It’s been hard. All of it. It’s been tense and difficult and full and beautiful and and and…There’s a lot to it-it being this life we’ve chosen to accept with open arms as it was thrusted onto our laps.

Since having our second daughter, there’s been this emotional fragility in me that I’m not used to. Yes, I’ve always been sensitive, especially to things people would say about the boys or our loss, but with T, there’s this whole new layer of the void of my birth mom. She always told me what a terrible child I was, and my biggest fear is being anything like her-but there’s moments in the overwhelm or having two under two where my breathing cuts short and my mind goes dark that the record starts spinning You are just. like. her.

These are the moments I have to sit and remind myself: I am a foster child too. 

I have an incredible family that’s stepped in to fill that cap-but there’s sixteen years of damage to, even after years of therapy and working the ish out, still explore and balm. 

My husband treads carefully. There are days of sweet exhaustion, where we go to bed facing each other and saying, Man…we do good. We are proud of the life we’ve chosen. Saying no was never an option in our minds, but when we have people remind us that it was truly a choice to say yes, we sit back and let God pat us on the back and say, Kids, you’ve done good. Keep at it. 

And then there are days like today, where we wake up early for an eight hour trauma informed parenting class that feels pointless because, honestly, we’ve been trauma informed parents for over five years, and yes, maybe we never sat through a class but, social services, you’re too late-our time is precious and I think an eight hour date or therapy session with my man would do a hell of a lot more good than watching you, paid and childless you, tell me how the state requires you to talk about this and to show me with your eyes that you don’t really care. And if I have to hear one more person tell me what a saint my husband is for marrying someone with “so much…..’stuff’” I think I might lose the tiny grip I have on it all. 

And maybe I’m wrong. Hopefully I’ll be surprised and proved wrong. I’m open to it. But man, I’m pooped. I’m tired and processing and dealing with layers and layers and layers of stuff. And loving on two girls and undoing years of heartache for three boys. And trying to cook Thanksgiving and budget Christmas and keep my houseclean and and and

And I remember, I’m a foster child too. And my heart has been injured too. And we’re all in this together. My husband didn’t swoop away my “baggage” as some have called it. He saw me with my hands (willingly) in the mud, and sat beside me and shoved his hands next to mine. We’re in it together. And we’re in it for good. And we’re learning and in process and and and…

This is our journey and we’re proud of it. But s***…we need a vacation, ya’ll.