Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Give thanks in all circumstances knowing that this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

In honor of Thanksgiving, I felt compelled to write a post about how thankful I am, just as everyone else does this time of year.

But to be honest, I'm not feeling it.

I know, I know....I have a MILLION things to be thankful for.

My family.


A warm home.

Friends to look after me.

I could go on and on. But it just feels cliched to me this year. And I know, I sound completely ungrateful. I don't mean to.

And I don't mean to come across as too depressing...I've just needed a major attitude adjustment. There's been so much adjusting going on around here in other ways that I've lost sight of those typical "thankful" things. My focus has been different this year.

It's funny, for the past nearly 3 years, we've been desperate for Rylie to get here. And now she's here.....and a lot of the time, I feel neutral about it. I know...that sounds horrible. I get it. Bear with me.

It's all about expectations. Stinking expectations....

It's so easy to romanticize the process of adding a new child to your family. Whether by birth or by adoption, it's hard not to imagine what life will be like once they are here. As much as we knew bringing a nearly 2 year old into our home would bring challenges, we still had hopes and expectations. Unrealistic expectations. Expectations of ourselves and of Rylie which were fair to no one. We're not superparents but we expect a lot out of our kids. Perhaps too much too soon. It's easy to forget we've just been home 7 1/2 weeks from China. It's easy to forget Rylie doesn't understand our expectations yet. It's easy to forget she's still figuring us out...and our life, which she was very recently thrust into, without any choice. It's hard not to expect her to behave as if she is an almost-2-year-old who was born into our family. It's hard to look at her and not yet truly feel the same about her as I do about Jonah and Reagan. And I feel bad about that. And I hate to admit it. I feel bad there's been no love at first sight thing happening here. But it's the truth. I know it will come though. It will. And things will get easier.

And I will feel more thankful...because of how I feel now.

So actually, I AM thankful. For all the usual stuff, of course. But also, I am thankful for these present trials....because I know they will make us stronger in the long run.

I am thankful to have these times to look back upon one day and see how far Rylie has come.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to experience adoption and know the joys and challenges of both. Both are so awesome in their own way. What a privilege to see both sides.

I am thankful for the chance to self-reflect. To be presented with a circumstance which has tested me and revealed a lot of stuff I need to work on. A lot of stuff.

And grace. I am thankful for a heck of a lot of grace.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you
and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1 Peter 5:10


  1. Oh sweet girl. It's as though you are in my home. Apparently this is one of those "unspokens" in adoption. Glad to know I am not alone.

    Happy Thanksgiving for the smooth and bumpy times.

  2. Jennifer, I found your blog through Kathy's and have enjoyed reading about your adoption trials (although I know you're not enjoying them, yourself!). Just want you to know I will probably check in periodically, and didn't want you to wonder who I was.