Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Whatever the circumstance...

The past several weeks have been busy to say the least.

To be honest I have not felt up to blogging much about them either.

But tonight my heart is heavy and I must get a few things out.

Forgive me for the rambling that may procede...

Most everyone wants to know how Elliana is doing and of course that is completely expected and welcomed. And so many times I just want to say she is doing just fabulous. I want to say that she is happy and content and completely bonded and all of her issues have completely gone away. I want to say that having her home is what I always dreamed it would be. Because isn't that what we all want to see and hear? That we are living in the happily ever after of the adoption fairy-tale?
But most days that is not the case. Most days as in just about every day.

I am going to be honest here.
I am having a hard time.

There are many "circumstances" I could blame it on.

Such as the fact that after 6 weeks of being home our baby is STILL having very painful stomach problems. Every 3-4 days it gets so bad that she is inconsolable until she finally goes and then afterward she still cries because of the fissures that are on the inside. Yes, we have been to the doctor. Twice. And yes we have switched formula, fed her prunes, water and juice, given her daily doses of MiraLax and probiotics, and resorted to suppositories. (sorry if all that is too much info for you- this is our life at the moment though) It is exhausting.

Or the fact that she seems so slow in developing. Yes, she has come a long way in the 6 weeks we have had her, but we are still anxiously waiting for her to hit some milestones very soon.

Or that after 6 weeks of being together all day everyday, I still don't feel like I have a very strong bond with my daughter. Yes, she of course recognizes me and will cry when I leave the room, but I know that she is still very reserved and doesn't yet trust me. In a lot of ways I still feel like the babysitter and I hate it.

Or the fact that I started homeschooling Austin and Nathan a few weeks ago and still feel lost about what we need to be doing each day. For the first time in 6 years, I am more unprepared than I have ever been. I sometimes forget that I have a child with learning disablities until I try to teach him and it is harder than its ever been. I also miss having Jensen home and have had a few mornings in tears because of it. Add to that a baby who refuses to take a morning nap and sometimes even afternoon naps- and teacher mommy can be a bit grumpy by 5:00.

Or the fact that as our oldest will turn 13 next month, we are praying that he would give his life fully to the Lord. It has been a hard road and there are many days we feel like just giving up when we see no fruit, but we know that it is God that must work in Him and then through Him for His purposes.

I could add many more "circumstances" to the list of things that are trying to rob me of my joy. It is always something isn't it?

But if I learned anything from studying the book of Philippians this Spring, it is that my faith and joy do not depend on my circumstances- that I can rest fully on the promises of God and be content "whatever the circumstance..." I admit I do not live like this everyday and I can get overwhelmed and downright depressed. If I were truly honest with myself I would say that I might even hang on to these circumstances to try to prove something. (not sure what) But deep down I know the Truth and it is so very freeing when I make the choice to cast my burdens on Jesus and to live a contented life. Jesus came so that we may have life and have it abundantly- not so we would worry and fret about what is going to happen. I am asking Him tonight to fill me with the Living Water that only He can give, so that I will never be thirsty again. I make the choice to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. No matter what the day brings. What about you? What circumstances are you clinging to and need to place in God's hands? Are you willing to "cast all your cares upon Him- because He cares for You?"

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:4-8



Melissa said...

Although I can't relate to everything you said, I can to some. I'll be praying that you can find some peace (and rest). Hang in there. All of us at the Holt BB are there for you.


Ally said...

I will keep you in my prayers! You know that God uses our struggles to reach others and that is what you did. Being real and honest!

Leah said...

Praying for you. Thanks for being honest and open--we know how to specifically pray. :)

Mary and James said...

I'm praying for you and your family Candice. Even though our struggles in this journey have been different, I can relate to that hopeless feeling that things aren't going as you thought they would. Stay strong. Make time for yourself, and KNOW that your beautiful daughter will bond to you in time.

Melissa said...

The more I thought and prayed this morning, I felt led to share with you a little of our timeline as far as adjustment goes.
I thought we were doing so well when Ty gave hugs and kisses on demand by 2 weeks home. Other things seemed difficult, but he seemed attached already and adjusted.
Now, we've been home for almost 4 1/2 months and we're seeing huge improvements in attachment. I hadn't realized how much we were missing out on b/c I was so worried about worst case scenario. So just now (at 4 1/2 months home), he is finally showing spontaneous affection and sympathy. We're hoping the sympathy will go a long way in curbing the hitting, biting, and aggression toward our older two. Speech has been a HUGE battle too. He's a 3 year old mind stuck with 18 month speech so we deal with a lot of all out SCREAMING.
It seems Eliana is doing very well all considering. I can't wait until you can look back and see how far she's come. What a joyful season that will be!

Meg said...

STOP the probiotics!!! I can say from experience that they cause more harm than good if they're not the right probiotic "fit." I had to try several different probiotics before I found the right "fit"... the rest made everything worse!

I've been praying for you guys :D I don't know what if feels like to experience any of that, but I do understand struggling!! Thank you so much for your transparency, it's given me specific things to pray about for you.

Hang in there!

Kim said...

Candice, thank you for your honesty and raw emotion. In the long run, I believe it will help you and your family. I am keeping you guys in my thoughts and prayers and hoping for things to start progressing in the right direction. I admire your role as a mother and I hope you recognize what a great job you are doing. We too are just now seeing what Zoey's personality really holds at four months home and while we have not experienced quite the struggles you are, I pray that it will give you hope for the future.

