Saturday, October 29, 2011

It Has Been Made

I am being very self indulgent today.  I am sorry.  As I mentioned previously, I have been struggling day and night, night and day for the past two weeks with a decision I must make.  This has been the hardest journey of my life...and I have had some hard ones.  I also apologize as this may get long.  I've considered doing it in multiple parts but once I begin writing, I sometimes cannot stop.  It may also appear strange to you that I opt to put this in such a public forum.  My reasoning for this is two fold.  1) I pray it will give others insight into something they may never have considered before.  2)  Frankly, I am sometimes a coward.  I would rather write than speak.  I need this weight lifted.  At least as lifted as it's ever going to be.

History:
It sounds strange, I am sure coming from a 53 year old woman, but I am the baby of the family.  From an early age, I self imposed the role of peacekeeper and caretaker upon myself.  I can't stand discord amid my family.  I had a lily  white view of my childhood and my family.  I loved my parents, my siblings and my life.
As early as 19, I began worrying about my parents.  I was living in Alaska at the time but opted to come back here, to be close to them, if they ever needed my help.  Over the years I helped.  Both of them.  Then my father died and I helped my mom.  I adopted a special needs son.  He needed me in more ways than you can imagine.  I adopted a special needs daughter.  She needed me.  Then my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and came to live with my daughter and I until she passed away in my bedroom.  We were close.  I miss her.  And I became somewhat lost.  I am still lost.  The family dynamics I had grown up with had changed.  I made some mistakes.  My daughter continues to need me but not in the same intensity and all consuming way she once did.  I prayed.  For guidance.  For answers.   For the path I was to follow.

Two Weeks Ago:
I received a call one day from the county where I live.  I was asked if I'd consider adopting some siblings.  Not two, not three but six. Yes, six.  I didn't give it a second thought before I knew I would seriously consider it.  I saw their photos.  Six of the most beautiful, perfect special needs children.  My breath was stolen in that moment and in that moment, they became a part of me.  It was like looking at my long lost family.  I immediately got giddy with the idea of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with 9 instead of 3.  Like I grew up with.  A houseful of fun and love at holidays.  I'm not sure I'll ever have grandchildren so wouldn't this be an answer to that?  My heart was ready and willing and jumping at the chance.

I spoke to family and friends.  They all listened.  They all offered support.  I know many held their tongues.  They knew the decision had to be mine and mine alone.  I'm sure some questioned my ability.  So do I.  But I can assure everyone, those kids would be loved like no other.

Today:
I ran the numbers.  Cooking for 8 three times a day.  Laundry for 8.  I'd need a new vehicle, a bus perhaps. Dr's. appointments for 8.  School meeting for 8.  Paperwork for 8 (a huge endeavor with special needs children).  I'd be 69 when the last one graduates.

I thought of Becky.  I thought of TJ.  How would they feel?  I think I know the answers yet I am the one that has to weigh all of the pros and cons.  I am the one that has to make the decision.

I had to ask if this was the answer to my prayers.  Was this my chosen path.

And the children.  All siblings.  I can. not. stand. the. thought. of. them. being. separated. again.  As corny as it sounds.  I love them all.  Each and every one of them.

I'm tough.  Maybe too tough sometimes.  I know I have enough love to give.

The con, I'm 53.  Would it be fair to them to give them an "old" Mom?

I am not going to do it.  I WILL regret it for the REST of my life.

To my friends and family:  Unless you can handle a flood gate of tears, let's not talk about it anymore.  I love you all but can only tell my story once.

Thanks to everyone for hanging in here through my story.



38 comments:

Sonya Heilmann said...

Oh, Jill! There is nothing I can say, so I'll just offer you a virtual hug!

Scrappy Pink Corner said...

Boy oh boy. Your plate is surely full. You have a heart of gold and I do not even know you, but reading this post tells me you do. No one can tell you what is right for you and your family. Only you can make that decision. I am sure through prayer, your questions will be answered. I will pray for you and your family and just hope that everything works out for the best.
Thank your for sharing your beautiful story.

Maple Lane said...

