Quiet Moment of Victory

“She’s vomiting,” read the text on my phone. I groaned. Not because vomit makes me queasy (I do have 4 kids and a dog, after all!), but because it was happening again….

Within 24 hours, I was headed to the ER in an ambulance with my daughter. She had a kidney infection, with a fever over 105, and couldn’t keep anything down – not even the antibiotics or anti-nausea medications from the morning’s visit to the doc. She was crying, but was too dehydrated to squeeze out even one tear. I held her hand the whole way.

Three hours later in the ER, she was lying in bed and I was reading. A nurse walked in who I’d seen on other occasions there. I felt sick then. Not physically, but emotionally. It’s just never a good thing to feel a hospital is familiar.

And with that, my own tears welled up.

You see, since we adopted my little girl, we’ve spent hundreds of hours at Children’s – in specialists’ offices, in the ER, in radiology. For whatever reason, whether unfortunate genes, the trauma of her first 2 years of life spent in foster homes, or a little of both, she’s been sick more than I can remember. Nothing life-threatening. Just chronic, persistent, frustrating. And, sadly, her problems are often caused by her own behaviors.

Behaviors related to her mood disorder, which in this case led to a kidney infection. And a trip to the ER. And three nights of sleeplessness, holding her hand, packing her with damp cloths, Trying not to resent the time. Trying not to let her life overtake the family and our other kids. Again.

As soon as she was feeling better, the behavior battles resumed… The yelling, the tantrums, the “I wish you were dead” looks. After one such moment, I told her, “I’m glad you’re back. I missed you these past few days,” and smiled, holding out a pile of laundry for her to fold to pay me back for the attitude (that’s our family economy… you spill it, you clean it; you break it, you fix it; you tire mom out, you do some of mom’s work around the house while I rest!)

She yanked it from me and turned around to start folding. Then turned back and smiled too. A genuine smile – full of tangible love.

And I knew right then – It was worth it.

If this post resonated with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, check out this poem about grace. It really spoke to my heart after the tough week I had. Hope it encourages you too!

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh, even the scripture you mentioned in your comment brings tears to my eyes today! With school finishing, my older two are overwhelmed and their mood disorders are…. well, bringing a lot of dis-order to the relationships at home. That passage gives hope on hard days like today.

    So glad for women who share their hearts for the Lord as you gals at P31.

    Blessings
    Laurie

  2. says

    Hey there Laurie,
    Thanks for your encouraging words on the P31 blog regarding my devotion. Standing with you as a mom who is just a chapter ahead of you. Thanks for your strength, stamina and perseverance. “They will rise up and call you blessed.”

  3. says

    Thanks so much, Natalie! I think why I like your blog so much is because your title is how my attitude feels a lot of the time :). But like you said, no matter how things are, we do everything we can for our kiddos.

    So, do understand right that you have three under toddler age? That was us 4 years ago. Two adopted and one born within 16 months. People thought we were nuts. We were… Still are :).

    -Laurie

  4. says

    Wow – you write beautifully! I can “feel” your emotions. What a tough thing to have to deal with, but as a mom I know you'll do anything for your kids. I think health is one of those things people take for granted and don't appreciate it until something happens. It sounds like you have an amazing attitude towards everything.

  5. says

    Hi Ellen,
    So glad you came by! Your photo for Google is different than twitter – almost didn't recognize you!

    Even though you didn't share, I can “hear” the same emotions I shared in your words too. Here's to hoping tomorrow will be more cuteness and love than stress and challenges!

  6. says

    Hi. This is such a moving post. For me, it encapsulates the journey I've been on as well, though with different circumstances. Our kids' issues can put us through the wringer—but their cuteness, their smiles and their unconditional love always makes it all worth it.

    It is good to connect with you.

  7. says

    Thanks, Kari! I'm so glad we connected online. Looking forward to getting to know you better as we share this whole parenting thing!

    Tonight was a less clear moment. I almost blew a gasket after some tiring behaviors from thing 2, and my dear hubby sent me on a run with the dog so I'd cool off. We do what we have to do…. 😀

  8. says

    Wow, Wow, Wow…. You are amazing. Truly, I am amazed by your strength and your ability to clearly see through your storm. I am a faithful follower now. I look forward to more!

  9. says

    Thanks so much, Linda! It means so much to be affirmed in choosing the “grousing” child option :). (and I love that word choice!)

    Tell me more about your work with parents? Do you work with specific issues?

  10. says

    What a fortunate girl to have a mother like you. I can't even imagine the anguish of the chronic hospital visits and the toll on your family.

    I was especially moved and appreciative of the fact that you don't feel sorry for her when she misbehaves. So often when I work with parents they say that they want their kids to do things for others willingly and not with attitude.

    Sometimes parents choose a happy kid (without responsibilities) over the grousing one who nonetheless does their chores, h/w, etc.

    Thank you for this wonderful post!

  11. says

    Melodramamma, thanks for your prayers for us! I know that support is what has gotten us through many many tough moments…. So sorry to hear your family has had such a tough year with illness too. It's so tiring!

  12. says

    Wow! I am so sorry you had to go through that. We had a lot of sicknesses in our family last year that sent up to the ER many times. Isn't it so great knowing we can count on God to get us through. Praying for you and your little girl. And, it sounds like you're doing a great job as everything one mommy can do.

  13. says

    You've brought me into both emotions—exhausting anguish and unsurpassed joy—that came from your unconditional love and perseverance. Great writing, but more importantly, powerful message. Thanks for sharing.