Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pitiful or Powerful? (How Things Are REALLY Going)

As many of you in “blog land” I have a partial ulterior motive for writing. If anything happens to me, my children have a book…a gathering of writings. They will remember how I loved them, good memories, and what was important. We can teach our kids through the writing.

Because that is in my mind, I am careful. I try not to sugarcoat things, but phrase them carefully. Kids have struggles, adults have struggles…but often when I’m talking about the struggles, I don’t name names. I don’t want them to look back on these writings with shame, but just knowledge that we all mess up and mommy/mom will always love them AND is VERY far from perfect herself. Also, some of the trials are private for them….are part of their stories.

That said, there is also a fear of writing “too much”. I don’t fear so much getting “flamed”…or getting nasty comments. There’s this underlying fear…maybe fear is not the word…but thoughts (that even maybe I thought once upon a time) that I may be placing on others when I ”let it all out”.

“Well, you do have eight children. What did you expect?” This is a common one to expect from others. Sadly, it’s me placing judgments on someone else. They may or may not think this. It may not even occur to them. I have heard similar things when we announce adoption…the doubts in our sanity or thoughts that we must not have thought this through. It doesn’t matter that I logically know that my friends with two children say the same things.

“You must be doing something wrong.” Yep, I know I am. I think we all do (or we better), but when things are hard. The last thing you want to hear is just how messed up you are.

Sometimes, ya…I’m going to admit it, I have a hard time hearing that people are so sorry things are hard right now. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? I guess it’s because of the reason I share struggles.

Do you ever read a blog of parents and their whole life just seems so perfect? Maybe they have a gift that I just can’t fathom yet (and pray for daily).

That’s not me though, the blogs I cherish the most? The ones that are honest. The ones that have God as their focus…are fun, chaotic, joyful, tearful, laughter filled, horrendous occasionally, and whose children are real…whose writers are real. So I want to be real…not to say “Woe is Me”, but to say, “Hey, life is hard sometimes. I’m not going to hide real life, just let you know GOD has got this.”

So here I go, many have asked me how it’s going.

I am pitiful (said with a smile).

Here are some of my pitiful thoughts that I had just today.

I’m so tired (Thought as I literally prayed for the kids to allow me just one more minute of sleep, just before my daughter informed me my son was covered with diarrhea).

Am I ever going to have a normal day? (Thought after cleaning up my poor little one that woke up diarrhea covered)

Can I please (I think pretty much said as a prayer) have a day where ALL my kids just listen to me. (Thought when I reminded an older child for the fourth time that they were grounded today and NO they could no get on the computer or some such.)

I’m so tired of being mad. (Thought as I had a child that has spurts of struggling with lying…and had just pulled a nonsense lie…knew they’d been caught and chose to lie anyway. At that point it’s hard to help thinking that they must think I’m stupid. See, not fun thoughts.)

I am NEVER going to be able to get out easily with the three littlest ones (thought as I transferred all of our savings to checking to pay bills. The savings that would have soon paid for a triple stroller so I could walk trails at the park and let my middle kids catch bugs and run along beside me. I was too pitiful to just be thankful we can pay bills.)

My house is never going to be clean again (thought after my friend had to use the kid's restroom and I found out thirty minutes later how dirty it was AND when I looked at the pile of dishes that now had their own vocabularies).

I’m tired (thought as I sit here and write this post…my wonderful husband getting the toddlers to sleep).

It’s hard friends. I’m sure you knew that by now. Many of you have gone or are going through it. What is normal anymore? I always plan, thinking that this time when we add a family member I will have it down. It is ALWAYS hard. It doesn’t matter if it is the blessing of birth or adoptive birth into the family.

When I had my second child and had a 23 month old son. THAT was hard. Nursing a new little girl during the night while my 23 month old slept soundly and awoke revving his engine…HARD.

Going from two to three, being outnumbered…HARD.

Our precious fourth hurting and sensory deprived from early neglect…HARD.

Sweet little princess number five being so traumatized that she would go catatonic when mommy wasn’t around for MONTHS….hard.

Our Sixth and Seventh blessings coming to us neglected, scared, and sick…and mommy getting sick with what we thought was Malaria….not to mention they were twins (nuff said)…HARD.

Finally, our eighth blessing…adjusting so well…amazing us with joy…but nothing has hit “normal” yet. Even with illness (nothing new this time of year), the lack of normalcy is just adjustment coupled with real life.

Our twins have become triplets.

One is insecure as they struggle to understand they are still treasured. They are also a child from a hard place and mommy left them for two weeks to go to China. Another twin is angry. They are mad mommy left them and on one hand play WONDERFULLY with Jael, but they are a little ticked as well.

All three act like they’ve always been together, but instead of two heading every direction…there’s three (this is where the, “Well, what did they expect?” thought creeps in).

I thought we would be fine with a double stroller and a sling. My forty year old back says differently. Going out isn’t easy. Could I do it on my own? Yes, absolutely. Would it be hard? YUP! That’s why I had my pitiful triple stroller thought.

The triplets play wonderfully and fight wonderfully. Mommy is trying to find the balance of entertainment, distraction, and discipline.

