Friday, January 4, 2008

Getting Real

I have referred to myself in the past as a "coper". . .someone who basically took what came my way and handled it. I probably even prided myself on this. Well, it's time to be honest. I've had a hard time coping. These last few weeks have been rough, to say the least. Most of it has been compounded by the lack of sleep. From the time we've come home, Davis hasn't slept through the night (except for last night) ok he's crying now. . I'll be back. . .ok, now I'm blogging from his room. He wakes up in the middle of the night and kind of freaks if he doesn't see me. He also has to have me sitting next to him while he falls asleep at nap time. This combines to mean not a lot of time free for me. This would be a bit stressful for anyone. . .But, then you add Gracie! My daughter is stinkin' adorable. She talks a mile a minute (way ahead of her age in conversation) and is so cute. However, she is one of the neediest kids I know. She basically follows me around whining and begging to "hold you" all day long. So, now I have 2 who do that! This combines to mean that someone is touching me almost all the time.

I haven't handled this well. . .to say the least. I have found myself super overwhelmed. Not knowing how I could do it another day. I've been on the verge of tears many days.

I have given lipservice to my Jesus. All along, I've said that I can't do it without Him. And yet, I have attempted that very thing. Not that I didn't talk to Him. .or better said, beg all day long for help, but I wasn't relying on Him. Not really. I was still thinking that "the coper" could handle it. I just needed time to adjust. Then, on Wednesday I was talking to a fellow adoptive mom who just came home. She was confessing that she too felt overwhelmed and couldn't cope. It was so freeing. We talked and confided in each other for a long time. We even talked about how we had to look past behavior and see the kids heart and their pain. Then, that night it hit me. "Cast the vision". . .this is a phrase I've used often with my volunteer teams. Whenever we meet, we try to remember the vision. . .why God has called us to this. . .what plans He may have, etc. I needed to do this very same thing with Davis. All of a sudden it hit me. . .(warning: this is a super obvious truth and it may seem dumb to you that I didn't get it at first. . however, I am sleep deprived and am claiming "placenta brain" just like any new mom!)

"THIS IS A GOD SIZED TASK" Yep, that's the big truth. We are not talking about taking out the trash here. We are talking about asking God to use me to heal the heart of a wounded little orphan from a 3rd world country who has been hungry, possibly neglected, who knows how treated, abandoned (twice in his eyes) and moved halfway across the world to people who "claim" to love him and never leave him. Add to that helping a 20 month old who already thinks she needs her mama's undivided attention and adding a little boy who is taking a big 'ole chunk of it. And, a 3 year old who is now the big boy and asked to help in things all the time and is now the "head" of a tiny little gang!

Only God can accomplish that through ME. I am just me. I am sinful and stupid and not adept at healing anyone! So, God's gonna have to do it. I just have to surrender. . .not that this is easy, but it can happen. And, if it does. . .if I surrender my rights and my needs and my desires and ask God (the God who created the Universe) to work through me. . .He will. He will choose to use my inept hands and cuddle His precious creations. He will choose to use my unworthy mouth to speak His truth as a balm to hurting hearts. He will choose to use me. Why? Because He loves me and chooses to allow me to be a part of His work, just so I can get to know Him more. . .it's kind of a take your daughter to work day. Every day! I can choose to go with my daddy to work, or just pout.


Jamie said...

Wow, thanks so much for that reminder!!! Even though I haven't brought a child home from Africa (yet) I deal with some of these same things with my children. And I always need a kick in the pants or a gentle reminder. So thank you. And thanks for being so honest. It helps us to know how to pray for you. Praying you get some sleep tonight and that Davis does too. I can't imagine all that little boy has been through, but before you know it he'll be sleeping through the night and feeling like he's always been with your family! I LOVE that picture of your kiddos too! It is ADORABLE! Ok, I need to get some sleep now too!!!

The Nahid Family said...