Jill, even though I only just met you, my heart goes out to you. You and I are very similar...I am 54 and the youngest in my family. I was caregiver to both my parents until they passed away.
I know that you have prayed earnestly about this decision, and I know that God will give you strength to move forward.
Sending my heartfelt "hug" as your sister in Christ.

My Blessed Serendipity Life said...

Dear Jill,
Just the fact that you prayerfully considered taking on this responsibility is a testament to your character and what a good person you are. Sometimes as much as we feel compelled to take on a life changing responsibility, it just isn't meant to be. I wish I could reach out through this computer and give you lots of hugs. I know this wasn't an easy decision for you and I will still be praying. God knows your heart. Look to Him for comfort.

love,
Danielle

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Wow. Tough decision. Yet I think you've considered all factors and it sounds like you know what's right for you. I'm wondering if there are ways to be involved with them without adoption?

Carole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carole said...

I had read, posted a fairly long response about having had an 'older' mother, then noticed the line about you deciding against doing this. I deleted my post. Didn't want to cause any upset to your decision. I know it must have been hard.

Have you ever considered being a foster parent?

Good luck to you.

Debbie said...

you have so much love jill, so much compassion, you are a kind, wonderful, kindred spirit!!

this must have been the most difficult decision....i hope you don't regret it but rather focus on what you did do for your two beautiful children. you have changed their lives forever.

Ellie said...

Jill, you are one in a million.
You have a VERY big heart. You weighed it all up and came to your decision. It must have been a very hard decision to come to. No wonder you were in a quandry.
Now you can give all of your vast love to your two children.
Sending you lots and lots of hugs.

Madi and Mom said...

Jill
I think you made a wise decision...your TJ and Becky have been your primary responsiblity for a long time and will continue to be...you have to consdier them in everything you do...don't beat yourself up over this. It was not a decision made lightly but with lots of thought...hugs
C

Ashling said...

We're total strangers, so forgive me for commenting, but I had to. I am in awe that you would even consider it. And I'm in awe of the selflessness of either choice, each in its own way. When one prays--to Whomever--and listens to the wisdom, that person is wise and grace-filled. I wish you the peace of knowing you made the decision you were guided to.

Bonnie said...

Your decision was made with great care and love. That is all we can hope for really. I am thinking of you and holding you in my heart and thoughts.

Furry Bottoms said...

Sending you a big huge hug with a band-aid for your heart.

MyMaracas said...

I too am in awe that you would even consider taking this on. Your decision was made with deep thought and care, and with consideration for the needs of all involved. I'm sure you'll have some regrets. But sometimes the most loving thing one can do is to let go.

Lottie said...

Jill, I made decisions at 53 that I regretted when I had medical issues at 56. You can still love them, and be involved. We don't know the future.

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, this is so difficult. Is the choice for them an older mother, versus no mother? And how special needs are they, and could they understand a loss if you became ill before you were old?

I think that I agree that it would be wonderful to foster and / or be involved, but not to take on the full responsibility. But you are the only one who can decide - I wish you strength in your difficult decision.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

A difficult decision but first and foremost you must do what is best for you and your existing family.

Lynne said...

Jill,
Although I have just recently met you . . . I know without a doubt what a kind, giving and caring mom, gal, blogger friend you are!

How wise of you to prayerfully take some pause to reflect and receive decision. Well done my friend. . .

I am sending you my caring heart as you wrap your arms around your decision . . .
Love, Lynne

EG Wow said...

Jill.
I admire you for considering taking on six more children, and I admire you even more for thinking it through as thoroughly as you apparently have. Only you can know what's best for you. Go with your gut feelings.

Farm Girl said...

Wow I wish I could come and give you a huge hug. If God is leading then go for it girl.
I have six children. I am 53 My oldest is 30 and my youngest is 16 I have been raising kids a long time. I feel like I am still young because kids keep you young, they keep you from getting so selfish and wrapped up in yourself. You pick up your cross and carry it daily.
Thank you so much for sharing and I pray God will continue to bless you in every way and you are not to old.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I felt like I was reading about myself in your post. While I'm the 4th of six in my family, since my Mom passed 4 years ago, I think I've kind of taken over her role with my brothers. But having not ever had children, my husband (who is 54, and I'm 50) and I went through this same thing about a year ago. We took all the classes to become an adoptive or a foster home, and went through the entire approval process. When it came down to the very end, I felt like we shouldn't do it. I'd been like you, so convinced that it was the right thing to do at first. But then it changed...I've no idea why. I'd been praying for a new direction in my life. But in the end I found that being willing to move my feet was what I needed to do. You did what was best for you and your family and don't ever second guess that and don't ever regret that choice. I don't....

