Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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An Index Card Affirmation Exercise

We are under attack. Constant attack. From media. From society. From strangers and even from well-meaning (hopefully) friends and family. And we can even be under constant attack from ourselves.

I absolutely do not believe the old adage, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Today, in the world we live in, words can most certainly break us. I should say, negative words can break us, if we allow them to have that power over us. And we often do allow them that power.

You are enoughHave you ever received a compliment from someone that starts with, “Now this is a compliment…” You know immediately that whatever follows will most certainly not be a compliment. A few weeks ago after teaching (and rocking) a few songs in a friend’s Zumba class, someone came up to me after class and said, “Now this is a compliment…you are such a pretty girl, but you look so much better with your hair tied back and not in your face.”

On that particular day, I was having a good day, so I smiled, said thanks, and laughed it off in my head. Well, actually in my head I said, “Awhhh, thanks so much and you look so much better with your mouth shut.” (Hey, I’m not perfect!)

I didn’t allow those words to rule the rest of my day or week. BUT how many times do we allow words to ruin us.

How many times do we allow words to take us off course or totally wreck our confidence?

Too often.

Enough is enough.

Hawk Nelson has an awesome song called Words. Check out the entire song here: Words.

Here is my favorite part of that song:

“They’ve made me feel like a prisoner, they’ve made me feel set free. They’ve made me feel like a criminal, made me feel like a king. They’ve lifted my heart, to places I’ve never seen. They’ve dragged me down back to where I began. Words can fill you up. Words can break you down. Start a fire in your heart or put it out. Let my words be life, let my words be truth. I don’t wanna say a word, unless it points the world back to you.”

We can control how we speak to other people.

We can control the words we speak to ourselves.

We need to stop the negative thoughts floating around in our head.

Have you said any of these things to yourself either in your head or out loud?

“I’m a bad mom (dad, friend, sister, etc.).”

“Nothing ever goes right for me; I failed again.”

“I’ll never reach that goal or dream.”

“It’s too hard.”

“I’m just not good enough.”

“Susie is so much better at this.”

Enough is enough!

Speaking life needs to start at home. We are our home. We need to speak life to ourselves every day. We need to stop those negative words of doubt, anxiety, fear, and failure. We need to crush those negative seeds in our head before they have any chance to flourish and kill our confidence and significance.

Just this week I got an email that I allowed to get in my head. It was regarding the business I’m working on building. Someone more or less said “no” to me and I allowed myself to translate that no into “I don’t think I can do this,” “everyone will say no,” and “I don’t want to annoy my friends and family.” I felt the negativity and self-doubt threatening to take over, but I thankfully made it through with persistent prayer and perspective.

How easy it is to allow yourself to race down that rabbit hole!

Enough is enough.

My Index Card AffirmationsToday, I took an index card and wrote several affirmations on it that I plan to say out loud to myself every day, several times a day. I taped it to my bathroom mirror, so I will see it as soon as I wake up and throughout the day. I will speak those words of life to myself every day!

I will speak those words to myself, because I am loved. I am cherished. I am enough. And I’m human, so I need to be reminded.

I challenge you to do the same! Grab an index card. Write down affirmations to yourself. Put your index card in a place where you’ll see it throughout the day. Proclaim those words out loud to yourself, because you are loved, cherished, and worth it.

You are enough.

Your affirmations may be about attributes you are working on, how you treat other people, your role as a mother or wife, about your business or job, or about any other place in your life that you need to shine some light with your positive thoughts and words.

Here are some great examples from Joyce Meyer’s book, Change Your Words Change Your Life if you need a place to start:

“I do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.”

“I do not speak negative things.”

“I am a positive encourager. I edify and build up, I never tear down or destroy.”

“I am a believer, not a doubter.”

“I have compassion and understanding for all people.”

Let’s speak life to ourselves and others.

Toby Mac’s song Speak Life offers more encouragement. Click here for the song: Speak Life.

Love, Natasha

PS: Doesn’t “ENOUGH” totally look weird spelled in all caps?

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Motherhood is a Sparkly Dreamland….Lied Too Many Moms!

Motherhood shouldn’t feel like corporate America, but sometimes it does. It shouldn’t feel cut throat, competitive, and individualistic, but sometimes us mommas tend to compete, compare, and fight to “become the best.” We hide our weaknesses, frustrations and we pretend like we’ve got it all perfectly together.

