Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It takes courage to have a family. You marry a person and devote yourself to them...then add children to that family. It is vulnerable and wonderful. Tyler and I have built our family with our bio miracle daughter (Anna) and through the miracle of international adoption (Keith, Iryna, Calvin, Silas). Both ways are miracles. I am grateful that God thinks I am capable of mothering 5 great kids.

To be a mother is courageous. Each child is unique and requires different styles of teaching, loving, disciplining. I have always wanted to be a mother. My mom told me that I have a natural mothering instinct. This is true. There are some things that I can handle that other women have said they could not. And I see other moms do things that I could not handle. It is not a competition, and yet, we are all in this world to prove ourselves worthy to return and live with God again. And to prove ourselves, we need to have courage. Courage that we will be good parents. Courage that we will make good choices. Courage that our children will reach their potential. Courage is key.

Having five children and four of them having special needs creates a different type of family...and I don't see many families like my own. When out in public, I see some children throw tantrums because they don't want to finish their lunch or kids upset that they can't dominate the slide. With us (today at Chick-Fil-A) it was more of, "I'm sorry my daughter hit you. She has special needs and became overstimulated by all the noise in this playroom. She has a hard time controlling her impulses. I apologize." And yet, I had the courage to take my kids out in public! (clap for me, will you?)

I am thankful that I live in a day and age where technology connects me with other adoptive parents and parents of special needs. We can come together and unite with support and encouragement and knowledge and "yeah, I get that!" type of good stuff. Yesterday, I participated in a Webinar hosted by my good cyber friend, Diana. Click on her name and you will go to her blog which has more information about other webinars coming up. I highly recommend them to you. Share it with your friends and family. Together we can help each other.

The topic yesterday was on CAREGIVER FATIGUE and, wow, let me just say how pertinent that was to me. We discussed various things from Secondary PTSD and Compassionate Fatigue and I could not hold back the tears as we discussed these topics. Being a mama to special needs children is a privilege and a blessing, but it is hard. Very hard. And subjecting yourself to it will take a toll on you. Each day is difficult. I find myself wanting to take time out for myself. And not just 10 minutes or even an hour, but several hours a day. I want to take a break or check out from the difficulty. Going places is TOUGH and having people over is HARD. The behaviors we see and experience knock us down and we have a hard time getting back up. I am learning to not look at the messy house anymore, but accepting it because I can't get myself to clean 24/7 when I'm trying to just. get. away.

But the topic of this post is courage. Why courage? Well, to be honest, that is the word I was prompted to use. The Holy Ghost is my favorite person. He inspires me to be better. When I am frustrated with Calvin and he's whining, the Holy Ghost prompts me to hug Calvin. So I will hug him, when I wouldn't have done so because I was annoyed with him. When Iryna has just ripped up yet another book, the Holy Ghost inspires me to see Iryna's struggle with her impulses instead of being mad at what she has destroyed. When I want to put the kids to bed an hour early, the Holy Ghost suggests that I snuggle up with the kids and put on a movie. So I can just be with them as we laugh at TOY STORY. The Holy Ghost gives me courage to be a better mom. I am grateful for courage.


Carina said...

Jill, this is such a good post! I seriously want to bookmark it and read it again and again so I can keep it fresh in my mind. Such basic things to remember, but yet we need those reminders constantly. I look up to you so much for all you do and are. Love you!

Diana said...

Ahh, thanks for the love, sweet friend. I'm still trying to catch up on things around here. I'm so very glad you joined us for our webinar session. You are right. Together we CAN do this and together we CAN find courage.

May today be full of peace and courage...for both of us! :-)