New every morning

Our new girls, ages 10 and 12, have been home exactly one year and we still have plenty of days where things go much less than smoothly. Days when rules grate and pain bubbles over and all they can think that the old life was oh, so much better.

Today was one of those days. A day that left me wishing for a beach chair in Hawaii or a weather station in the Antarctic or a yurt in Tibet. Anyplace rather than plowing through the unendingly hard work of helping stubborn grieving kids settle into a new world.

I am a limp noodle this evening. Am tempted to start a private blog where I can REALLY let it all hang out, but know darned well I don’t need one more project, even a restorative one like (more) writing. I’m also afraid that if I get on a complaining kick I might turn into an insufferable whiner. Besides, we signed up for this gig.

I know that I need to just take one day at a time, and I’m thankful to have made it to bedtime tonight. But I am painfully aware that somehow tomorrow morning I’ll need to come up with the strength to swing my feet out of bed, to stumble toward the coffee and smile a greeting at the ones who dragged me through their pain today. And also smile and hug and mother the ones who sat on the sidelines today. The ones who stepped aside and pulled together and met each other’s needs while I was in the pits with the one in most pain.

It sounds almost impossible at this moment. But I need to remember where my ‘solar’ cells get their charge. All I need is enough strength to look up. To lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can’t climb.

And He gives grace new every morning.

Just what I need.


  1. Oh, Mary. I’m sorry you’ve been through the wringer. And I understand the urge to let it all hang out, and the fear that once you get started there won’t be any stopping! But I appreciate you being real enough to share when it is hard. I will be saying a prayer for you all tonight. (((HUGS)))

  2. I will also be praying- and hope that I too will remember where to look when things become overwhelming.

  3. I hear ya here in Indiana, sister. I do have a private group of Moms, whose older children all came from the same orphanage in China. It is a real blessing to have those women. Sometimes a little sharing helps take the edge off and gives you a chance to step back and see things in a different light. Although I have homeschooled some of my children, I know without a doubt that I could not homeschool our newest whirling dervish. Is there anyway you can get a break from time to time. A little peace and quiet can do wonders for everyone’s attitudes, plus it helps give you time to make a game plan for some “intentional parenting” that is so needed by our older adoptees. Thinking of you -you’ll be on my prayer list tonight.

  4. Hi Mary . . . I am relatively new to your blog and love it. We have five children . . . One bio, One already adopted and three in the process of adoption. I know oh to well those days when you wonder “What am I doing?” “How can I help fix this?” . . . I also know the utter and complete peace our precious Lord provides. It is there for the taking – simply ask!

  5. I’ll pray that tomorrow is better. May the Lord’s peace surround you all. Amen.

  6. Yes, He does…thank goodness! So sorry to hear about a rough day. But what a blessing you are to your little ones. It takes such an unselfish, sacrificial person like yourself to take on such a touch assignment. Tomorrow is a new day. 🙂

  7. I feel for you my friend. Praying that tomorrow you wake refreshed and find the stength you need to face the day. Praying too that the True Healer will comfort your precious ones’ broken hearts.

  8. Mary, your blog is so encouraging to me. Thank you for writing. I’m only 22 and not married yet, but someday I want to adopt a child – or twelve.

  9. I’m lifting you up in prayer right now!

  10. right there with you…hang in.

  11. Praying for you, that this evening your sleep would be more than physical, but also spiritual… that in the morning your renewal would be more than physical, but also spiritual.

    And that your girls would have the same restorative and healing rest.

  12. Mary, just being there and not giving up, not walking out and heading to Bermuda (and that sometimes ENTICING triangle where people disappear) is a float of grace. Grace. And the mark of an awesome mom. And today, you’ll be tired but maybe maybe able to breath a bit. I hope so. You’re in my prayers and thoughts. And I remind myself often that we are not called to succeed (though you did) or fix it every day or time, we are called to get up and start again. That’s it. Perseverance is a great grace and one that can be begged for too! Hang in there! LoveM

  13. Oh Mary, I have many of those SAME kinds of days. Life was SOOOO much better/easier/happier/whatever in Ethiopia. And, there was MORE food!