We send out silly Christmas letters that highlight the moments of perfection from our past year and anytime something fun and happy happens, we flood social media to share. If we’re having a wedding anniversary, we rant and rave on Facebook about how amazing and perfect our spouse is and how the past X number of years have been a complete and utter dream. We hide if we’re feeling a little down and depressed, because of course we can’t come off weak to other moms.

Snow globeI know, I know, free speech; we all get to post and share whatever we want, whenever we want! And sure, we should share our joys and celebrate them! I get that, but what it creates is a false image of motherhood. It places motherhood in a happy little snow globe where everything stands still, content and where joyful glitter rains down whenever needed to maintain sparkly perfection.

Motherhood is an amazing blessing, but let’s get real my sisters in motherhood, it isn’t a snow globe wonderland.….it’s extremely difficult! Sure there are many glitter packed moments, but there are many more figurative and literal poop filled moments.

If we pretend everything is perfect, we aren’t being real and when we’re all at the point of exhaustion and frustration, we need other moms in our lives to be real with us. When people open up to us, it gives us courage to be honest in return. Sometimes we have to be the first open up.

It always amazes me that when I get the courage to open up to a mom friend about a struggle or frustration, they almost always have experienced something similar or are even currently going through the same feelings or struggles.

It’s easy to see the listening part of friendship as a ministry; we try to listen to our momma friends and give good advice if requested. However, an even more important ministry in motherhood is being open and authentic to other moms about the struggles and questions we have.

In my previous job, I can remember the feeling of finishing a major finalist presentation or client meeting. I always felt so relieved and usually happy, because it went well or because we at least established next steps that made the client happy. We’d get out of the meeting (with everyone and God, seriously we’d have like 12 people there from our company) and seriously NO ONE would say anything about the meeting. We’d figure out where to go to lunch or we’d all go our separate ways with usually little to no review or discussion of what went well and what could have gone better. It used to drive me nuts, because I felt like that reflection and assessment was perhaps even more important than the actual meeting itself.

Similarly, sometimes we don’t talk about the nuts and bolts of motherhood enough with our momma friends. When we don’t share openly and discuss, we are left wondering and floundering.

Am I the only one struggling? Am I the only one feeling stressed or sad? Am I the only one not getting any sleep? Is so and so a better mom than me? How is her house always spotless? How does she make dinner every night? Am I the only one with 15 loads of laundry to do? Are my kids the only ones throwing tantrums in the middle of Target? Am I a good mom? Am I the only one that yells at my kids? Am I trying hard enough? Am I good enough? Am I creative enough? What should I make for dinner?

We need each other as moms. We need each other in our real and true form. We need each other on the days we are rocking out motherhood. We need each other on the days we feel like the worst mom in the world.

We need to share our joys and frustrations with each other. We need to laugh at our Pinterest fails together and brainstorm new missions together.

We need to be honest when we aren’t feeling like ourselves. We need to ask our momma friends how they are feeling when we feel like something is off. We need to ask for help.

Reach out to your mom friends. If you think of someone one day and haven’t thought of them in a while, reach out to them, because they probably need you.

If you’re feeling down or depressed, tell a mom friend you trust. You might be amazed when they tell you they’ve been feeling the same way now or that they have in the past.

Remember, we’re here to help each other revel in the sparkle-snow globe moments and to help shovel the poo that rains down in the other moments.

Have a great week.

Love,

Natasha

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How to Mother from YOUR Strengths

How to Mother from your TalentsMy favorite cookie cutter shape is the circle with the smaller circle in the middle. It looks like a little donut and you can pop out the middle circle to create another tiny circle cookie. Two sugar cookies are better than one right!? I have fond memories of duking it out with my sister for Grandma’s few precious tiny circle Christmas cookies. The silly adults were fighting over the peanut squares, but the tiny circles were the true gold. Okay, the peanut squares are ridiculously good too.

Santa blogWhat’s your favorite cookie cutter shape? Come on, this is a very serious and important question! Don’t even tell me your fave is the weird Santa Claus one that when frosted looks like a strange little blob. (But if you did pick the Santa Claus one that is totally cool, be you….but really, the blob? That’s what you picked? No really, it’s cool.)

Anywho….

