a little and a lot

Monday, November 14, 2011

Like it's Nineteen-Ninety-Nine

It was (past) time for a change.  I apologize to all of you who were diehard fans of the vintage title.  "Your Mom's Blog" will be changing names, but the same ole' substance is sticking around so do not despair.  

And just to recap for my own dignity's sake: Your Mom's Blog was created circa 2005 when I simultaneously finished my Master's Degree AND learned from a family friend that my mother had been secretly blogging under an anonymous name.  I wanted to write about my new experiences in the "real world" while also feeling a bit competitively inspired by my mother to try out the new-fangled blog thing.  "Your mom..." was already an outdated phrase, I know, but now it's just prehistoric.  (The Artist Who Was Formerly Known As Prince but is now just Prince reminded me that partying is different than blogging.  And while I'm fairly extroverted and love a celebration, I'm not really a party girl anyways.  And 1999 was kind of over-hyped in my personal life history.  Sad, but true.)

I love the new blog name because it has about 1999 meanings to me.  So pick the one you love and keep reading.


Life in the last three months has been:
An adventure
Full of change
But structured
On a learning curve
Even super fun
But challenging
And exhausting
(But in a good way...like a ridiculous workout)

I am looking forward to writing about my favorite things about Ethiopia (and adoption) soon--I've been collecting a mental list.  In the meantime, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I'm kind of a drama queen.  (HA.)  And I feel a bit of guilt over dramatically recounting the suffering and trauma regarding the huge life change we underwent over the last two+ years without giving you perspective that includes gratitude & grace.  I was muddling through it all and pouring my life out in words.  And now that I'm seeing redemption, I need to paint another layer on the picture.  

For now, I will share that after a lot of reflection, I think the hardest part of my tough trip to Ethiopia was the fact that I became a (first-time) mother of a toddler there.  (Duh.)  

In some ways (in most ways?), I think it would have been just as difficult & overwhelming anywhere with any age child.  The first few weeks of motherhood are pure bootcamp.  You are learning to do something that requires so much more of you than was ever required before.   

In other ways, to go to an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people without your own "things" and food and comforts and support systems...and sometimes without "necessities" like power and water...this made my bootcamp particularly challenging.

When we returned home to Memphis, I entered a honeymoon-like-stage in my time with Rhet.  Everything seemed so much EASIER.  I could go places.  In my car.  (And with Rhet in a safe carseat.)  I could cook meals for both of us to eat.  I could sleep in my own bed.  (Rhet could sleep in HER own bed!)  I could sit on my own fully-flushing toilet.  I could drink water from and brush my teeth under the tap.  I had my full supply of clothes, diapers, cups, plates, utensils, bibs...okay, you get the picture....  It was AMAZING and it balanced the tough parts of our transition home.

It was kind of awesome how the hard part would have been hard anyways, but I dealt with it in such a challenging way that the rest of the hard part seemed easy.  Did you catch that?  :)

The temperature was still at 100+ degrees, but I didn't care because I'd missed half the summer.  Rhet was terrified of our dogs and required us to hold her every second we were at home for several weeks straight, but at least it was OUR home with OUR stuff.  It took several weeks to get back to sleeping through the night, but at least those first nights with interrupted sleep were in our own bed with our baby monitor to watch and listen for Rhet.  

And there were the joys of the firsts.  First taste of ice cream.  (Blech, she hated it.)  First cupcake.  (Blech, she hated it.)  First fresh peach from the farmers' market.  (Blech, she hated it.)  Okay, well maybe it was more like the joys of the fourths & fifths.  Because there WAS a first time that she did like ice cream.  And cupcakes.  And peaches.  And watermelon--oh, her love for watermelon was insatiable.  To see her clap her hands for joy with her twinkling eyes glued to that slice of watermelon.  Well, it was just plain fun.  

 So much has morphed and changed that I am constantly reminding myself we've just been home three months.  There is a LOT that I'm still trying to get the hang of.  And it is physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually challenging.  But I mostly feel overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for this sweet time in life.  There is a line in a JJ Heller song that I am experiencing and pray the same for you, friends:  "May you see redemption on this side of heaven..."


Jane said...

I love how you explain this - how the hard part was harder, so the rest of the hard part (when you got home) was easier. Or maybe "hard" is not the word and challenging is better. I also like the bootcamp analogy. GREAT post! And oh my goodness that picture of her in the yellow and blue dress is adorable!

Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more