Thursday, February 21, 2013
Gratitude Post....Part 2
We went through the rollercoaster of infertility for several years before deciding to adopt...eventually finding our kiddos through the "special needs" adoption process. It was exciting and stressful, life-giving and life-zapping all at the same time. The homestudies, the paperwork, the touch-and-go of international politics potentially halting the adoption of Kai (who was languishing in his orphanage as a failure to thrive toddler). These were trying times.....but we got through them.
As I look back and remember what it was that I had longed for in becoming a parent...it was a depth of experience.....that timeless quality which happens in the "here and now" while immersing oneself in the lives of one's children.
In watching this woman in the pool...completely present with her kiddos, I couldn't help but smile to myself. All those years of longing. All those years of striving to become a parent had somehow dissolved into a bad dream from years ago. In an instant I recalled the mixed blessing it was to finally have our kiddos. Yes, there were the stinky diaper changes, but there were also the tender moments of having my children fall asleep in my arms. There were (and are) the ugly meltdowns, but there are also the moments where we laugh ourselves silly. As I breathe in these moments....ALL of them, I realize that this is what life is all about. The good and the bad, the magical and the treacherous, the wonder and awe as well as the struggle.
A couple of weeks ago, Jade had a little surgery to close some areas in the front of her palate to prepare her for some orthodontic work and a bone graft in the near future. The surgery went well, but she was in some pain afterward. I relished the after-surgery experience with my daughter for those few days because she was very snuggly and receptive of affection (Scott often refers to Jade as our little border-collie because she is constantly perceptive and curious to the things in her environment, and always moving. It was painful for her to talk too, and temporary quietness was kind of a treasure also for our usual chatterbox!)
I recall one little "a-ha" moment I had, when I was blending a smoothie for Jade for lunch the day after her surgery. Sometimes when gimping around the kitchen I can be a klutz (especially on a tough pain day), and things are a little more effort-ful. Well, I proceeded to knock the dang smoothie onto the floor....spewing strawberry-banana goop everywhere. Jade watched from the kitchen table as I mumbled under my breath, limping over to the kitchen sink to fetch a washcloth and soap, then fumbling down to the floor to clean the scattered mess I had created.
Later that day, I was upstairs in the bathroom hand-washing my gorgous compression stocking (which I still need to wear on my injured leg) in the sink. Jade hoisted herself up onto the vanity and asked "Can I help you mom?" "No thanks Jade...." I responded...."the water is really cold, and I would never expect you to wash out my ugly compression socks!" Her response to me was amazing: "Well, you helped me today when you were hurting....I just thought I would offer to help you now." At that moment my eyes became teary, just knowing the depth of compassion in my daughter.....and I thanked her for being so caring. I told her that this is an incredible gift and that it is very special, especially if she is this caring with everybody.
.....the more mindful I become, the more able I am to embrace these moments. The more I take time to rest in the present, the more grateful I am for these experiences....especially in those times where it is easy to lose focus of what is important.
Posted by Chris P-M at 7:31 AM