Today is easy. Today she listens and participates and belongs. Today she loves us and we love her and we all feel it.
Today is much different than the days that came before.
Back then the days weren't easy. They were long and hard and loud. Kicking and screaming and lying and carrying on impacted my day and my sanity more than I care to admit.
Back then I was borderline losing it. I may have crossed over a time or two. Maybe.
I learned something my first time on the adoption ride that helped me through the second and third time. I learned not to make any long term decisions during the hard days.
Back when I was struggling to stay in the game with Hannah I considered throwing in the towel and just walking away. I'm thankful every single day that I held on when I wanted to let go.
That experience taught me not to make any unnecessary decisions on the hard days.
When she's at her worst, I need to maintain course. This is not the time to change direction or throw in something new and unexpected. This is the time to hunker down and shelter-in-place.
We live on the Gulf Coast. We've experienced some hurricanes. Sometimes it's necessary to evacuate. Sometimes you just ride it out where you are.
Hannah was like a hurricane. She was unpredictable and destructive to my well-planned, calm existence. She came in like a storm and I had to fight the urge to evacuate. It would have been easy to drop her off somewhere. It would have been easy to flee.
But then what?
What happens once the storm dies down? What happens when the calm returns and I look around at my life without her? What happens when all the what-ifs invade my mind?
I wanted to evacuate, but I had made a commitment to her. It wasn't time to leave. It was time to ride out the storm.
And what a storm it was.
During those days my focus didn't stray from what I needed just to get through the day. I wasn't switching electric companies or learning how to coupon. I was making sure she got fed and counting down the minutes until bedtime.
I made no big decisions. I changed nothing. I maintained.
It was all I could do until the storm passed. And it did.
You should see life on the other side. There's a whole lot of sunshine and rainbows. These days are my favorite.