Getting back into home school….we are, but the thought just makes me want to cry a little. One blessing is distracted beyond reason. One forgot EVERYTHING they knew before. One gets tears in their eyes (ok, normally the blessing IS a little dramatic anyway) when even gently corrected in home school.
Ya…hunting high and low for “normal”.

Normal, normal…where for art thou normal?

One of the older children has had to deal with drama from the outside of the family. Another, the little one that struggles with lying, has battled (after months of not battling) with lying for the weeks following our arrival home. Connection? Yup….

One blessing broke trust that never has before (just as we all did at some time in our lives…blew it…personally I blow it a lot). Another whined whenever they were told “no”. Silly whining….(nails on chalkboard).

Jael, doing wonderfully, has figured out how to fake cry (no tears, stops instantly when she wants to) to get what she wants. Logically I know that in a way this is good. She has figured out that we listen when she cries. I even come when she fake cries (she had years where most likely no one did), but…now here’s truth…it can occasionally be hard to take. Oh, fake cries don’t mean she gets her way or the toy that someone else had first…but she does get me.

Did I mention the triplets teach each other EVERYTHING? (Think fake cry)

I feel…hmmm…in such a weird place. Like one of those cartoons where someone throws little balls all over the floor and the cartoon character is tripping all over them. Except, as my friend Amber says, I think those were the balls I was juggling and they are now rolling under the bed and I’m not even going after them.

Normal? Hmmm…we’ll get there. I can feel it.

Hard? Hmmm…we are there. I can feel it.

Yes, I feel like crying part of the time (or yelling…yep, the easily angered thing is now hunting me…trying to kick it to the curb). Pitiful…just pitiful…

Yet, this saying comes to mind.

My CRAZY friend said this to me,
“You can be pitiful or you can be powerful (feeling God working and the warrior HE created us to be), but you can’t be both.”

I’m a little pitiful right now, but working on powerful.

When we rely on ourselves…pitiful.

When we rely on God…powerful.

Which will it be tomorrow? Aiming for powerful…aiming for GOD.

(Now if my little pitiful self would just listen…smile)

"Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God..." Psalm 62:11


  1. Oh Kat. Things are tough now. Thanks for being honest. You have a LOT on your plate. And as you've said before, Satan would just love to trip you up now. He's trying. And I'm praying - I'm sure there are many praying for your dear family as you search for a new normal and as much healing takes place. Hang in there!

  2. Wonderful! Can you hear the applause from Florida?
    I am so proud of you! Its hard to see when you
    Are up to your eyeballs in it but this transitional
    Behavior from everybody at once is a lot like
    that horrendous stomach flu for everybody at once
    It's painful , it stinks, it's got everything upside down &
    inside out.., but mutual suffering is one of
    The most powerful bonding forces of all. Take
    Part of your summer break off now, school through
    June and make the goals tiny. You will heal
    together slowly but steadily. I suggest gentleness
    in discipline judgement calls none of you can
    assessed post hurricane:) take it easy on Mamma:)

  3. You aren't being pitiful...you're being human!! God sees this, and He also sees how powerful you are, or He wouldn't give you this calling!! Girl I think you rock!! I'd have 8 hooks on the wall and they would be loaded all day!! No, make that 9...hubby has to have one sometimes!

  4. Hearing you loud and clear, my friend, thanks for being real! I'm right there with you--I have a post started called "Whining and Complaining" and today I retreated to the shower and cried at about 9:30 am, ha, ha.

    Transitions, trying to find normal. . .HARD! oh, yes!!

    I'll commit to praying for you morning, noon and night through this week. :)

  5. It is hard. I'm there too, trying not to feel sorry for myself.
    We brought home 2 this last yr, and now have 2 (the new ones) that are almost 2. 2 that are almost 6, a 10 yr old (FASD struggling daily with telling the truth), a 12 yr old and a 19 year old.
    We homeschool too and it is hard with the 2 little ones, and the 2 kindergarteners who aren't "getting it". School has been very hard to keep on track with amidst the chaos of new kids.

    I just keep plodding as giving up is no option.
    It is a battle, but it is not a race.
    I thank the Lord for the wonderful church family here that is such a blessing to us. Some of them actually know how things really are in our home and still love us.
    We haven't found the new normal yet, but I am hoping we will sometime in the next year or so.
    I often feel quite alone in this place, of reorganizing a household to integrate new kids. I enjoy your blog. You are "in the trenches" too. The first 4 we adopted did eventually settle in well, so I expect these last 2 will too, in a year or 2.
    appreciated your perspective on China. It brought back memories of our journey to one of our children.
    Keep on plodding.....

  6. Hugs to you, Kat! You have so much going on ~ good things as well ~ but it can just be so much for a mama to handle. I will be praying for your peace and strength and wisdom as you move with your family through this stage of transition and attachment. Big hugs.

  7. It is 3:48 a.m. here and Pauly is banging his congested stuffed up head (another cold!Goodness how many can we get and share with each other in the 5 months since he and Julius left the orphanage??) on his crib, over and over AND over! I jump up, lay him down, he gets up....again! We've been playing this since 1:15 a.m.!! LOL! I'm losing!
    And I WISH I was 40- LOL! O.K. no I don't wish I was 40, but at almost 55, I'm movin super slow! HA!55 is pretty cool! ;o)
    Kat your attitude is the best!


In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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