Oh Brandi,
Thank you so much for your transparency to us in this journey. I can only imagine how you feel, as my little one is not home yet with me. We are hopefully close to getting to go to Ethiopia (early Feb). You are so right. Trusting in the arm of the flesh, or confidence in ourselves in any way will lead us to ultimate despair. But with our confidence totally and completely in Him, we can do all He asks us to do.
The problem with me is, I try to do things that God never really asked me to, like be everything to everyone. We cannot do it, even as mothers. We were not created to. I think we need help, and it is so hard to ask for, especially for me.
Is there anyone who could come over a couple of days a week and just be there with you for a few hours to give you some down time and some one on one with each child? Anyone in your church or maybe even a babysitter?

I know that is easier said than done, but would it be possible? What about your parents? Could one of them come for a couple of hours? It is so hard to fulfill this role, much less to try and do it alone at home each day. The loneliness is something that I don't feel we are meant to bear.

I thank God for blogging and for friends, for my hubby. Some days I feel defeated before my feet even hit the floor in the a.m., but I worship God in singing and dancing around the room, and pray, read His Word, even if my children are up and around me! They've got to see that I am desperate for the Lord, or I can do nothing!!
Maybe try blanket time, something my friend told me about. She would set a timer, and for a certain amount of time, the children had to stay on their blanket. You might try 3 blankets or one blanket for all of them, but enforce that they stay there and play for the set amount of time. This frees you to do some things without clinging.
You may have to continue enforcing while continually assuring Davis or your little girl that Mama is right here. But, you need this time.
Well, just some thoughts for you. I hope some of this might help. When hubby gets home, ask Him if you can go out for a walk alone, even if it is just 30 minutes. That might help too.
(You can tell me all of this when my little Ellie Rose gets here! She is 19 months)

Karin said...

Thanks for your honesty, Brandi... I think sometimes the obvious is the hardest to see in the midst of chaos and life... Isn't it good that we can turn to Jesus and how he can show us things in a new way?
I am praying for you and your family... Rest, Peace, and healing....
enjoy your weekend.

Missy said...

You know, that seems to be a recurring lesson for me too. You would think that when you learn it once it would just come naturally, but, it doesn't. That was a very good post and a great reminder to me. We accepted this "God sized task" and so many times we try to go it alone. We are a stubborn lot aren't we?
Love ya friend,

julie said...

loved it! thanks brandi

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Bran, I know this time is rough. I can't tell you how many times I thought it was impossible to raise 3 children under 3. And you are right, YOU can't. Only God can do it through you. Great job realizing that. I agree with Missy about this being a recurring lesson. I think I have to remember this one every couple months (ok, sometimes weeks, alright fine, sometimes days!). I love ya.

Anonymous said...

Great post Brandi-thank you for your honesty- the lesson is such a needed reminder for us all whether we have brought new children into the family yet or not
great job on the database too!
thank you!

Julie L.

Blu and Darbi said...

Ok, first of all I LOVE the pic of all 3 cute!!

I just wanted to say that I am in awe of how you minister to everyone else even when things around you are falling apart! You have such an awesome heart Brandi! I'm so glad you're my e-friend! :)

I'll be praying for you as God helps you to "cope!"
Darbi :)

amber said...

Oh my -- What a true post. I am very, very grateful that you are hearing the same thing that I am from the Lord... that it's NOT about our comfort! It's about our obedience to the call we heard.
I have a post half-way written about Joanna and how difficult it's been... but I haven't been able to finish it in the right spirit yet! :) This post was a good reminder.
I love ya!


Anonymous said...

and in the middle of it He will give you gifts---I call them "perks from God" to let you know He's right there with you, but you have to look for them.... One of those little people will do something that just cracks you up, or the sunrise (or set) will take your breath away, or someone will hug you or give you just the comfort you need in the moment....and you will KNOW that came from Abba and He is saying, "I can't make it easy, but I love you, Little Child of Mine."
and pretty soon, before you know it life has taken on some sense of normalcy again and you KNOW you're gonna make it---because your Father, God keeps His promise to finish that good work He began in you!
hugs and laughter,
lisa e

Christina said...

I thinks it's great how honest you are being. You are doing a great job! God will lead you through every step! I have been where you are girl! Call if you need a listening ear.
Tell Greg I said "hi" too!

Donna Barber said...

remember the good old days when he didnt like you at all? or did you forget? haha! and missing your personal space? well now you are beginning to sound like Greg! ha
it looks like you have figured out that the REAL journey started once he got home. Many Blessings to you!