Just like the many shapes of cookie cutters, so are each of us unique as moms. Did you like that segue (I know, I had to look up how to spell segway correctly too, don’t worry). We have all been blessed with a unique combination of strengths and experiences that allow us to mother just as we were meant to.

“God’s design is perfect. He created us. Does it make us perfect? In a sense, yes. We’re who He uniquely chose to mother our children. We can’t improve on God’s design. Yet often we try to squeeze ourselves into molds of motherhood that don’t fit.”    -From Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

Imagine how much less stressed we’d be if instead of trying to become the kind of mother that we clearly are not, we would just mother from our strengths.

What does it mean to mother from our strengths?

It means embracing our strengths and using them as a mom. I’d say one of my strengths is creativity and when I’ve mothered from my creativity the boys and I have had days that have shined! One of my favorite memories is taking my boys around our yard and finding different things in nature to make “Jesus crosses” with. We had so much fun exploring that day and they learned how to create, about Jesus, and had fun outdoors. Those kinds of activities are in my wheelhouse!

One of my weaknesses is probably interior decorating. I’d say I have a unique sense of style, I know what I like and I can pin for hours exactly what I’d like my house to look like, but I just can’t seem to translate it onto our walls! The boys are three and still the walls of their “nursery” are bare except for a small cross and their little footprints, which we made at the local clay art store. Previously, I’d see how beautiful some of my friend’s nurseries and kids’ rooms were and I’d get a little down and stressed comparing. I felt like I was lacking as a mom, because my children didn’t have rooms as pretty and well put together.

This is one of those weaknesses that to me isn’t worth stressing over. Instead of comparing, I’ve grown able to admire my friends’ talents in this area, compliment them, and be content that my kids’ rooms probably won’t look as perfect. And that’s okay, because they don’t seem to miss it. Some weaknesses are not worth your stress!

Cookie cuttersThere are some weaknesses that are worth working on! I hate yelling at my kids. I noticed when they became toddlers, I become a yeller. That is not a behavior that I wanted them to see from their mother and certainly not one that I wanted them to pick up. I remember my boys fighting and screaming at each other and I’d eventually get upset and scream back at them, “STOP SCREAMING NOW!” Hmmmm, now in a child’s brain, I’m sure that really made a lot of sense to them. Mommy is screaming at us and telling us not to scream. This is a behavior that I’ve prayed out of me and worked really hard to change. I hid a lot in the laundry room or in my closet to cool down (eat chocolate) and then emerged again with my super mom cape. Some weaknesses are worth working on!

Here are some ideas to mother from your strengths:

1.) Identify your super powers: Do you know what your strengths are? Where are you thriving in your life? Where you are thriving is probably where you are strong. Share your strengths with your kids! If you don’t know your strengths, ask a friend who you trust or take a personality inventory. Where are my fellow ENFJ’s at (Myers Briggs)?

2.) Choose the right crew: If you have good momma friends, you know how blessed you are! Schedule regular time with them. Good momma friends are the ones you can be yourself with. Always be on the lookout to build your crew! You can never have enough awesome momma friends; you learn something from all of them. Also, recognize if a friend is causing you consistent stress or drama and be content that it may be time to let them go.

3.) Banish comparing: Comparing yourself to other moms causes unnecessary anxiety, stress and increases your insecurities. If you are confident in your strengths and content with your weaknesses, you’ll be better able to compliment and build your friends up for their strengths rather than tear yourself down because of comparing.

4.) Increase your box: Like I mentioned earlier, some weaknesses are just not worth worrying about. Figure out which weaknesses you are just going to be content with, because they really don’t impact your family in important ways. Then figure out which weaknesses might just be underdeveloped strengths. Those are the ones worth working on. We are always told to think outside of the box. Well, I think it’s okay to think inside the box as long as you’re always expanding your box. As moms and in life in general, constant learning keeps our minds young and helps us be our best self.

“Instead of fighting God’s design, let’s start recognizing and honoring our unique, God-given personalities! After all, it’s the message we’ve given to our children their entire lives: You’re special. God made you like no one else in the world. However, many moms believe the complete opposite about themselves. We create in our minds an image of a “good mother” and judge ourselves on whether we live up to it.” -From Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

Enough!

