When I was younger I had my life mapped out. Especially my Norman Rockwell holidays.
I would be sitting at the table beaming with pride over my five children in matching holiday attire. They would be sitting (two boys three girls) down with my husband in his tie looking on in anticipation over the golden turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and other holiday appropriate festive items.
Last week reality collided once again as I sat in a gi office with my son and listened to childhood IBS. Gluten, lactose, and fructose intolerance. Yippee. Seems like his bio fam has a lot of gi issues.
It also hit hard the week before when an independent feeding therapist re-evaluated my daughter and brought up concerns on her oral eating. They told me I needed to primarily use her g-tube for now and offer her oral feeds but keep a close eye on it. Aspiration is scary business.
Both kids also seem to have a knack for saying "Hey, it's the holidays, let's contract the plague!!!" So I've had two sick kiddos on my hands. It's enough to drive anyone bats. Or make you want to run screaming for a one way ticket to someplace more peaceful. Like say, Beirut.
And a couple of years ago it probably would have bugged me more. Lots more. I really wanted things to be so much different. But the reality is that unless you are a TV show, sappy holiday movie, or a very good book things very rarely wrap up neatly with a bow.
When we were growing up we often went to my grandparents for the holidays. My sister and I sat in the back seat and tried to kill each other while mom and dad weren't looking. We also probably drove them crazy. Then we stayed in hotels and I had to share a bed with my sister which also resulted in us trying to kill each other. I can't imagine my mom thinking that this was just how she wanted to spend time making memories.
But despite it all I'm so thankful. My life will never be Norman Rockwell and frankly I'm not sure that I want it that way. My life is a whirlwind of doctors, therapists, learning to make special dietary items, tube and med bolusus.
My life is also filled with joy. For years I wanted children. I begged for them, I miscarried them. Holidays just hurt so much. My two children came from broken places and made my heart whole again. They filled empty spots in my life and made me a mama!
For two abandoned and abused children they have no visions of what holidays should be like. Right now Marvin is happily playing with cars while sipping ginger ale and my poor little girl is knocked out cold sleeping in her dah's arms after a night of pain and crying. For them life is pretty good right now. They are safe, loved, and despite having the plague, pretty darn content!
I've learned to be thankful because no matter what life throws at me, I've learned to adapt. I borrowed my post title from a sermon series. But for me it's more than a series. It's a way of life that I am making a choice to live. I'm not perfect and I don't pretend to be. I'd rather be real. But I'm proud of what our family is and what we have fought against. Of the inch stones we have celebrated. Of victories won, lost, and called a draw.
We still have a long way to go. But no matter what my family is living proof that sometimes all you need is each other (and a good gluten free sugar cookie recipe, I can honestly say that this last batch isn't that swell) and lots of love. So hold on tight to that.
Thank you too for following our journey. You guys have been an amazing support to us as well. I hope that you and your family find your own ThnksLiving.