You may want to take a few steps back when observing our family. We look much better from afar. Sometimes you may need to go very afar...
Up close everyone has issues. From far off some of those issues are hard to see.
So for approximately two years after a new one arrives, please stand back when looking at our family. It will be much easier on you, I promise.
If you choose to lean in a little and see the real us, you may be disappointed. There may be fit-throwing. There may be selfishness. There may be evidence of an unhappy kid every now and again. Or a lot.
But give me the benefit of the doubt before pouncing on me.
The process is a hard, but necessary one. Otherwise this whole older child adoption thing would be easier and more people would do it.
Easy is something it's not.
But worth it? Oh, yes!
For the first two years the new one is in survival mode, trying out every single thing in their arsenal that's worked before. And trying it many, many times. It's exhausting and consistency is the only thing I've found that makes them put it down and try something else. And they have lots of something else.
The sheer number of things they have found to work is astounding. Just when you feel you've come to the end of the craziness, they pull another one out of the hat and you're off and running again.
What does that look like close up?
It looks hard and unpleasant. That's why we're better looking from afar. Close-up you'll see all of our struggles. Close-up you'll see things that I miss. Close-up you may not think a relationship with us is worth it. It might be we are just too much for you to take.
That's just the hard truth of the situation.
The new one may have to sit out at the playground. The new one may not get a treat at the restaurant. The new one may have thrown a fit before you walked in the door and changed our plans completely.
That might be more than you can do. And that's okay. Maybe you'd rather steer clear of us during those first few years.
But for those who chose to stick around, thank you.
Thank you for smiling and keeping me company when she was screaming.
Thank you for understanding that some days the best I can do will not look very good.
Thank you for not passing judgement or hurling criticisms. Thank you especially for that.
Thank you for being there and listening and offering friendship when I had nothing to offer back to you in return.
For those of you who saw us close up and stayed, thank you.
You lived this journey with us. And as you watched my girls grow into the beautiful young ladies that God designed them to be, the victory is yours as well. Because you stayed in the battle with us.
And I am so thankful that you did.