Love,

Natasha

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10 Things To Expect from ZUMBA® Instructor Training

Last weekend was a whirlwind of fun packed with a bachelorette party and wedding shower for a friend, my nephews’ 3rd birthday party (twinsies), and a full day of training to become a ZUMBA® instructor!

I’ve been working out ZUMBA® style for about eight years and I’ve had becoming a ZUMBA® instructor on my bucket list for almost as long. It is such an amazing workout and it makes me happy (and laugh at myself).

When you do something you absolutely love for eight straight hours in one day AND check a major thing off of your bucket list, it is just so uplifting; you almost want to cry! Seriously, I was filled with joyful tears while dancing last Saturday many times and had to bite them back, so people didn’t think I was a weirdo!

If you haven’t tried ZUMBA® or you haven’t heard of it, it a “Latin-inspired, dance-fitness class that incorporates Latin and international music and dance movements, creating a dynamic, exciting, exhilarating, and effective fitness program.” (From ZUMBA® instructor’s manual.)

Put simply, it is an amazing dance-exercise party guaranteed to make you smile and sweat!

ZUMBA Training

If you’ve been considering becoming a ZUMBA® instructor and you’re apprehensive, because you aren’t sure what to expect, allow me to share some highlights from my training. Do it! Check it off your bucket list!

10 Things to Expect from ZUMBA® Training (Basic 1):

1.) You will meet other people that love ZUMBA® as much as you do! One of the things I love about ZUMBA® is that anyone can do it, regardless of your fitness level or dance experience. I was nervous for the training, because I thought I might be the sole dance-duckling in a sea of beautiful Latin ballerina-swans. Even in a small class, there was an eclectic group of ZUMBA® enthusiasts with a wide range of ages, dance experience, personality types, fitness levels, and plans of what to do after the training. It was great to meet and network with other future instructors and make new friends. Make sure to exchange emails and phone numbers, so you can keep in touch after the training.

2.) You will get inspired and crush your fears! One of my favorite parts of the entire training was the hour master ZUMBA® session we started the day with. What better way to start a ZUMBA® training than with an AMAZING ZUMBA® class taught by an amazing trainer! We worked up quite the sweat! About four songs in, our instructor motioned to another gal and me to join her up in the front. I almost peed my pants and shook my head no; I was not ready for that, I didn’t even know the song! BUT we got up there and for the first time, ZUMBA®ed a totally different way, as an instructor. It was the most non-threatening way to be eased into this and a moment I’ll never forget. Fear had been crushed!

3.) You will learn the history and “formula” to ZUMBA®. You’ll love ZUMBA® even more once you learn who and how it was birthed and grown into an international sensation. Also, once you learn the basic “formula” of how to place steps and songs, building your own playlists and classes feels less daunting!

4.) You will learn steps and practice them. I’ve been doing ZUMBA® for years, but I feel much more confident having been taught the basic steps and all of the variations. I was doing many of the steps correctly, but I definitely had a few adjustments to make to my moves! We also had fun practicing the steps in small groups and making up our own choreography!

5.) You will learn cueing. This was the toughest part to get used to, because I’m used to being a student and following cues, but I’ve never had to cue myself. ZUMBA® instructors are encouraged not to talk during their classes, so giving non-verbal cues to let the class know what moves are coming, how many repetitions, and in what direction we’re moving next is vital.

6.) You will practice the instructor role. When you are driving and following your GPS, you don’t always pay attention to exactly what roads you are turning on to and how many miles you’ve gone, you just follow whatever Sally the GPS lady tells you (or whatever you’ve named your GPS, you know you have!). That’s how it can be as a ZUMBA® participant. You might think you know every move of a song, but really you might be totally lost if the instructor wasn’t cueing you. Practicing the instructor role versus the participant role was eye-opening and a real confidence builder.

7.) You will learn the benefits of ZIN™. Once you complete the ZUMBA® training, you are considered a ZUMBA® instructor for a year or forever as long as you become an active ZIN™ member (there’s a monthly fee). ZIN™ membership provides you with an online account that gives you access to the latest music, choreography, clothing discounts, a personal website, and so much more. ZUMBA® instructing without ZIN™ would be like a steak dinner without the steak!

8.) You will learn about the different kinds of music used in ZUMBA®. ZUMBA® music is Latin and internationally inspired. You’ll learn how to build your playlist, so it flows well during your class and contains a diverse selection of songs. Salsa has always been my favorite, but an hour of only Salsa music isn’t a ZUMBA® class, it is a Salsa class!

