26 January 2012

to have and to (up)hold.



they probably warned us, those adoption classes and books and seasoned parents. they probably slapped it out plain as day and i, relentlessly starry-eyed, chose to believe we'd be the exception to the rule.

but here it is, staring me straight in the eyeballs: adopting a child can launch a unilateral, full-scale assault on your marriage.

first off, let me underline the word can. every child is different, every family is different, and i certainly know quite a few adoptive families who have flourished from the get-go.

but sometimes, the goings are rough. you're weaving about after eons of sleep deprivation, deaf in one ear from a child who knows his way around a tantrum. your patience has been pancaked by a mack truck driven by a kid too short to see out the windshield, and you can't even closet yourself in the bathroom for a gulp of sanity because the door stopped fully closing months ago.






the easiest thing to do, in times like these, is unleash a steaming load of ugly on the nearest Person Who Can Take It, most likely your so-called beloved. the hardest thing to do, but also the verybest thing, is cling to that spouse for dear life, spell out every last thing you love about him, give him an evening off from all that claws for his attention.

todd and i have weathered a few thorny patches in the last half year. at times we were snared by our son's triangulation, and it seemed nothing was working and the universe was going to pot and it very much looked like the other parent's fault.

but after a few of those patches we got honest. we shucked the excuses and the pride and just showed up, a smear of vulnerability. and we learned, and keep learning, the fine art of hearing. affirming. of aching together and not knowing a single answer but gripping close a God who doesn't fail.

i am sure we have miles of growth in store. and i am certain there are veritable forests of thorns ahead. but i also know that i've never been so in love with my husband. and so clearly that was never the point of this adoption, but oh, what a tender off-shoot.





dear mister:

it's a gift, this waking up each morning to a life with you in it. i'm overwhelmed.

love, me



* * *


come to em's place for more imperfect prose.

24 comments:

momto8 said...

what a beautiful testament to the journery of marriage! congrats on your adoption too and good luck with everything that brings!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Sarah said...

Beautifully written.

I Live in an Antbed said...

I understand! 7 1/2 years into the adoption of two "Russian imports," we have come through on the other side. But the memory is vivid of what it has taken to reach this point of Peace. And it is all and always our Loving Father Who has carried us to this place. May He be very near your tender hearts. May He weave the heartstrings of you and your beloved into a gorgeous tapestry strong enough to weather every storm. The blessing you are living out for your precious adopted one is beyond measure and worth everything it costs us to give. Testifying to His Faithfulness gives Him such Glory!! Thank you for these words filled with the Wonder of the Lord! :)

mrs.lmnop said...

...thank you. for being so real. for persevering. for being First Loved and loving.

Angel said...

I feel i'm in the boat with you. My husband and i have 2 biological daughters, 1 adopted daughter, and a sibling set of 3 ( 2 boys and 1 girl) that we are fostering to adopt. You are definitely right about adoption putting stress on a marriage and I have felt the same way. But at the end of the day, My husband and God are all I can cling to when i feel overwhelmed. And somehow, it always works out for the best.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

gorgeous and true. kids are hard, no matter where they spring from. i'm so glad you shared this. to not be alone in the struggle is a beautiful thing.

Jerusha said...

Yes, yes, to all of it. Those first few months were awful and ugly, and we turned on each other. Now, I've never loved my husband more or felt so loved.

Brandee Shafer said...

Praying God's continued blessings.

hannah singer said...

praying for you and you have encouraged me here today. xo

Farmgirl Paints said...

Thank you for sharing your love story. So glad you clung to each other. I can only imagine how hard the whole process is.

Michelle said...

Oh, Nic, you brought me to tears again! Your prose is stunningly beautiful and cuts straight to the heart. Thank-you, again, for sharing your journey.

Wolfsrosebud said...

blended families are the same... trusting you find the balance... thanks for sharing

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Nic. You're so spot on. I love the way you told the truth here. You make me feel so much less alone. Do you know it?

Kim said...

beautiful, beautiful. a good reminder as we get closer to jumping in head first.

Jodi@ underthegeorgiasun.com said...

wow. just wow.

the truth in this post is almost overwhelming, but in a great way.

(((HUGS))) from south GA my friend!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Oh I feel this. I know this. Neil and I, we have BEEN this. The most trying time in our life thus far, the most trying time for our marriage, is now a time we call a gift from a loving God. We learned to love each other in new ways, and in the old ways even deeper.

I'm glad for you, that you've found this together.

Beth said...

The thorns will fall off and the flowers will grow. It just takes longer than you thought it would/should.

emily wierenga said...

but after a few of those patches we got honest. we shucked the excuses and the pride and just showed up, a smear of vulnerability. and we learned, and keep learning, the fine art of hearing. affirming. of aching together and not knowing a single answer but gripping close a God who doesn't fail.


dear nic, this post nearly made me cry. trent and i have already experienced this and the boys haven't even arrived yet. will you pray for us? and i, for you... so glad you have your mister. :) e.

Southern Gal said...

You are such an encouragement. The vulnerability and truth you put out here for all to see has a purpose. Bless you.

lulu and family said...

sweet. he is so fortunate to have you, and i am sure the opposite, too. realness you shared. thank you, nic.

Meghan said...

raw, honest and precious.
a gift from you to the rest of us... even those who haven't adopted.

Heather said...

the above comment was actually me but my daughter hadn't signed out yet :)

Katarina said...

Almost all of your posts make me cry....you are my hero, God bless your heart, love ya'

deb colarossi said...

and now I've deleted three comments.

humbled.
here.
there.