Monday, August 27, 2012

Sometimes Life is Hard.

I woke up this morning, got my kids off to school, and started to clean my bathroom.  I had to stop because I felt the need to write.  Life is very crazy at our house right now.  It is always crazy but right  now, there is so much extra on our plates.  I want to talk to you all about Thing 1.

Thing 1 is an absolutely beautiful, wonderful, strong, happy, resilient, young lady.  I wish I could take credit for her but I can't.  You see, I did not give birth to Thing 1.  I love her like I did...In a lot of ways I feel like I love her with a fierce intensity because I DID NOT give birth to her.  Thing 1 was taken from her mother at birth.  My husbands parents were foster parents to her and then adopted her.  She was the baby that every time someone met her and found out she was a foster child they wanted to adopt her.  My in-laws held onto her tightly.  My mother-in-law was diabetic.  When Thing 1 was 9ish my mil's health started to decline.  Thing 1 watched her go from being a vibrant and strong to watching her go on dialysis and eventually bedridden.  Thing 1 was at home while her mom was under the care of hospice and eventually died.  I still cry when I think of this sweet 11 year old girl calling me and telling me that her mom couldn't tell her she loved her anymore.  We knew Thing 1 would be ok because she had her dad.  She was the CENTER of her dad's world.  Shortly after my mil died we noticed that my father-in-law (fil) was becoming forgetful.  We talked them into moving close to us. We started to see my fil declining and soon he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Thing 1 was 14.  It was decided that we would become her guardians.  Thing 1 came to live with us.  After Thing 6 was born I knew I could not have any more children.  It was hard because I did not feel that our family was complete. After Thing 1 moved in, I knew that our family was complete.  I was content.  Our family was how it was supposed to be.  That 1st year was not easy but we made it through.  This is when I truly learned how resilient Thing 1 was.  It was also when I realized that my favorite sound was her laugh.  When Thing 1 laughs, everything is made better.  Her father had to go into an Assisted Living Memory Unit.  Thing 1 would go once a week and eat with him.  She has so much compassion and learned to love the people there.  She was able to find the humor in watching her dad decline.  While her dad was in this unit she was the only person her consistently knew.  I know that this was a gift from God to this young girl that still needs her father.  I have watched her mourn the loss of the father she knew and embrace who he was becoming.  She has done this with a grace and a strength that I know I would not have.  A little over a week ago my fil fell and broke his hip.  He had surgery and had a total hip replacement.  He was hardly able to communicate but after he got to his room he asked me where she was.  Last week was hard.  He is now in a nursing home setting.  It is hard to see him.  I took Thing 1 to see him.  I could see her heart break and then she took a breathe, started talking to him, and laughed with him.  All of this was done in typical Thing 1 fashion.  Friday night we got a call that he had tried to get up and had fallen again.  He broke his hip again.  I can see the pain in Thing 1's eyes.  I can see it in her walk.  She is 17 and should be worrying about boys and hair.  Instead she is dealing with the lose of her dad over and over again.  It breaks my heart. She doesn't want to talk about it.  All I can do is pray for her and love her.  I realize that it is selfish to be grateful that we have her as one of our children.  I can't remember what our life was like before her.  I can't imagine what our life would be like without her. The sad thing is that our having her has come at a huge price. Sometimes, life is hard.
Thing 1, I love you.


  1. What a remarkable post. I can heart your heart and hurting. I will be praying for you all.

  2. Stephanie-You continually amaze me with your strength and faith. I know that you are passing this on to Thing 1. She is equally blessed to have you and Ashton as wonderful examples. Many HUGS and prayers for her, you, Ashton and your whole family.

  3. Sending love ,prayers and hugs.....

  4. She is so lucky to have you and Ashton!! It was so wonderful to get to meet her this summer and I immediately fell in love with her smile and personality!! Hugs to you all!!

  5. I hope she gets to read this too! Thanks!

  6. I would like to thank you all for your comments and your kind words. Several people suggested that I let her read this. I asked her to read it. She did and she finally broke down and started to talk to me. Thank you.
    Much Love, Stephanie