Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Something I Learned in March

Because I have writer's block when it comes to blogging (and I'm not really ready to try to wrap my head around putting "Shakir's Adoption Story" into words), I'm following along with Kat at Mama's Losing' It with her April writing prompts. Today is "Something You Learned in March."

I'm sure I learned quite a few things this last month, so let me try to describe our March and maybe pinpoint something learned...

This was the first month we spent as a family of four at home. Trying to adjust to that while I'm working full time, Zay's in school full time, running our hair business, and trying to keep up with our callings at Church (Zay teaches Sunday School for the youth [16-17 year olds, I think is the age range] and I'm a den leader in Cub Scouts)... let's just say I'm tired and I don't know how people balance so much. Seriously. I'm not unhappy, just challenged and too busy.

I like to live simply and I feel pulled in too many different directions. Sometimes I imagine myself sitting on a porch somewhere in the backwoods of Georgia and it makes me smile. I have conflicting moments - sometimes I'm so ready to take on a challenge and conquer the world and sometimes I want to hide in my house, turn off my phone, not answer the door, and binge watch my favorite shows with my fam and not do a dang productive thing. So I do both. I take on the world and then I want to quit and do something else instead. Ha ha. One thing I've learned: I'm an introvert with social needs. I'm a goal-setting go-getter with a laid-back Southern girl's heart. Sigh... I guess I'll always be conflicted!! Ha ha.

I also learned that my family means so much to me. On March 15, I wrote in my journal: "I'm sitting in Sacrament meeting with Baby Shak in a car seat beside me in the pew. Little old ladies are stopping by to pay their compliments :) He's a cutie, all right! I feel like I'm glowing today. Just super happy. I love my little family - my *growing* family! Just makes me wanna grin like a fool - like, I've made it! I'm a mom of TWO! I was so worried it would never happen, but he's here, he's here! I just want to shout it out from the rooftops & cheer. He. Is. Here."

Another thing I've learned - that as I'm nearing 30 years old, I am closer to really embracing who I am and being comfortable in my own skin. I wrote, "And not care what other people think or try to live up to everyone's expectations. The older I get, the wiser I get with that aspect of life. Everyone is different & it's totally completely okay to be the way you really are. It's also totally completely okay to change over time, but only if you change organically & not just to please another person or group of people. I look back at my high school self & laugh at how I was back then. I'm not the same person & that's okay. That's *good*! I'm more who I want to be & embracing who I really am today than I ever dreamed I could back in high school. I've been through some heavy experiences in my 20's. And I've fought through them. I've felt like a failure at times, but right now I feel like I've won. I have won. There were trials that threatened my marriage. But my marriage is stronger today than ever. I have won. Going to BYU was so, so very difficult. But I graduated. I have won. I battled insecurities about finding a job that fit my personality. But I've found a good job & a direction, a great stepping stone to a career. I have won. I have battled infertility, found my path with adoption, & then had to battle failed placements. But today, I have two children... That is amazing in and of itself & everything feels perfect. I have my family. I have won. I know who I am now & I love myself & my family & my friends & my choices. I have won. My happiness is in the way I have viewed the world & in following the path I was called to follow. My happiness is in my spirituality. My happiness is in enduring to the end. My faith. My blessings. My trials that have given me strength. Not in ease & comfort, but in challenge & overcoming obstacles & finding meaning in my life & the circumstances I find myself in. I know my God lives when I see my children's faces. I have won, but only because I didn't do it alone."

On a lighter, funnier note... I learned that an assumption of mine was wrong. I assumed people would automatically recognize us as an adoptive family now that we have two kids with obviously differing skin tones. But nope. I showed up to Church by myself with Baby Shak for the first time (I think Kal & Zay were home sick that day). I was soooo surprised at how many people assumed I had just given birth to him. Like, shocked. I had to correct so many people. I'm thinking, "Man! I need to stop hiding out in the back! Folks didn't even realize I wasn't pregnant." And... "How in the world are they thinking I gave birth to this dark chocolate baby?? I'm paler than a ghost!" This one lady came up and started talking about how cute he was and then just exclaimed, "You weren't even that big!" Ha ha ha ha. I bout died laughing. My friend Ali laughed with me and corrected her for me. I said, "I wasn't big AT ALL, was I??" Ha ha ha. I don't get offended much anymore about silly things people say - they just crack me up. Then a guy from the Bishopric (hello, he should be informed about these things) made a comment about how much he looks like Zay and then he stumbled all over his words and said, "Is that how that works?" I just looked at him like, "Huh? How what works?" I was so beyond confused. I assumed he knew Shak was adopted, so in my head I was like, "Is that how adoption works? Cuz I don't know what you mean." Ali jumped in again to tell him he was adopted (and that Kal was adopted too) and he got all embarrassed and said something about shutting up before he puts his foot in his mouth again... and I was still all confused. "Is that how that works?" ... How what works??? Ha ha ha. Other people just took a second with a confused look and then asked if they had missed the fact that I was pregnant. Nope, it's that new-fangled thing called adoption, yall. You should look it up!

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