Monday mornings doctor visit proved what I suspected...all three boys had strep, and two also had a virus. This was the first time all three had ever been sick together, let alone all had such a severe case of strep throat. Of course. Because why wouldn't that happen just 2-3 days after the arrival of a new baby?! So, we headed home for a day of movies, fluids and hopefully sleep.
We got the movies and the juice, but the sleep....who are we kidding! Little one was just not a good sleeper, yet, and the boys, they hurt, they cried, Mason threw up. All of which I can handle, but every time she cried, it made me a little more irritable. Didn't she realize I had three sick boys who needed me? Couldn't she just nap? Scott got home early and helped by adding two hands. We managed dinner and baths and got everyone down for bed.
I think somewhere that day, my anger at him began. I wanted to close the home. This was all his fault. Or at least that's where I placed my anger. Better at him, than the kids, but still, it wasn't fair. Meanwhile, his selfishness began to brew. We had finally made it to a place where the boys were sleeping through the night, our nap routine was working, all three had their own rooms before her and had all cut all their teeth. He didn't like having his morning coffee interrupted by the cries of a baby, again. And it all started to irritate him, too.
Not to dwell on it, but I know how bad this sounds. If we had gotten pregnant again, or even been seeking to adopt, or looking to bring in another baby, it would have been so different. While we decided to leave our home open, there was no way to prepare emotionally for the addition of another baby, until it was upon us. We did choose to say yes, but otherwise, there is so little you can do to ready yourself for the changes that will befall your home when you add unplanned kids.
Monday night, and into Tuesday, was about the same as it had been. Very little sleep, lots of fussing, more throw up, constant spit up and a mommy on the edge. At one point that day I found myself crying on the floor trying to hold all four crying kids, babbling and pleading my way through the "I'm sorry. Mommy's trying." speech. It was pitiful. It was then that I started praying. "Ok God, you brought this lady to the Subway....were we supposed to say no? Help me!"
I have a dear friend, Angela...you know the kind, she can tell when my "I'm fine" is real, and when it's a lie. She understands that just because you have a heart for adoption, doesn't mean the transition is always easy. When we talk on the phone, she knows when my first tears fall and tells me just because it isn't easy, doesn't mean it isn't worth it. She loves that we now had a baby girl, even if she thinks we might be crazy, and I know she'll love me, and my kids, right through our crazy, because she's that kind of friend. Well, she called me sometime that day, I'm sure expecting she'd hear how sweet baby girl is and how well we were all settling in, but instead, when I hesitated, she knew. She knew it wasn't the pretty picture everyone likes to imagine it is when you invite a child into your life and she listened to me. She heard my selfish, vain complaints that day. She sympathized, she encouraged, she allowed me to say, without judgement, that I felt suffocated and I didn't know if we could do it. And she asked if there was anything she could do to help. Well, of course, times like that, when a mom really needs the help, are the very times it's impossible to imagine anyone walking into your home and seeing you in this state. So, I said, thanks, but no thanks. We hung up that day after lots of tears.
The next morning, maybe around lunch time, I saw a car pull in the drive. It was Angela. She came in with a hug and declined my offer for a cup of coffee. She said, "I'm here to hold a baby, give you a chance for a shower, or a nap, or a drink...whatever you need, but I'm here." I can't hold my tears back even now, remembering how much it meant to me that she was there. There are not enough fancy words, but here's my Facebook post made later that day....
"Humbled and oh so grateful for the selfless acts of a friend. New 5 mo old, and 3 sick boys, 3 with strep, 2 with an additional virus and high temps. I needed a breath....thank you Angela for helping me get that breath and my baby boy back to the doctor today. There are not enough thank you's out there!! Love you!!"
It was enough of a breath to get me thinking about how I was feeling about this baby. She was difficult. Needy. Why did God bring her here? And in the midst of my frustration, exhaustion and selfishness, one thought began creeping in my mind.....if His timing was perfect with all three of our boys, why would I assume it was not perfect this time.