Sunday, August 24, 2008

With Family

I feel somewhat obligated to post something but am completely unmotivated to do so. Life has been exhausting lately, on several fronts.

As always, there is more work to do at the office than there are hours in a day and it only seems to get worse as we bring in more new clients and lose staff (there are currently 5 key tax staff/managers who are pregnant, one on bedrest almost from week 1 due to complications with twins, others with various due dates between now and the end of the year) it appears I will be there at least until the final due date of all 2007 tax returns, which is 10/15/08.

And then there are the two aging, ailing dogs. Smokey is less and less capable of walking on his own, nearly having to be carried outside to do his business (which he still does wait to do...he seems to know that if he starts peeing and pooping all over the house, that might be the end), and he's eating less and less. He generally needs to be carried out at the exact moment that it is my turn to feed the baby. Cocoa, seemingly despondent ever since the baby came home, had to go to the vet Friday to be checked for an intestinal blockage. He was in obvious pain and straining to void his bowels but the doctor, as doctors are prone to doing, said he couldn't find anything wrong and sent him home with some pills and instructions to give him extra attention, all of which cost $359. Plus $27 for 12 cans of special food.

And then, clearly, the newest addition to our family is commanding a lot of attention at home and makes me realize the importance of leaving my company sooner than later. When I first started talking about resigning (some call it "retiring"), I joked, "now that my kids are grown and out of the house, I think I'll quit working to become a stay-at-home mom." Now, I see the joke is on me, because the kids are coming back home and multiplying. And while I am not Julian's mother, his mother needs a lot of help right get her feet under her emotionally and financially, to decide that she really does want to be a mother, to decide what path she will follow into the future as a single mother, all of that. And I'm willing to help if I am able. Right now, I pray that I have that opportunity. While caring for an infant is exhausting in its own right, it is heartbreakingly painful trying to coach a 19-year old who says she "hates being a mother." And honestly, he's an easy baby to care for, aside from needing to be fed every 3 hours and only a handful of gassy episodes (that alone is exhausting so really, my admiration for mothers who have to cope with more than this has gone up tremendously!). Thank God he's been easy. I can't imagine how we would have coped with a colicky baby, or worse.

And now, all of the words we used when trying to counsel our daughter about adoption come pouring out of her ("I'm not ready to parent, I'm only 19 years old, I should be in college, I should be married before I have children, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be" etc.), usually at times when Julian needs her most. There is a very, very small sliver of my inner ego that is at least gratified to know she really was listening, but there is a much bigger piece of my heart that breaks whenever she breaks down like this. I realize and understand that there is a very real possibility that she may decide to place him for adoption. And that may be the best thing she could do. Obviously, the whole family has accepted Julian into their hearts and has prayed for him from the beginning as he fought a valiant fight just to stay alive. We all wish the best for him and understand that the most loving option may well be to place him in a loving home. But that doesn't make it any easier to consider the possibility of letting him go. I know there are grandparents out there raising their grandchildren, but I don't think that's in my heart. I pray for guidance on this. My real hope is that our daughter can find it in her heart to do the right thing, whatever that might be. She needs a lot of prayer right now.

The picture taking has waned ever since we got home, but here are a few special ones taken with family over the last couple weeks. On August 20, his due date, he was over 7 pounds, finally at the starting line as far as his gestational age is concerned. He is thriving and growing stronger each day. For that, we are so grateful!

With Great-Granddad (and Leah)

With Great-Grammie (and Leah)

With Cousin Erin

With Great-Uncle David

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At 9:11 PM, August 24, 2008, Blogger Sisiggy said...

Okay, first off: DO NOT drop off the face of the earth like that!

Totally understandable, though. This is tough, though. After all you all have been through with Julian, I'm sure the bond is strong. And you know I feel your pain about Smokey.

That's a lot on your plate at one time. You've been in our prayers for awhile now, even more so when you hadn't posted in awhile. I wish I could do more.

(Though Coco: It must be a red Aussie thing that whenever things change, their digestive system goes wonky. We just have company for dinner and Topper gets diarrhea the next day.)

At 7:57 AM, August 25, 2008, Blogger beth said...

I'm continuing to pray for you and your daughter. Please keep in mind (and this from an adoptive mother) that placing him, should that be what she decides to do, does NOT mean that he will be out of your lives forever. It will most certainly mean he's in your life less than he is now, but there is a middle ground that so many of us adoptive parents want to find. And it's only to Julian's benefit that his grandparents and mother have bonded with him - no matter what decision is made, so please don't think that that will do him harm should a placement decision be made.

Lots of hugs and prayers.

At 8:56 AM, August 25, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Sisiggy, there's a fine line between feeling guilty for not being present and feeling egoistic for thinking anyone would really miss me, so thank you for feeding my ego. Next time I'm abducted by aliens, I'll be sure to post a bulletin. ;-) You're right about the red Aussie's sensitivities...he's doing much better now, after a couple days of moping around. Thank you for your prayers!

Beth, that's helpful to hear, coming from an adoptive mother. Knowing you and how you have taken Joshua into your lives is encouraging when trying to imagine how life might turn out for Julian.*hugs*

At 9:53 AM, August 25, 2008, Blogger Lynellen said...

I agree with both comments above. We (your loyal readers) were worrying about you more and more as time went by. I'm praying for your family, specifically that you would feel very guided by God as to what choices to make and that there would be amazing peace that follows.

At 7:15 PM, August 25, 2008, Blogger Janie said...

Man. I'm glad you're alive...I was worried!

I figured since Baby Spartacus got home you were jumping through yourself, but good grief! Beautiful dog troubles, too?

I'll be praying for all of y'all (including the dogs!).

At 8:48 AM, August 26, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Thank you, Lynellen! Your book has been helpful through it all. :-)

Janie, when it rains, it pours. You know that better than anyone. :-) Thanks for your prayers!

At 4:22 AM, September 01, 2008, Blogger Bob-kat said...

I am so sorry to hear about your troubles. That is an awful lot to deal with at once. You sound like a rock for your daughter right now and let me tell you, I know just how hard it is to be a rock, especially when you have things on your own plate. Whatever happens I hope it turns out for the best for you all.

At 8:14 PM, September 14, 2008, Blogger Library girl said...

You are in my prayers too and have been for a while now :).


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