Sometimes it hits me like a ton of bricks.

Life has slowed for now.  I finished my semester of grad school with the most craptastic paper I’ve ever written.  Sorry, professor-who-will-not-be-named at George Washington University, that’s what you get when you won’t give me a 48 hour extension because I just came home with a new baby from the other side of the globe.  You get craptastic.  I can feel my once excellent GPA dropping like our midwestern winter temperatures.  Bummer.  This was my last semester before I enter my capstone course though, so I’ll cut myself a little slack.  I made it after all, now didn’t I?  I passed the course and finished grad school.  I feel good about that.

I don’t go back to work for another week and a half.  I feel good about that too.

My Christmas shopping is very nearly done.  I feel REALLY good about that.  It’s not my favorite part about Christmas.

My house has never been cleaner or more sanitized.  Goodbye mutant viruses that have caused vomiting and pneumonia.  Good luck living on the surfaces in our home that I now have time to bleach.  Daily.

With the slower pace, I’ve got time to think, to breathe and to appreciate.  I like that God gives me these moments, and I’m telling myself to take advantage of them, because when we kick it back into gear, life moves too quickly.

I’m amazed at how Dolly’s adoption has worked out.  For the first time in three international adoptions, I actually LOVED the travel part.  I got to check so many things off my bucket list when I was in China.  I got to see so much more then I thought I would.  I fell in love with my daughter’s homeland.  I breathed it in, relaxed and happy.  Dolly was sick at first, but blossomed with the attention she needed.  She was handed to me on Orphan Sunday and came home on National Adoption Day.  This was a total God wink for our family.

She is a miracle.

She’s recovering from pneumonia now.  Recovering nicely, with no hospitalization necessary.  Another miracle.  She lives with fluid in her lungs that likely gets infected each time she gets a cold.  I shudder to think how many times this happened to her before she came to us.  When she got a fever, she was like any other baby, she wanted to be cuddled constantly.  She cried every time I laid her down.  She needed me to give her medicine, keep her hydrated and just generally love her.  Who did that when she was in the orphanage?  Did she just lie in her crib, hot, crying and all alone?  It hurts my heart to even think about it.

It’s in those moments that it hits me like a ton of bricks, my chest literally aches and the tears burn.

I love this baby so much it hurts.  

This feeling, this pure and utter gratefulness for her very existence, for her place in my life, happens multiple times per day.  
It happens at Target.  
It happens in my bedroom when everyone else is asleep and she’s feeding herself for the first time.  

It happens each and every day, and it makes me realize how important these moments are, how blessed I am and how I need to continue to live in each and every moment.

These moments happen with the other children too.  They happen when Giggles lays on the floor with Dolly, kisses her sister, who wasn’t her sister three weeks ago and couldn’t look LESS like her, and tells her how much she loves her.  They happen when Bubbly helps me put up HER Christmas tree, in her room, the one she earned by no longer needing a behavior plan at school, and she hugs my leg and tells me in the most sincere voice ever “I LOVE that you’re my mom forever”.  They happen when Giganto tells me he’s going to “beat down” the boy on the playground who called her “retarded” (yeah, I’m secretly proud of him even though I told him not to “beat down” anyone).

These moments happen for me ALL the time.

They happen so often because I have SO many children to make them happen.

who is breathing in every single blessing as it happens.  

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