Jess said...

I appreciate your candidness and I want to thank you for shedding light on the "real" aspects of adoption. I think it's important for those of us who are waiting to know that the road is going to have some bumps and this post lets me know that I need to be prepared and to prayerfully take these things to the Lord. Again, thanks for sharing the truth and thanks for speaking to my heart today.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your journey for a long time and have been praying for you all day today. You have so many things going on! I too have three boys and our fourth child, our daughter, is adopted from Korea as well. She has been home almost 4 years. When she came home it really threw me for a loop, I thought i had it all figured out, already having three kids. But the fourth was hard, lack of sleep, keeping up with 4 kids' schedules, all the other needs. Give yourself time, alot of time, to adjust to the difference between all your hopes and dreams of your daughter and her adoption journey and the reality and demands of having her home. God gives us so much grace, more than enough. Savor that and realize that everything you are feeling is ok. It all takes time, sometimes longer than we want it to. Be encouraged that there are so many people here, praying for you. Thank you for being honest in your feelings. I love reading your blog and looking at pictures of your lovely family!

Tracie said...

Candice ~ Thanks for sharing how it really is for your family right now. I have already planned for life to be unpredictable for months (or longer?) after our daughter comes home. I know there will be very happy and good times (love the picture of your son reading to Elliana!)and also very exhausting and hard times. I'm glad I have a realistic view of how it could be because you and others have chosen to share.

God bless you and your family.

Jenny Ratzlaff said...

I'm so sorry that you are in a valley. . .my mom sent me Psalm 77 recently when I was struggling, so I will pass it along:
". . .My heart mused and my spirit inquired: "Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?" Selah Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High."
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?"
Love, Jenny

Mindy said...

My son has been home from Guatemala for a year and a half now. It was very hard for me to open up and attach to him as well as let him attach to him. I was so afraid that if I did someone was going to come take him away from me. I waited over a year to bring him home and I couldn't let anything else hurt my heart. Stop worrying about things and let them just happen. Take her to a specialist as far as her belly goes. Cameron had a lot of issues for awhile after coming home. I am praying for you and your family.



Tina said...

Candace, my thoughts and prayers are lifting you up tonight. My heart goes out to you with all you are dealing with all at the same time. Hang in there. Sometimes as moms/teachers/wives/taxidriver/everything we do ....we need a little time out. Maybe take some time away..even if it is just a saturday afternoon. Go and pamper yourself. I know I have two older children and now a 1 year old. I have spent the last 5 months on the floor playing...which I am not complaining about, but at the same time I forgot about myself. We need to take care of ourselves in order to be good at anything. Im sure many of us forget to do that since moms are usually last on the list, if we even exist. Thank you for your honesty, and just know that I am praying for you!!!!!

Noel said...

I thought of a verse when I read your post: Its Psalm 61:1-4

"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah."

It always been my prayer when life is overwhelming me.

Thinking of you.

Kara said...

Candice , I am so sorry to hear that you are having a hard time. I just started homeschooling my son and am having a hard time keeping us on a schedule. We should get getting our daughter hopefully at the beginning of next year and I am nervous about the attachment issues and transition that we will have to endure all while trying to homeschool. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and hope that you are able to find a better rythym together soon.

Kara O

M, A and C too! said...

Oh Candice! While I am so glad to see an update from you, I am so sad to hear that Elianna's belly is not getting better! How frustrated you must be... I commend you on your truthfulness- the adoption process is a very REAL journey that many don't see. Thank you for letting us "see" what you are dealing with so that we all know how to SPECIFICALLY be praying for you and your family. God is perfect at working everything out in HIS timing and I just know that He will get you through this soon!


Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much your honesty means about this subject. When our second child came into our home it was a rough road and it took a long time to feel like a family. I never told anyone because I didn't want to look like a bad person/mommy and I never heard the struggles of adoption from I was feeling guilty. It will get better, I promise. Maybe not in the time frame we expect or would like but it will. Cling to His promises during this tough time and know that you are not the only one who has or is weathering through this journey. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and may the Lord continue to bless your family.
Anne Brant (Dannelle's friend)

Dave and Beth said...

I will keep you very close to my thoughts & heart!! I think of you often!! I'm also very thankful for your honesty & know it will help that you have put it into capable hands!! Many blessings!!!

M :-) said...

Candice - I am going to email you. I know what you're going through ... the slow development - the feeling like a babysitter - all of that. It is HARD, and can feel so lonely. (((hugs))) I'll send you a message soon!


Kelly said...

Praying for you as you are dealing with all that is going on. I felt like the babysitter for a few MONTHS after Briar came home. So often we hear and read about our children bonding to us and how we need to prepare, but little is often said about the parent to child bond. I don't say this to discourage you, but rather that it is OK for it to just take time for those true mommy feelings to come.

Susan said...

Candice, keeping you in my thoughts in prayers and know things will get better for you. I see love and joy in that little girl's face - your daughter will find you and you will find her with all the love you both have in your hearts.

Give time time. . . .and make sure you take good care of yourself.


Jason, Kelly, and Luke said...

First I want to thank you for being honest and true about your experiences with life, the Lord and adoption. I can understand everything that you are feeling right now as I have been there too. I admire so much your courage to put it out there and allow others to see and understand (when I was there...I felt so ALONE!). Please hang in there...I speak from experience that each day will be new...some good and some bad days...Trust in the Lord and He will carry you!
kcbabyluv from the BB

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