When I had my daughter, Paige I was 27 years old, healthy, happily married, educated, employed, and really in the best possible scenario to have a child. Is there really a “best scenario” to embark on the journey of parenthood? If this scenario in fact does exist then I fit the mold. I was anxious to begin our family, and I felt emotionally ready. I had read all the books and taken all the required vitamins. I watched my diet and I exercised regularly. The nursery was painted and decorated perfectly. All the miniature clothes were hanging in the closet or folded in the appropriate drawers.
We were ready.
I just naturally assumed once my daughter was born I would place her in her lovely crib and she would coo sweetly at her mobile as she drifted off to sleep to the calming melodies churned out by the Fisher price music machine.
This is not exactly what happened.
She was born healthy, thank God. She had all her fingers and toes, great news. She also had a healthy set of lungs on her that she used often. She did wear the adorable outfits I purchased for her, but she often soiled them with spit up before we could make it out the door. She enjoyed nursing, but really only when she wanted to eat. She did sleep in her crib…eventually! She did not coo at her mobile… not one time.
She loved her pacifier. She never wanted to get rid of the pacifier; even when she was way too old to still be using one.
I remember crying in the bathroom of Target when her diaper exploded and she had poop everywhere. I do mean everywhere. It was up her back and in her hair. It was between her toes. Did I mention we were at Target? I had wipes in the diaper bag, but she needed to be hosed down. I also had forgotten the number one rule of good parenting… NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT AN EXTRA SET OF CLOTHES. Yep, I was standing at the changing station in the bathroom without an extra set of clothes. I had diapers. I had nothing else. What was I thinking? More than likely I was so sleep deprived that all I was thinking about was my lack of sleep. Bad Mom! So I stripped her down, threw her clothes in the garbage because really is it worth trying to take them home to wash them? (Sorry Target employee who had to empty that trash can). I cleaned her up, as good as I could with the limited facilities, and I wrapped her in a blanket. I lived in Montana at the time, but thankfully it was not winter. I then exited the store as quick as humanly possible lugging a car seat, diaper bag, purse and small person.
Point being made here… Parenting is hard. Each child has their own personality and their own likes and dislikes. They do not always cooperate. Parenting is learning to be flexible.
I thought I was ready because I had read some books. I could not have been prepared for being a mom. Nothing could have prepared me for the struggle, the pain, the sleep deprivation and the all consuming, life changing, self-less love that happens to your heart.
Now imagine all the wonderful families across the nation who make the self-less decision every day to adopt. They make a decision to parent a child who desperately needs a family. They make the decision knowing what I did not know before I had my children. They often make the decision with the full understanding that it will be a struggle. It will be difficult. They do it anyway.
Quite amazing really.
Heroes each and every one of them.