I stopped thinking long term the minute she walked through my door. From that moment I started living in 15 minute intervals.
I'm not kidding.
No longer were our lives focused on our plans for next week or what we were going to do over spring break or even what tomorrow was supposed to look like.
It became about surviving the next fifteen minutes.
Have you ever been there?
It's traumatic and discouraging and there were times when I would look around and wonder why I had chosen such a difficult path.
That's when He reminded me that I didn't choose it. He did.
It didn't stop my whining. "But it's hard and it's loud and we must look like raving lunatics," I would say.
And then, very gently, He would remind me, "My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Those first few days and weeks and months of an adoption are tough. I know many face hardships and trauma and loss that I cannot even wrap my mind around, but I don't want to gloss over the raw emotion that comes with moving a child from hard places into your home. It will take you by surprise. It will knock the wind out of you. It will bring you to tears.
And that might all happen before your feet hit the floor in the morning.
When Hannah first came, I lived by the motto, "Do the next thing." Most days I couldn't think past my next immediate task, so just focusing on what came next helped me piece together an out-of-control day.
What worked for me the first time around is still working for me on adoption road number four.
Getting her ready for the day, feeding her breakfast, getting her to school.
Picking her up from school, eating a snack, finding an activity that would hold her attention for more than three minutes, finding another activity, and another, and another.
Feeding her supper, getting through bathtime, reading a story, bedtime.
Did you say bedtime?
For the past few months I thought and moved in small increments. It was all I could do. Because tucked between those tasks were fits and rage and hurt. Some behaviors I had dealt with before, others were new and incredibly hard to handle.
I've learned so much in the last six months. I'm thankful and tired.
God is faithful and He is strong. It's a good thing because in the midst of the first few months, I was neither of those things.
I might not be focusing on the next fifteen minutes these days, but I don't have to look back very far to see when I was.
Weak. That was a perfect description of me. Still is. Thankful that I don't have to be strong, because I know from whence cometh my help.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and Earth. - Psalm 121: 1-2
Adoptive mom, you can make it through the next fifteen minutes, fifteen hours, fifteen days and fifteen years, because you are not in this alone. Your help comes and He is strong, strong enough to carry you and your new little one.