9.) You will learn about logistics. I just want to dance, workout and help others feel the ZUMBA® party! Before this training, I didn’t think much about some of the logistics that are key to ensuring your ZUMBA®party is safe and a success. In training, you will discuss things like participant waivers, insurance, CPR and group exercise certification.

10.) You will come to understand every instructor has a different style. What if people come to my class and leave half way through? What if people with a ton of dance experience come (and are better than me)? I really want to teach like so-and-so. It is so important to BE YOURSELF as a ZUMBA® instructor. One of the many beauties of ZUMBA® is that every instructor has their own style. You will have people love your style and others that don’t. You have to learn to be at peace with that. You can’t please everyone. I know I will build a group of people that love “Natasha’s class” and others won’t and that’s okay! Be confident that “your” people will be there!

If you’ve had it on your mind and heart to become a ZUMBA® instructor, do it! Push your fears aside and dive in, because it really does have the potential to change your life!

Oh, and you might want to bring several changes of clothing with you to the training, just saying!

Good luck! ZUMBA®!!!

Natasha

 

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Adoption: Encouragement for The Waiting

I recently shared a post called 5 Tips to Survive the Adoption Wait. Those tips and just staying busy and faithful really do help while you are waiting for your child via adoption. But sometimes, while you’re waiting, you just have a bad day or a bad week. We probably all have them. Everything builds up or you’re left alone with your thoughts for too long and the sadness, fear, and even anger slip in.

You might think to yourself….I just want to be a mom NOW! Or I just want my family to finally be complete!

If you’re having one of those days or weeks, this is for you…

Adoption encouragement for the waiting

Today I’m fine, content even; trying to live my life normally in between the moments of anxiety. I’m anxious for my child. I’m anxious for my family to be complete.

I sip a coffee and munch a muffin and I’m happy.

Most days I “keep the faith” and “trust in God’s plan and timing” and I do all right. I’m happy and living in the moment, until I’m not.

I’m happy and happy and happy and then BAM the next day, no, the next minute, I’m curled up in my bed, husband’s arms around me, crying soft tears. Tears because I’m missing my child whom I haven’t yet met.

Then a few more tears of impatience slip out. We’ve been waiting and waiting and still, no child. People offer unsolicited encouragement and advice, “It will happen, be patient,” “Don’t worry you’re still young,” and “You know when you finally adopt, you’ll get pregnant.” 

I smile at them and say thanks and then secretly scream at them in my head, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS LIKE” and “I DO TRUST IN GOD, BUT, I WANT IT NOW!” I know they probably had good intentions.

Or I’m happy and happy and happy and then BAM I’m angry. Angry and disgusted that millions of babies are being mindlessly murdered; babies that could be mine. Babies that could be loved by me. Babies that could be loved by thousands of people waiting like me.

Many almost children have touched our path: a newly born baby girl that we traveled many miles to pick up, a premature little boy, a 15 month old girl, and even a sibling group of five. All of them God’s sweet children, but all of them not chosen to be our children for some reason.

Then comes the part of the cycle, where I dry my tears, dig deep, and get back to happy. Waiting and waiting, but happy. Faithful and content. I get back to living, waiting, but living.

Adoption encouragement 2I move on knowing I may cry more tears in the future and that’s okay. You can’t be “cured” of missing your future child. I resolve to turn those tears into prayers. Prayers for my little almost children. Prayers for my future son or daughter. Prayers for my future child’s birthparents.

I imagine the first time I’ll see my little one. I imagine my baby girl or boy being gently placed into my arms. I imagine that moment, because it’s the moment where the anxiety, sadness, and anger will melt away. It will all make sense. THIS child is the one we’ve been waiting for. It will all be so clear. We had to wait for this very child. This was God’s plan.

So, rather than wait for that “a-ha moment” when my child arrives, I draw that future imagine in as fuel for faith during the waiting. Faith in God’s plan and timing that my dream of becoming a mother to another little one will come true.

To all of you waiting, you are not alone. The waiting is nearly impossible some days. But there may be many days of waiting. So, you can either chose to live those days in perpetual sadness and anger or you can turn your emotions into fuel for faith and patience. Faith that someday soon, you’ll get your moment; the moment when you finally meet your child for the first time. In that moment, it will all make sense.

