April 26, 2012

30 Days of Spring Cleaning–Betcha thought I jumped ship!

I think last time we chatted I was lamenting what was in store for me.  But alas…nothing could get me out of the flood of emotions waiting for me within the tubs.  The tubs.  The 9 tubs full of my children’s clothing.  I have an update for you:


That’s right.  I started.  In a whirl of “now or never” energy, I grabbed a tub and yanked the top off.  I dove in and got through two of them.  I’m organizing by gender and size.  I’m also keeping a small stash.  Nothing to be done about that – Christie can’t scale the mountain in one swoop…or Rome wasn’t built in a day…or whatever metaphor you want to use there.  There are some items I just cannot bring myself to part with.  It’s just the way it goes.  Then there are the majority of the contents that I have made peace with. 

My present goal is to finish unloading all nine tubs, and then take them to consignment.  That’s my “goal”.  It could end up being a repackage/restore project.  Again, mountains and Rome and such.  On the one hand, I say “We are done ‘having’ babies!”.  On the other hand I say “But God….”  You feel me?  On the one hand I say “even if we eventually were to add to our family, we will cross that bridge when the time comes”.  On the other hand I say “what a waste!  you have it already and wouldn’t need another item of clothing”.  Not to mention what I can sell them for versus what I paid for them – well, it’s a huge loss.  

On this particular night, here is how I comforted myself – with AB’s cooking.  Now I ask you, who could not feel comforted by this? Have you ever had a grilled avacado?  Oh Lord...get out of here!  Shazzam, baby…. 


So...yeah.  The meal ended and waiting for me was 7 more tubs.  (Not to mention a disaster of a garage - that attic project?  Yeah.  Sucks.  Baby steps.)  I can tell you this: I have been strolling down my own sweet memory lane as I pick up and hold and sort each item.  I ventured into tub number three and was reduced to a puddle of tears – which is precisely where I stopped.  Keira’s clothes that she wore in China.  I mean, the ones I packed and brought for her – but still.   I can look at them and say “she wore this the first day we got her”…and then I cry. Or what about just her everyday outfits that I so remember matching her personality in every way…sniffle (thank you, R).  Like this one:


and I sniffle and say, “how can I possibly let this go?”

Before you vote to have me white-coated and put away…is there NO ONE out there who feels this way?  Even a little?  Does this get better?  Does this get easier?  I can recall my own mother holding gingerly my infant dresses on a quasi recent garage cleanup (say, in the last ten years), and people – I’m pushing 40.  DOES THIS GET BETTER? 

For that matter…how do you know when you’re done?  Now wait…let me say that a different way.  How do you accept when you’re done?  I have asked the Lord to just shout at me  “YOU’RE NOT DONE”, but He’s more in the  business of the “still small voice”.  Cripes.  So of course, my prayer is very much that He would show me what is right for our family.  

But in addition to that, can you please tell me how and when you just knew.  Did you feel it?  Did you have confirmation in your spirit?  Did you feel at total peace about it? 

I feel unsure.  My heart says “there are so many kids to help” and my head says “are you nuts?!?!”  Back and forth, back and forth. 


I rarely ask for comments.  Rarely.  In fact, this is technically a no-comment blog, except for the year of challenges that we’re in.  But I’m asking you mamas out there: how did you know and what did you go through to determine being “done” expanding your family?

Help a sistah out with your thoughts on the subject?


Catherine said...

Parting with Hannah's baby stuff was really, really hard on me too! In fact I was the same as you...9 tubs of 6mos - 24mos clothes that I just couldn't part with. There they sat even though our family is complete. (Unless God has a surprise up His sleeve.) I just couldn't do it.

There was a separate tub labeled 'Hannah's Keepsakes' and those items I will keep but the rest...they were in storage.

Until...last Sunday. A friend I've known for the past 5 years who is also single and waiting for her referral in probably July is now the proud owner of 9 tubs of clothes! :o) I didn't know how it would happen but we were sitting at a dinner last month and I asked her if she had much for Grace and she said, 'not really' and my heart knew that now was the time.

I was surprised to realize when she was there that it really wasn't as hard to part with these clothes as I thought it was going to be. It was time and my heart was ready.

When it's the right time your heart will be ready too!

liasmomma said...

Well for us it is definitely a hard thing. There are SO many children out there that still need a family. But the reality is, that even if we were to adopt 10 more kids, there would always be more out there that need families. So I basically have thrown that one out as a valid reason.

I think if the situation in China were different (read you didn't have to wait probably 10 years to adopt a NSN child) then I probably could have conviced my husband to adopt a third daughter. I would really have loved to. I was just thinking abt. this last night how I already have a name for her....Emily Anne. And whenever these thoughts come into my head as they usually do after I've spent time with a cute baby (like I did last night), I just tell the Lord, "Lord, if you want this, then you make a way." And then I just leave it to Him b/c it's going to have to be a HUGE God thing to make it happen. And I try to remind myself how very lucky I am that I was ever able to adopt at all b/c the way things are now with int'l adoption, many people may never realize their dream of being parents. I know that is true. And so I am beyond fortunate that I have been blessed twice with my two little girls and I have learned not to wish for more but be so grateful for what I already have.

But that being said, I don't think you ever really loose the desire to have another sweet little baby.....I mean really? I'm on the FB group for Love Without Boundaries and I see all those sweet little babies and I would jump on a plane in a minute if it were an easy thing to adopt one. But it isn't.