    How about a discussion group for families who adopt older kids from Ethio? Might be someone out there with the “fix-all” we could all use!

  14. Mary,
    Hang in there! I know just how you feel right now. My 4 yr old told me last night when I tucked her in that she asked the daycare lady if she could move in with her, but the woman told her that since she already has a family she is lucky and will stay with us. My daughter was very upset and realllly wanted to go with her. Our daycare provider has 3 of her own children, and also fosters others when needed. I guess my little girl saw that she takes kids in and came up with this idea. I was upset the rest of the night, couldn’t even sleep. This morning I asked the daycare woman about this and she said McKenzie had NEVER had that conversation with her. So my little angel, princess, etc. was intentionally trying to hurt me. Is that possible at 4 yrs. old???!! And all because I told her for one night I wanted her to show me she could sleep in her own bed. Today I feel like a zombie. Kids do not always realize the effect that their behavior has on us. When they are being mean, or arguing, they don’t at all imagine that we are going crazy inside. Then once they get over it and you can get some big kisses and cuddles from them you forget all about it. Kind of like childbirth. 🙂
    Anyway, I hope you have a much better day today and gather some strength to go on like normal. (while you’re at it, send some my way) 🙂

  15. Oh boy am I ever glad to hear you do have tough days with your newer kids.

    We have adopted three of our nieces and nephews. Our nephews have been here just over a year now and there are MANY days that we go through what you have just gone through. I was beginning to wonder if we got the short end of the adoption stick since it seems no one ever talks about how hard adoption is. Even the shows on t.v. show the parents gushing and it makes me wonder if they adopted angels or something.

    I know I would appreciate it if you would post a little more often about how you are struggling and how you are dealing with it. Most days I don’t think I am dealing with it, just existing.

  16. Hey, you don’t need another blog where you can REALLY let it all hang out! This space is TOTALLY acceptable for that. I have three kids and first came to this blog in wonder of someone who can handle SO much more than me. Its actually heartening for me (and I am sure others) that you have your hard days, your frustrations, just like us. It helps to know there is no real Wonder Woman out there and we all just do our best.

    So VENT! Blow off steam. You won’t scare us away. You will only make us see all sides of parenting lots of children. And that is what this blog is for, isn’t it?

  17. I don’t “let it all hang out on my blog” not because I wouldn’t be happy to share or discuss the real tough parts of bringing home a 12 year old, but because my child can read – and my blog is not private. And her friends can read. A private yahoo group, where conversations are not archived, is such a safe way to encourage, share ideas and yes – sometimes vent. I can’t tell you how much my support group means to me. I hope anyone in my position can join or start their own group like this. Also, since all of my yahoo Moms have kids who lived together, we can share information that we learn about how our kid’s early lives were. We have learned quite a bit from each other – since we all gain little tidbits that are different from what our own kids divulge.

  18. Hi Mary, I’m going to put my counselor’s hat on for a minute. That private blog or just a journal might be just what you need. We all need to vent and talk things out, that is not whinning! That is staying mentally healthy and surviving. God gave us all a mind and the ability to work these things out and find the venues or the people we need to help us work these problems through.
    Speaking of which, I can’t get your feed to take my email address!
    Peace, Cathy

  19. Oh, this road is not an easy one to walk – to allow yourself to experience the grief of another, to allow yourself to mother these children who pull on your heartstrings with such gusto! Hang in there, sweet Mary! You are able to love them, because God loves you with a unending, unstoppable, never-letting-go sort of love!

    Praying for you today!

  20. one adoptive mom to another: i’m praying for you today. it’s NOT easy…and clinging moment by moment is all we can do some days.

    keep hanging on. God is not only near at every moment, He is walking through each moment with you.

    you can do all things in Him.


  21. Occasional misery must love company, because I agree with the other Moms who said they were relieved to hear that you still had rough days, too.
    This is not an easy gig.
    It helps to know others are right beside you.