Blessings on your adoption journey. Let’s keep in touch! Please connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Natasha

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Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower

Man alive, I had a rough week last week with my recently turned 3 year old twin boys! They went from my sweet boys to what people call “three-nagers” overnight! I was pretty desperate to find some mommy inspiration anywhere I could this week and it turns out that inspiration came while mowing the lawn.

I’ve only mowed the lawn a handful of times in my life. It isn’t that I refuse to do it, it’s just that I’ve been scarred since I was a teenager when I tried to surprise my dad by mowing the lawn and ended up giving it a professional scalp job instead! Since then I’ve mowed the lawn a few times since I’ve been married and my husband (and neighbors) lovingly laugh at me while pointing out the very neat triangle patches of grass I seem to miss every time. Oh well, I tried! It really is funny; last time I even stopped the lawn mower and walked all over the yard inspecting my work. Perfect! Then, later that night, I realized I missed a whole side! Seriously, it probably just grew really fast right?!

Anyway, here’s what I learned about motherhood while mowing the lawn…

Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower1.
Mowing the Lawn:
The perfect straight lines are lovely, but it gets cut even if you zig-zag.
Motherhood: Quit trying to be perfect, they are growing up to be wonderful kids even with your imperfections.

2.
Mowing the Lawn: You kind of want to do it for the tan and the exercise.
Motherhood: You kind of want to do it to make sure you’ve got someone to take care of you when you’re old. (Come on, I kid.)

3.
Mowing the Lawn: You plow over the weeds and they disappear…until they come back bigger and badder. (Please just let “badder” be a word today.)
Motherhood: You can only cover up bad behaviors in yourself and your kids for so long until they turn into real problems.

4.
Mowing the Lawn: You have to stop for an occasional water break.
Motherhood: You have to stop for occasionally often coffee breaks.

5.
Mowing the Lawn: On hot days, you sweat a gallon of sweat.
Motherhood: On most days, you sweat worrying about them, even though you’re trying your best not to be a mommy-hovercraft.

6.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes despite your best efforts, you miss a patch of grass.
Motherhood: You try to do everything, be everything, teach them everything, give them every opportunity; you can’t do it all, but you’re doing your best.

7.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you get blisters on your hands and your upper body goes numb from the lawn mower vibrations.
Motherhood: Sometimes you feel beat up and numb from exhaustion, but you’ve got to fight back against the negativity your ego is trying to feed you, because you’re a great parent!

8.
Mowing the Lawn: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you just want to finish the entire lawn.
Motherhood: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you have little miracles that need you!

9.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you run out of gas or need to change the oil. When that happens, I call my hubby to help.
Motherhood: Sometimes you run out of gas and need to immediately schedule a massage and a date with a good girlfriend.

10.
Mowing the Lawn: There are always obstacles in your way, but it’s kind of fun to run circles around the trees.
Motherhood: There are always obstacles that pop up, but rather than stressing that things didn’t go according to your plans, choose a positive attitude and make it fun!

11.
Mowing the Lawn: You get in a groove, like you’re on auto-pilot.
Motherhood: When you get in a groove, you are quickly shaken back to reality, because the “norm” doesn’t stay the norm for long. Seriously, how can they love Goldfish one week and hate them the next?! And how can 12:30pm be the naptime sweet spot for 3 weeks, but then they don’t want to sleep until 2pm the next week?!?

12.
Mowing the Lawn: When you’re finished, you have an awesome sense of accomplishment.
Motherhood: You’re never finished, but they’re always yours and you’re so proud of them!

Have a great week! Let’s keep in touch! Please connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Natasha

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5 Tips to Survive the Adoption Wait

Right when I think I’m ready to write about how the adoption waiting period is much easier the second time around, I have a few weeks in a row that prove that theory false. I can remember the wait for our first baby, it was fairly agonizing at times and there were moments when I was definitely not waiting with much grace. I was trusting in God’s plan and timing, but still, it was hard and emotional, because I JUST WANTED TO BE A MOM! I can remember long conversations with God, questioning him, begging him, borderline making deals with him, if he would just hurry up and give me my baby already.

