life is hard, and i am thankful

I don't, not for a minute, regret adopting Zoe. But this parenting thing? It would be hard even if I didn't have autoimmune issues that can cause pain in my joints and damage to my bones. It was hard before cerebral palsy was added into the mix. It's been even harder since that and then epilepsy was added.

Some days, it's crushing.

Some days, I plop the kids in front of the TV in the family room during Zoe's nap and curl up in my bed with the TV there set to The West Wing on Netflix.

Most days, though, we still dream together about adopting a sibling pair with one or both children HIV+, likely from India or a new program in South Africa. As crazy as that sounds, those dreams aren't crushing. Because if God allows that or if He doesn't, our aim isn't that our lives be comfortable; it's that we lay down our lives for Him, pouring out His grace and love in ways that are hard but that draw us near to God as He shapes us more and more into the likeness of His Son.

Today, He's doing that as I wait to hear back from Robbie's neurologist. No, he hasn't had another seizure, as far as we know, but he's gone from being fully potty trained to having frequent bowel accidents.

I. am. sick. of. the. poo.

(In underwear, that is. I don't love it but I can handle it in diapers, and I realize we'll be walking that road for quite some time with Little Miss Zo-Zo.)

This is likely something with a neurological basis. And I hate it. He could be having very short seizures that we don't notice and losing bowel control then. This could be something else, of which the seizure and the accidents are each symptoms of something else.

I told a friend earlier today that I wasn't anxious. And I'm not. (God's got this.) I also confessed that I was concerned that sharing this would tempt others to sin by being anxious on our behalf. Please, don't go there.

This is hard, yes. But we're also thankful...
...that we have three precious little ones.
...that we have two dear friends who came over yesterday to help Jocelyn clean and organize her room (no small task!) and help me paint the family room (because color on the walls is almost as good as antidepressants for my mood).
...that Zoe slept in until 11:20 am this morning.
...that Robbie makes us laugh, like when he told me yesterday, "Mommy, I don't know how this happens. My underwear is clean, and then it's just raining poo! The poo, it rains! But it's okay, right?"
...that my big girl and I have figured out plans for her big birthday party with school friends.
...that my husband has realized that he loves to cook and has gotten really good at it.
...that selling off items on Craigslist has made our house less cluttered and easier to clean and has enabled us to buy a few items that I had been wanting to turn our bedroom into more of a haven for us.
...that our high school babysitter is comfortable with administering Robbie's meds if he has a seizure on her watch.
...that God is still good and still reliable, no matter what our circumstances are.

UPDATE: And we're thankful that Robbie's accidents are nothing new but rather just a characteristic of his epilepsy. Yep, his brain is having surges of electrical activity - which is what a seizure is - that are making him lose control of his bowel movements. We're starting seizure meds (Keppra) this evening, something that I find relieving and terrifying all at the same time.

~ + ~
Finally, I can't leave off one major piece of news that is full of thanksgiving: Emi Jane is home! Our friend Georgeanna is the one who first considered adopting Zoe, realized that wasn't the right plan for her family, and contacted us about her need. (See those links for the story in her words!) The path to consider Zoe's adoption led us to our daughter and left them with a homestudy ready for the adoption of a child with special needs from Taiwan... and Emi needed a family.

Here's a picture of the four of us together at the airport this past Friday:

photo by Emma Emery Photography {Facebook and blog}

And here's the video of their story:

Thanks be to God.