i started shilo's final feed, and then silently knelt next to abigail's bed. i just looked at her for a few minutes, her four year old self all snuggled under her blankets, with her night time hat on, and lambie lying next to her. she's my daughter. four years, and it still takes my breath away sometimes.
the beauty, the hardness, the pain, and the joy of adoption all mingle together when i think of how she came to be ours. i begin praying for her. for me. for jason. because more than anything i've ever wanted in my entire life, i want to get this parenting thing right. not perfect. not without mistakes. just right. i don't get a second chance.
and i moved over to shilo. a new wave of emotions sweeps over me when i see her. her adoption story makes my mind feel more of a fuzzy blurry feeling. it happened. fast. and almost a year later we are still trying to figure out how it all went down.
but another emotion always comes to surface. so i begin praying and fighting tears. i feel so guilty. i still have a hard time looking through those early pictures. remembering what it was like to hold shilo up in her little nicu crib, and watch her suck down a bottle. and watching her lie there, her food being pumped directly into her belly. those two things always crash together flooding me with the days i thought she would die, and hearing families around me grieving as their children did die. the doctors, the being away from jason and abigail, and the healing that is still taking place as i work through it all. and as always, i end these thoughts with the feeling that i'm completely inadequate as a parent. for abigail. for shilo. for anyone, because my daughter got sick and spent three months in the hospital, as if the guilt will somehow, someday, erase that the bad things ever happened.
and jason, he reminds me, every time, that i am the perfect mama for shilo and abigail. that is the reason God chose me to be their mama. and he begins listing the things i do well. and he tells me how amazing i am at doctory stuff, and being patient. and i believe him, despite not really wanting to. and i start to get wrapped up in the peace that is emanating from his strong, deep voice. his words wash over me, as they have the other hundreds of times he has said them, and they rush quickly to those places that are still so open and raw. a soothing balm, that brings tears to my eyes.
and at the end of the night, when feedings are done, and jason lies next to me sleeping so soundly, as i fight hard for my mind to turn off, i become overwhelmed again. but this time it is with joy. i have an incredible husband. he works hard. he encourages. he plays veggie tales with abigail, and soothes shilo in the middle of the night.
i have two really amazing daughters. i have a big girl, with sass, and a style all her own. her heart, and intelligence often leave me speechless. and i have a little girl, content in all circumstances, who's smile chips away at my heart a little more each time.
and our world is imperfect. our house is often very lived in. our hearts are all jumbled up with trying to figure out what it really looks like to love Jesus, and love others. our yard doesn't get mowed often enough. but some mornings, we all pile in our bed after the girls wake up, and become a mess of arms and legs and bodies, too many for the full sized bed. and we all erupt into giggles. it's at these moments that i'm reminded just exactly what God saw in our future when He chose us to be parents. He knew about the mistakes. He knew about the hard things. and He focused in on the too crowded full sized bed memories that would be made. and He said, this is the perfect place for these two girls.