It became apparent to me while we were still in Sarge’s birth city that I was going to have to fully rely on the LORD to fill in my gaps as a mother through this trial.
We got the call to come to Sarge’s birth city in the middle of the night. At this point we still didn’t 100% know if the birth mother was planning to place with us or not, so after I hung up from the call, Dave and I just looked at each other in a daze and I remember asking Dave, “So, do we go…now?”.
Minutes later I was throwing items into a bag and going to wake my brother to tell him we were leaving and he was responsible for the girls. He had fallen asleep on the couch. I gave him the monitor and he went to his room. Those moments were so surreal I didn’t even think about going in the girls’ bedrooms to tell them goodbye. I wouldn’t have woken them but later as we were driving down the highway in the middle of the night, it was very eerie to me that I had left, not only the house but the city, and had not told the girls I was leaving.
Obviously, I knew they were in good hands with my brother. Later I learned that Little Bug had woken in the night to a bad dream. She had dreamed that mean chickens were after her. Uncle ran in to her room to calm her down and she did ask why I hadn’t come. Not wanting to tell Little Bug in the middle of the night that I wasn’t there he just said, “I heard you crying and came.” She was satisfied with that answer and went right back to sleep.
Little did I know that Friday was forever my last day with “just my girls”. My last memory of it just being me and the girls was a walk we had taken in our neighborhood, which is pretty much an every day occurrence around here! The girls had stopped along the way to pick up treasures.
That week had been pretty stressful as we were living in limbo not knowing what was going to happen concerning this baby. The day ended with us letting the girls have fun playing in the kiddie pool in the backyard. After they were in bed for the night, I took 3 hours to clean the house including washing the carseat cover that a friend had given me “just incase”. Because it had been a crazy week, I had gotten behind in housework and I wanted it all caught up for the weekend.
Had I known when I tucked my girls in to bed that Friday night that I would be leaving in the night and not returning for four weeks, I’m pretty sure I would have been a basket case. Moments like these remind me why God doesn’t allow us to see the future. That would have been too much to handle.
We didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived at the hospital but it soon became abundantly clear that this mother had every intention of placing this baby with us and this was really happening!
One of my last conversations with this mother before the baby was born was about coming to our city to have the baby. When we arrived and baby had already been born we realized we were once again going to have a child in the NICU with our other children in a different city. Because the girls’ NICU stays were just a week or a little over a week, we naively thought Sarge’s NICU stay would be about a week long, too.
And then we learned about his medical condition and I knew we were here for the long haul.
What could I do about having a baby in the NICU for who knows how long and suddenly being ripped away from my girls?!
Trust in the Lord.
It’s all I could do.
I knew they would be just fine with my parents, and they were, but it really plays with a mother’s heart to feel torn between her children like that.
As time wore on and we didn’t know how long Sarge’s NICU stay was going to be, I had to turn my mind off to the girls and put it completely on Sarge. That was a hard decision to make, but I knew I had a baby in the NICU who desperately needed a mother’s touch and God had obviously called me to be his mother! I had to trust His grace would be sufficient as I was suddenly absent from my girls’ every day life.
Social media kept us in touch with the girls but when I wasn’t talking to them on the phone or sending them a Snapchat, I wouldn’t allow my mind to think about them much at all because it was too painful and I knew my calling in those days was to be there for Sarge.
God’s grace would have to be sufficient for my girls.
And it was.
When we arrived home with Sarge twenty-seven days later we left one set of chaotic circumstances for another set! Life was anything but normal and, once again, even though all three of my children were finally under one roof, I still felt completely torn between the girls and Sarge.
It quickly became clear to me that taking care of all three simultaneously was going to be an impossible task.
What could I do about wanting nothing more than to be able to take care of all of my children by myself, but knowing in reality that was an impossibility?
Enlist help and trust God to fill in my gaps!
I seriously don’t know what we would be doing if not for my mom who has totally given of herself to us during this time. When I was freaking out about not knowing how we were going to do this she told me, “I will help. This is my ministry right now and I will be here to help for as long as you need.”
And so my mom (and dad), Dave and myself have basically tag teamed to care for everyone since we arrived home. We take shifts with Sarge and I have made the girls my priority this past week because they desperately needed me after being away from them for 4 weeks. In all the chaos I have tried to give them the order and structure they are used to. We have gone on walks in the neighborhood and read books together.
There has been guilt for me that I can’t give my all to any of my children!
I have learned through this that Mommy Guilt is of the devil!
I know in my heart that I am simultaneously doing what is best for all three of my children right now and that is all that matters. God’s grace truly is sufficient to fill in my gaps during this season.
Before I know it there will be a roly poly baby boy joining us during our book time, neighborhood walks and homeschooling. But right now, it’s all about getting Sarge well, finding our new normal and relying on God for our everything.
Being in a place of total dependency upon God is a very good place to be.