And so, I too have had to make peace with giving my sweet little girl things away. And it does get easier. I was going to keep the 30+ pairs of squeaky shoes I had till my mother reminded me that in 25+ years when my girls had kids (presuming they had daughters to wear them), the leather would be all nasty and the shoes would be useless. So instead, I marked them at $5 a pair and made over $200 at my last garage sale. I ended up being happy with that decision and could use the $$ to buy things my girls needed now.

So those are my thoughts. I feel you and your struggle. When I saw the pics of your sweet little girl (who you adopted after we adopted our 2nd), I wanted one just like her!!!! It was so hard to know that was most likely never going to happen. But I serve a big God and I know that if He has other plans, he doesn't need me to help Him carry that out :-)


Christie said...

Wow girls...that was wonderful to read. I feel really encouraged by both of you...truly!

Keep em' coming people!


Erin said...

Girl, we just knew. You know how hard it was the first year Meisey was home and we just felt God telling us we were done. That isn't to say that we don't think of adopting again from time to ime but it is fleeting. I am at peace when I think I am done and my family is complete. And while it was so difficult getting rid of the clothes and items once Meisey outgrew them, there was also a sense of accomplishment. It also gave me more room to buy new stuff! :)

I know that God doesn't always shout His plans and that is so frustrating. But know this - if He calls you to adopt again, He will provide what you need. Let the stuff go - hold on to the things that hold the most memories. And start looking forward to making new ones. Love you!

Suz said...

We are not done, but since our Ethiopian adoption was cut in process, it was so hard for me to save them - a different kind of hard I guess...

I condensed my favorites to 2 tubs and found friends with girls to get my next round of favorites - the ones I liked, had sweet memories, but could live without. It seemed to help to know they are going to Florida, Indiana, Alaska for new memories. I took the third string clothes (like a team!) and sold those bad boys to buy us all some new clothes for a family photo shoot. I will say, I shed several tears at first, then all of the sudden, it was liberating! Hang in there friend.

Also, have you seen on etsy the people who make quilts out of your favorites?

Leslie said...

I get it on the tubs of clothes and cards and stuff. BTDT and doing that. Totally normal.

On the topic of knowing when you are done, for me, I know now we are done. We have 6 amazing children and both DH and I are totally certain we are done.

Before, we always knew we weren't. Does that make any sense? I think you are NOT done based on what you have shared. Both of you feel like you could want another, so you are most likely not done.

I always said room for more until now. So, that is my 2 cents!

Now I am giving away our youngest son's clothes with joy. He is our baby boy of 4 sons, and as DD2 outgrows her clothes, they will be taken to the donation store as well.

As for you, keep the clothes and see what will be. I wanted to mention on China WC, maybe there are some needs that insurance wouldn't be a huge hindrance? Certain limb differences for instance, especially if you live near a Shriner's hospital. Just a thought!

Holly said...

Just stopping in after a very long hiatus from blog hopping :) Though I no longer blog, I still enjoy checking in on my old favorites :) What a summer you've had and SO thankful your hubby is doing so much better! As to this question, I'm sure everyone will have a different opinion. Here's mine: Hubby and I got married just shy of turning 19 and 20 years old (WE WERE BABIES!!!) Our first child, a son, was born when I was 20 and hubby 21. Not quite 3 years later, our daughter was born. I began having worse and worse symptoms and finally under laproscopic procedure was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis. I had a hysterectomy when my daughter was 18 months old and I was 24/25. Hubs and I both had peace about me losing the ability to have more children. I have felt so much better since the hysterctomy that I have NEVER regretted it. We had one boy, one girl and we were done. I mean, adoption NEVER was on the radar. For us, adoption was a calling. I know that is not popular in many circles but this is how it happened for us. Our children were 9 and 12 when we began our journey to China for our son, aged 21 months at adoption. After we adopted him, I just knew we were not DONE. I wanted also a daughter from China. But God had other plans. Instead, we took in an almost teenaged girl from ethiopia who had been adopted/disrupted by another American family. that placement was disastrous and sadly, we were not able to adopt her as we had planned. After that, we were DONE. absolutely DONE. broken. done. over. But GOD. long story but 2 years later we were in China adopting our daughter, aged 2.5 at adoption. Before we even hit US soil with her we were DONE! oh my has she been a handful! oh MY! We told our social worker and extended family that we were DONE and we meant it. BUT GOD! Last summer He began to speak to me about another child for our family. I soooo didn't want to hear it. But He changed my heart. Hopefully in August we will be BACK in China, not quite 2 years since the last adoption, adopting a child who turns 7 this fall. Our plans? NO. But His are always better than ours. Have you prayed about giving away the baby things? I am sooooooo done with babies, but if the Lord asked me to, I would. Seriously though, so excited about the 7 yr old :)
Remember that He ALWAYS provides, so if someday down the road you have another little girl, He will provide :) Perhaps down the road another child, but not a baby?? Also, there are SO many special needs that are super super easy! Our son's SN requires NOTHING. our daughter has multiple Sn's that are complex and without good insurance...would have been a huge issue. Our waiting 7 yr old daughter has albinism...a very manageable SN...though probably several optical visits :) God will lead. He ALWAYS does. Blessings, Holly (formerly of Purpose Driven Family)