Saturday, January 12, 2013

A New Year to Start Anew

After taking a nice, long, holiday break from blogging, I am ready to get back in the saddle.  I needed to take some time to re-evaluate my purpose, my goals, and just myself in general.  When thinking back to many of the things I have written, a part of me feels bad and heartless, yet I can only see that now because things have gotten better, where at that time I was writing in the moment.  I think in part, it was a positive thing, in order to show myself, my family, and my readers the struggles of adoption, the adjustments, and the improvements.  I hope you will all forgive me if anything I have written in the past upset you, and just try to understand that this is a process for me and my family.  I see now that there were feelings I should have kept in a private journal, and not in a public forum.  I have gone through each and every one of my previous posts and have tried to eliminate anything I felt could be hurtful to our adopted son, if he were to read my blog some day.  This is not to say that I will not continue writing about our journey and continue to be honest about our experiences.  I will just have to go about it in a somewhat different way.

So, what does 2013 hold for me and my family?  I've made a list, and to keep myself accountable, I am sharing it with you.

1.  God
2.  Health
3.  Time
4.  Career

I have always desired a stronger relationship with God, a better understanding of the Bible, and to be more involved with the church.  But I've always encountered distractions and excuses that hindered me from doing so.  I feel guilty for being so distracted, when all along the way God just continued blessing me, one blessing after another.  I joined a women's Bible study group, this week, at my church.  And this Sunday, my husband and I will be having 'Coffee with the Pastor', to begin the process of becoming members of the church.  I've wanted to do this for a very long time, but my husband was hesitant.  This time, he was the one to bring it up and ask me if I wanted to join.   The way things just seem to happen and fall into place is amazing to me.  All of my friends that I have made since moving to Alabama, are all amazing, Christian women.  I can see now that all of this was part of God's plan.  Moving here, meeting these ladies,'s all part of the plan.      My eyes are wide open now and I'm excited to begin this new chapter of my life.

I added 'Health' to my list, not because it's something new, but because being healthy is something I always want my family to strive for and improve upon.  My husband and I have always been pretty fit people, but we had slacked off over the last few months, letting other things get in the way and take priority over going for a run or going to the gym.  Besides exercising though, I am continuously working on my emotional and mental health as well.  This dates back to about two years ago.  During my second pregnancy, my husband was deployed to Iraq.  When he returned, our daughter was already 5 months old and our son was 2.  Marc had missed a lot.  I had learned how to run a household on my own.  I had gotten through the newborn stage and potty training stage alone, the all-nighters, the febrile seizures, the breast feeding, etc.  I never expected his return to be so hard on me.  It wasn't until he returned, that my body was able to take a minute to reflect on what it had been through.  I was very angry, towards my husband...very on edge, and everything seemed to bother me.  I knew something was wrong with me but didn't know how to fix it.  And then a month after he returned, we found out we were moving to Alabama, which meant selling our house and finding a new house.  It was one thing after another, and I never had time to focus on me, to try to figure out how to fix myself.  It was about 6 months after his return from Iraq, that I decided I need help.  I spoke with my doctor about my options.  I really didn't want to go the drug route, so we tried therapy.  I HATED it.  I went twice and never went back.  I went back to my doctor and told her I was ready to try some medicine.  She put me on Cymbalta and the results were nothing short of amazing.  I became a much calmer, happier, enjoyable person.  This was just a little over a year ago.  For some reason, a few months ago, I decided to stop taking it.  I thought, "I'm good now.  I don't need this anymore."  But what a ridiculous thought.  Why would I even consider stopping something that was working so well for me, especially during such a stressful time for my family, with the adjustment the adoption?  I am a month back on my medicine now and feeling great again.  Life is good and I am happy.  My husband is amazing and there has never been a moment when leaving one another has ever crossed our minds.  He loves me like crazy and I him.  During these last seven months since the adoption, we have not once turned against each other.  Most would think in such a difficult time, it would cause friction between a couple, but for us, it has somehow brought us closer together and made our marriage even stronger.  When I'm not patient, he is, and vice-versa.  When I'm exhausted, he takes up the slack.  

There is also another part to the 'Health' aspect of my list that I want to mention.  We have just completed all of the psychological testing with our adopted son.  I met with the psychologist yesterday for the results.  There is nothing wrong with ADHD, no autism, his vision is fine, etc.  The only thing she labeled him with is an adjustment disorder.  I think we all have that right now (LOL).  It's funny how my husband and I can look at things so differently.  Before the appointment, he said, "I hope nothing is wrong with him, because then that would mean he can be fixed."  Whereas I said, "I hope they find something, so we can know what we're dealing with."  But my hubby was right.  It's just going to take time to get him caught up with other boys his age.  The doctor said the reason he is the one who gets overly excited and too loud, when he, my two year old and my four year old are playing, is because he is being over stimulated.  He didn't have nearly this much stimulation in his life before.  It makes perfect sense.  His hyperactive behavior may require medicine in the future, which is something that will be monitored and recommended by his therapist, but for now, it isn't effecting his attention enough to be labeled ADHD.  He also performs and behaves better when he is receiving 100% of the attention. He admits to not liking having siblings because he wants all of the attention.  The doctor said this may be something that improves, but with some kids, it never does.  He may always have this want and desire to have all of the attention.  We do spend one on one time with him, but when we do, he becomes obsessed about it and wants it all of the time.  We continue to remind him that he lives a different life now and he can't have all of the attention.  We go to therapy once a week.  Some times we go as a whole family, some times just the boys go, some times just me and our adopted son go.  He loves going to therapy, because he knows it is all about him.  This week the boys went together.  The therapist said she saw a lot of competition and a lot of our adopted son purposefully trying to aggravate our four year old son.  She saw how angry our four year old gets when this happens too, so she was able to teach him a better way to handle his anger when his older brother is picking on him.  I never would have imagined there would be competition between a nine year old boy and a four year old boy.

As for 'Time,' I want to spend more of it playing with my children and teaching them.  I'm always with them, and always spending time with them, but I want to make the most of it.  My goal is to sit down at the end of a week, and plan out activities, lessons, and play dates with them for the following week. I guess what I'm saying is I want to use my times more wisely, in general.

 Lastly, is 'Career.'  I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will not have anymore children.  I so badly want to have one more, but my husband stands firm on his decision that he is done.  It's hard to quell a woman's desires to have a baby, but it has to be desired by both of us.  We have also decided that we cannot stay in this house past a few more years.  When we bought this house, we saw it as the one we would stay in forever.  We love this house, and even put a pool in last Summer.  But when we made all of these decisions, we had no idea more children were in our future, i.e. the adoption. We thought we could make a three bedroom house work, because bigger families make it work all the time.  But the age difference between the boys prevents them from sharing a room, and the younger ones being of opposite sex cannot share a room but for a couple more years, let alone a closet that they are already busting out of.  Within the next few years, we're hoping to put our house up for sale and buy a bigger one.  By that time, my goal is to be bringing home a regular monthly income with my Rodan + Fields business, that affords our family the opportunity to make this next step.  I plan to focus and work very hard this year on my business, and would love to build a team that needs to help their family or themselves take the next step in life.

So there you have it.  2013 has begun and we have big plans.  What is your big plan for this year?

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