Samantha said...

No words here, just lots of support.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

While I was reading your post, before I saw your decision, I was wondering what you were going to decide. At this stage in my life, taking on another pet would be a major decision.

I love and support you Jill. No need for explanations. xoxo

Donna said...

Well, Bless your heart...age has a way of changing decisions For us doesn't it?!!
I'm 60 and the youngest and the peacemaker....
I know where your heart is on this sweetie.
hughugs

Ed Pilolla said...

you truly are an amazing person, with a lot of love to give, and a deep capacity to receive love. you are a special person becuz this is an extraordinary path you travel. so few can do what you do. and your self-reflection shows you don't just react to the world but process it through your own internal values. thanks for sharing this part of your life. i am a big fan or yours:)
sounds like an amazing home to be a part of for the holidays!:)

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

Jill...my heart breaks for YOU and for the kiddos. BUT...you have to do what is RIGHT for you and the kids. SUCH A TOUGH decision!

Becky~ said...

Hi Jill,Im a new follower found you on My Five Men.Seems we both love buttons.lol I wish I had something to say about your blog.I just can offer prayers to you that things will work out for the best.


Another thing I had been following Leontien,I have been wondering about her.All of a sudden I didnt see her anymore.So sad,I hope she is doing ok,Im just so surprised poor girl.I will be sending prayers up for her as well.


Blessings for a nice new week ahead Jill!

Madge @ The View From Right Here said...

Thank you for sharing your decision... some decisions even though right are still painful. I'm sorry for your pain... I hope you find comfort in 'right.'

Tammy said...

You have a good heart.

Betsy said...

Oh, you shocked me at the end! I thought you would do it. haha...don't say 53 is old! I'm 50! I hope you have peace with your decision. What a compliment to you that they even considered you and asked. They thought that highly of you...how wonderful. Big hugs!

Donna said...

Dear Jill,

No words of wisdom - just abundant blessings from our Lord.

Donna

Pieces of Sunshine said...

I hard decision (understatement) but you need not regret it for always. Know you made the best choice you could for them....and that's ok, more than ok. Better to really think it throughout than start and not be able to finish, especially in this case.

Buttons said...

Oh My Dear Jill the woman with the biggest heart I know. You had such a big decision but I think that you made the right one. Your children need this time with you and coming from a very large family I know how this would wear on you. I am sure these siblings will find a home together and I know how much that is going to bother you but I think sometimes a person can take on too much which does not help anyone. A big HUG to you the woman with the very big heart.
You are a very special woman indeed B

Kayla said...

Just sending love....lots and lots of love....

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

A few well-meant words from a stranger (though one with 20 years experience of looking after children with profound needs): -
Perhaps in time you might consider this - there are lots of special needs children who need a friend, an auntie, or perhaps a granny. Someone who could visit them regularly and be part of their life. Maybe that's a role you could fill one day. I'm sure you've made a wise decision.
Take care.

Rose said...

What a hard decision to have to make...

I am the baby of 8....know where you are coming from there. Always wanted everyone to get along, too.

Dianna said...

Most certainly, you can feel the love being sent to you by your fellow bloggers. Most of them are saying what I feel: we can't give you advice, can't criticize you for the decision you made, but we CAN and DO support you!!
Please don't regret this. We know this was a decision you didn't take lightly. The decision was made with your heart and that's what's important.
((HUGS))

TexWisGirl said...

i wanted to come back now and comment on this. i can only imagine how much you agonized over this decision - the entire process as well as the result. we are human beings, with limitations - age, financial stability, energy, time. do not feel guilty about this. you will have more opportunities that will feel right in the future. i have no doubt in you.