And then a month before my sister was due with her twin boys, I received a call from our adoption agency that our twin boys were born five days prior and were ready for us to pick them up. That was an a-ha moment and reminder of God’s perfect plan and timing. He had our sons picked out for us; I just needed to be patient.

High on emotions and fresh off infertility fun, I didn’t do the wait as well as I could have the first time. So, I vowed to wait with more grace the second time around.

I’m doing much better this time, because I do trust that God will bring us the child that he wants to be ours. And with each situation that comes up and then ends in heartbreak, I try to stand firm in the fact that I was meant to be in that situation for a time for some reason, even if to just send extra prayers up for baby and birthmom. I’m also an extremely busy mom of twin toddlers, so that helps keep the mind busy!

I still have moments of doubt and crazy during this wait too.

Has anyone else waiting had any thoughts like these?

adoption waitIs anything going on? Is our profile book or letter even being shown? If it is being shown, why aren’t we being picked? Do they not like our book or even worse, us? Should I change something in our book or update the photos? If our profile book or letter isn’t being shown, why not? Did I choose the right agency? I thought they were so busy? Why aren’t they working with more birthmothers?

Whether you are waiting to be matched with your first child or your second or your third, or more, the waiting can feel nearly impossible at times. All you can really do is set yourself up for success by completing your home study, choosing reputable agencies, and creating an awesome profile book and/or birthparent letter. After that you have to just LET GO and TRUST, trust your agency and most importantly, trust in God’s plan and timing. He has chosen your child for you; sometimes it just takes a while to be brought together!

You might not know it now, but this waiting period is actually a blessing or at least you can turn it into a blessing. Once you have your child and you join the ranks of other exhausted, sleep-deprived parents, then you will wish you had turned your waiting period into a blessing! I know I did!

Here are 5 tips to Survive the Adoption Wait.

  1. Get Right with Yourself: This baby or child will NOT complete you! You have to be complete before you welcome baby home. The wait is your chance to get right with yourself. Suggestions: Exercise, eat healthy, pamper yourself with bubble baths and massages, be spontaneous and carefree, spend time with your friends, do the thing you say you’ve always wanted to do, take up that hobby you’ve always wanted to try, and connect with other families blessed by adoption.
  2. Get Right with Your Marriage: This baby or child will NOT finally make your marriage perfect. If things are already great in your marriage, work to keep them great! The wait is your chance to get or stay right with your marriage. Suggestions: Take a vacation (even a mini-vacation if it’s all you can swing), savor date nights and sleeping in late, spend time with your friends, work on the areas of your marriage that need work, talk about how you’ll parent and discipline, prepare for how you will deal with and answer crazy things people will say/ask you in regards to adoption.
  3. Get Prepared for Your New Addition: It may take some time, but probably on the day that you least expect it, you will finally get the glorious call. The call when you find out you are parents! The wait is your chance to get ready for your baby or child. Suggestions: Find a pediatrician, start child-proofing your house, work on the nursery, purchase books on adoption for you and baby, complete a baby registry at your favorite store, put together a “go” bag for when you receive the call, start researching travel arrangements if you have to travel.
  4. Get Your Family Prepared: If you are blessed to have family support during the adoption process, take time to get your family prepared for what to expect during the wait and for when you finally get the call. The wait is your chance to get your family on board and as excited as you are about your adoption journey and the little one on the way. Suggestions: Help them understand open adoption, prepare them for what to expect during the process and about potential heart breaks, discuss what kind of child you have decided you are open to, be honest with them about what you need and how they can show their support both now and when you bring your child home, explain to them why you may not want to play pass the baby with the entire extended family when you return.
  5. Get Your Prayer On: Like I said earlier, you can only control so much of the adoption process and the rest you just have to trust the journey and give it to God. Give him your fears and anxieties. It won’t help you to be filled with anything but expectant joy as you wait for your little one. That is easier said than done for sure, but praying versus fretting will help. Suggestions: Pray for contentment in your decisions, pray for your child’s safety and health, pray for your child’s birthparents, pray for patience, grace, and joy during the wait, pray for your significant other, pray for the workers at your agency, and pray for help staying calm!

If you can manage to turn the waiting period into a blessing, you will be happy you did and better prepared for your miracle when he or she arrives.

What would you add to the list? How are you surviving the wait?

Blessings on your adoption journey!

Love,

Natasha

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