Change of Plans

For sixteen years I was an oncology nurse.  Since having kids ten years ago I have only worked part time, but was still always proud to tell people that I was a nurse.  For my entire career I thought that I had picked the perfect profession.  I liked to work, I liked to get out of the house, I liked to feel like I was making a difference in people’s lives by serving them when they felt at their worst.   I also loved the flexibility.  I basically told my employer when I wanted to work, and they said okay!  I loved the camaraderie that I shared with other nurses and feeling up to date with current events.  I liked feeling like I was making a contribution financially to the family’s finances and not feeling guilty when I wanted a pedicure. 

I never thought I would want to stay at home full time.

Then almost two years ago our lives changed, (even more than we had anticipated) when we adopted a new son into our family.  Adding a child into any family will change things, but some children leave a bigger splash than others. 

We adopted Charlie when he was 7.5 years old.  He had been in a Chinese institution since he was a baby.  Parenting him has been one of the most challenging, rewarding and refining experiences of my life.  We have two other children with needs of their own, and adding a child with more emotional needs than four children put together definitely filled my plate.

Working outside of the home became a burden and no longer something that I looked forward to.  Keeping up with the needs of my family and making time for myself was more challenging than ever, but was absolutely where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing.  And I became a student again.  I had to learn how to help a child who had multiple needs, most of them totally new to me.

The more I learned, and the more changes I made in my parenting and my perception of what a good parent looks like, the more I became obsessed with it.  I became fascinated with the brain, how it is wired, how it remembers trauma, how it can heal.  How important connection is and how fear can make connection seem impossible.  And then, as slow as molasses, I started seeing changes in my son and in our relationship to him, and I became more motivated.  Not only to learn more, but to share what I had learned with others.

I also learned in this refining process how much I loved to write.  I kept a blog that documented our adoption process and it was just started to keep people informed.  But then, during some of the hardest days, I would sit down and write and my fingers would just fly!  I would realize (literally as I typed) ways that God was working, see little ways things were improving, see where else we needed shifting.  It was cathartic and spiritual.  And fun.

I had never written anything.  I am terrible at keeping a journal, but to my amazement, people told me they loved reading what I wrote.  Some even said that they thought I should write a book! People I didn’t even know said they looked forward to the notification that I had posted something new.

I closed the adoption blog in September but almost every single day I think of something that I’d like to write about.  So, guess what?  I am going to do it.  I am now a stay at home mom who blogs.  What a cliché.  Maybe one day it will turn into a book, but for now it is just to share stuff I am learning, funny stories about my family, and ways to inspire you.  I hope you enjoy it and would love for you to subscribe and share.  In the words of precious William from This is Us:

“I wrote something and I think it might be good.”