“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I took a break from blogging as I kept thinking my next post would be about finding our new normal. I guess I naively thought there was a short phase we would pass through and then arrive at a point where everything fell into place. In hindsight, there isn’t a destination that we will reach in this grief process and I don’t know that I’ll ever reach a point of feeling “normal” living without one of my children. Yes, we are doing the ordinary and mundane things of every day life – making waffles for breakfast, going for bike rides, swimming in the pool, etc., but often during these times I inevitably reflect on the missing piece that is no longer a part of our family dynamic.
If you are my friend on Facebook, you may have seen a post where I alluded to some exciting things happening in our lives. Things. Plural. Did you catch that? Never ones to rest in a dull moment, I guess we decided one exciting thing wasn’t enough for our already full plate.
My husband is an artist, a dreamer, and a visionary. Throughout our years of marriage, he has explored many endeavors. When I look back, both of us have individually tried different things along the way. Throughout, we have allowed each other to explore our interests. Whether it was his music, my races, his painting, my endeavors to go back to school, his writing, my cooking/canning/gardening, we have stood beside each other. For the last nine years, my husband has explored his interest in filmmaking. In more recent years, he has become passionate about pursuing this interest as a full-time endeavor. As he was the sole income-maker after bringing our first daughter home from China, we were both hesitant for him to make the jump into full-time freelance work. At some point in the last year, he and his business partners began working very hard to secure financing so they could make a feature film based on one of his scripts. While the timing didn’t fall into place exactly as they had initially hoped, looking back on the sequence of events, it probably worked out for the best, as we were able to be together as a family in our time of early grief. In August, my husband made the bold move and talked with his long-time employer explaining that he would need to take some time off indefinitely as he would be making a film in the coming months. And that’s where we find ourselves now.
CHANGE #1 – jumping into the freelance world.
On a different note, we purchased our first home together thirteen years ago. After looking at over forty homes in a specific area, we happened upon a man who was mowing the lawn beside a home we were checking out. He asked if we were hoping to buy a home, said they were getting ready to build on that property, and we could be involved from the ground up in picking out fixtures. Having looked at plenty of homes with old wiring, bad pluming, no closets, and realizing we weren’t going to land on an HGTV show as fixer-uppers EVER, we quickly signed on the line. We were fortunate to get into a beautiful, historic area of town that was on the upswing but hadn’t yet peaked. Recently, we have begun discussing the possibility of selling our home in hopes of paying down our mortgage, especially as the dream of going freelance began to develop into a plan. But I always hesitated. I was so invested in this house. We love the neighborhood, our little street, our friends and neighbors, our small little raised-bed gardens, and our home. We brought both of our girls home from China to this house. It just wasn’t the right time in my mind to sell. We tabled that discussion and said we would only consider if the perfect option opened up. And then I saw an open house and convinced my husband to take a look. It had almost everything on our checklist of things we were looking for including the possibility of paying down our mortgage. We put in an offer late last Thursday. We weren’t sure of our chances, but the seller accepted our offer! However, the it is contingent on the sale of our home, so we have spent the last five days frantically cleaning, organizing, decluttering, yard-selling, weeding, pruning, and more to get our house market ready. And here we are CHANGE #2 (which is still very much uncertain at this point) – selling our home and buying another. We are only relocating a few blocks away from our current home. We’ll still be able to take walks in our neighborhood and visit all the things we love about where we live now.
And last, but certainly not least, I thought this change was one that would be further down the road, although my heart was ready much sooner. It turns out my husband was on board sooner than I thought as well and it didn’t take too much to convince our big girl. CHANGE #3 – we are ADOPTING! Here’s a little backstory on that. Eisley became very sick in early February and went back to the operating room for a procedure. I wasn’t sure she would make it through that one. As I was sitting in our “waiting room”, I realized in that moment that if she didn’t make it through, I hoped we would someday be able to adopt again. I am so thankful to have a close relationship with my brother and sister and will never be able to fully convey to them how much their love and support means to me. While I can’t guarantee this kind of relationship for my child, I can at least give her a sibling and hope for the best. I was hopeful that she and Eisley would have that kind of relationship. Unfortunately, time never gave us that opportunity. She talks often about having a sibling and I desire that for her. We have started the process to adopt from China again. We are still in the midst of paperwork and we don’t yet know how long the process will be. But we are excited, and hopeful, and longing to meet our next child.
So there you have it. We have jokingly declared 2016 to be the year of change for us. Good changes. Bad changes. Hard changes. Beautiful changes.
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”