A funny thing happens when you spend your whole life loving kids and love working with them. Your heart feels constantly full and no moment is ever dull. So when the clock starts ticking there’s no question what is desired to happen. Months go by with desperate anticipation you didn’t know was possible. You try every trick or advice someone has to offer, but something isn’t right for some reason. You try not to get discouraged or arrested for constantly wanting to hold someone else’s child as baby names float across your brain. Something’s not right though. People tell you not to stress or worry. It will come. All of that was replaced with a simple phone call. Sophie Lee would never be.
It was surreal to spend any amount of time grieving for something that never was there to begin with, but that is what happened. Mind, body, and soul….numb. No feeling. Only required motions to get me through the day took place. “It’s just not meant to be right now.” For those that thought they knew the whole story of the #vodkaflu would say things like “This is for the best. Would you really want to put her through that?” It was easy for them to say so. It was not easy for my heart to get past. Sometimes I am reminded that it still can’t.
Later I found myself surrounded by various groups of teenagers as I attempted to teach them something that I had loved with my whole heart for the majority of my life. Dance. When that had to come to an end to begin a new adventure, I found myself still loving kids of all ages and it hurt less and less. No, there’s nothing wrong with adoption. I praise people for it quite a bit actually! But you can’t judge anyone for their feelings unless you have been in their shoes. And my heart wore shoes that made me sad to not getting to feel the process from beginning to end.
Then I met a 12 year old that would shake up my world and give me a run for my money. She was beautiful and didn’t see her full worth. Still doesn’t, but we continue to work on it. After a year of spending time to help her teenage life be a little less obnoxious than mine, I knew those four words that break your spirit were coming. It wouldn’t mean anything to her, but I tried to plan my reactions to whatever the situation may be. And then they came. “You’re not my mom.” Mentally I fell to my knees.
I walked away and found a place where I could sit down and cry. I knew this was coming. She was 13 now. We all say things like that to those that help us the most without realizing how those words can hurt someone. I had planned for it. I had prepared. How could I not find my feet again? For a week I lost myself. Again my mind, body, and soul….numb. Over something that was never mine either. So why do these things hurt more than a fallen soldier not choosing me? These things mean a thousand times more. I’m still working on finding my feet and I am getting there. It’s hard to wake your body up after such a shutdown, but I can’t help her if I can’t help myself. So I face this storm head on, yet again, and wade through the waves that attempt to drown me. There’s no shame in admitting defeat every now and then. It is the decision to let it win that defines us to either sink or swim. They say tennis shoes give you weight and help you sink, but these shoes are for chasing storms and I have one to beat.
We all have personal storms that we face. Some big, some small, and some in between. Here are some of my personal storms. Are you ready to run with me?....