than my husband, and I remember feeling like I was barely keeping my head above water for a good year after our family was all united. But, I wasn't the only one who struggled.
My husband lost a wife who could dote on him. For a while, he lost a wife who could do much of anything.
My biological children all of a sudden had a brother who was older than them, but couldn't talk to them and a little sister who couldn't communicate in any way other than screaming.
And my little Ethiopian babes... they lost so much.
My oldest and youngest had to lose their first families and first cultures in order to gain us. They lost everything and everyone that was comfortable to them. And they were thrust into the arms of two foreign white people. Complete strangers. And told that we were their new parents. I don't take that loss lightly, nor do I think that my love for them can make that loss completely disappear.
But, I love them. With all of my heart and then some. They are my children and I feel blessed by them every day that they are mine.
I feel blessed by B-Man's beautiful spirit. He is so dynamic and lovely and strong. He has a sense of himself that transcends anything that Nate or I have taught him. We thank his first family for that.
I feel blessed by B-Man and Bubba's relationship. They adore each other. They are truly good to each other. One always looking out for the other. The reality of their relationship is better than any dreams I had that led up to our adoption.
Magoo and Bellyome's relationship, on the other hand... well, let's just say, they are both strong-willed and beautiful girls who are so alike it is eerie. They like to fight, but they love to laugh and play with each other, too. They are both entertaining and vibrant girls. I can't wait to see what the future holds for them!
These last three years have been so much more of everything than I could have imagined. More difficult, more draining, more painful. But more importantly, it has been more colorful, more fulfilling, and more beautiful than my best fairytale dreams.
I am truly living the dream.
Happy Three Year Anniversary!

7 comments:

Jan said...

Jennifer,

It is funny that you wrote this post today. I was lying in bed late last night (waaay after midnight) thinking and your family came to my mind. And I was thinking these same thoughts - how your lives have all changed so much over the past few years. I was thinking about you and marveling at the wonderful and beautiful family you and Nate have created. I miss you very much and wish that we were part of one another's daily lives. You bring such spunk and fun to life. I loved reading your thoughts here tonight. You are such a dear friend and I will love you forever!

Love,
Jan

Marns said...

I am amazed at what you and Nate have done for your kids. You have a beautiful family and I love how you have brought the Ethiopian culture into your home too.

Erica said...

such a darling post. i totally started to cry. you are such a good mom!

Jan said...

Jennifer,

It is funny that you wrote this post today. I was lying in bed late last night (waaay after midnight) thinking and your family came to my mind. And I was thinking these same thoughts - how your lives have all changed so much over the past few years. I was thinking about you and marveling at the wonderful and beautiful family you and Nate have created. I miss you very much and wish that we were part of one another's daily lives. You bring such spunk and fun to life. I loved reading your thoughts here tonight. You are such a dear friend and I will love you forever!

Love,
Jan

Marns said...

I am amazed at what you and Nate have done for your kids. You have a beautiful family and I love how you have brought the Ethiopian culture into your home too.

Sara said...

You are amazing, Jenn. I can only imagine what it was like for you to have 4 kids so little all at once, and to throw in from different cultures to boot...wow! I still am in awe of how you do it! You have such a beautiful family. They are so lucky to have you as their Mom. :)

Heather said...

Such a precious post! The kids are adorable in this picture! I can't believe it's been 3 years already!!It jusy seems like they have always been with you guys. Cute, cute family!