All the songs I grew up singing in our small country church had words like "heavy laden" in them. That's a good description of life with Nia lately. I'm not down or blue, things are just Heavy. I told Matt last night that I'm tired of blogging about Nia. I know from the reader's perspective it looks like we never interact with our other kids, but that's not accurate. We have a whole 'nother crew of kiddos who are doing fun, naughty, cute, lovable things. And we are all trying to find our place in our changing family.
Any time you bring home a new child, whether it's a newborn baby or an older adopted child, the whole family has adjustments to make. Things shift and we all need to find our new nitch. It takes longer to get out the door and leave the house. It adds extra laundry. You lose a little sleep for a time. You are more tired for a season. You make different choices about what your family participates in, using "Is it worth it today?" as your guiding question. Sometimes it's worth it, and sometimes it's not.
That first year of having a newborn is all about changes and adjustments. Right when you get a feeding schedule down pat, it's time to change it. You go through 4 different sizes of clothes in the first year alone. And the diaper sizes change, too. Feedings go from liquids to solids. Changing nap times. Changing what goes in or out of the diaper bag. Constant change.
It's the same with an adoption of a child. That first year is full of changes. Adjustments. Readjustments. You spend a lot of time just learning about each other. Nia has 8 years of life that we don't know about. She'll say things like, "Eating carrots makes your tummy hot." Does this well of folklore knowledge ever have a bottom? It is true that you get colder after you eat because your body's energy is focusing on digestion instead of keeping your whole self warm. But I don't think carrots alone make your tummy hot.
And so we face another day after a night of blatant disobedience from Nia, consequences given, tears cried, cold shoulder given, and a morning that did not bring New Mercies according to Nia. It's just our Daily Grind right now. We picked a brew that is particular hard to swallow some days. But I believe the Christian life is not about having an easy ride on the Merry-Go-Round. Real growth, real passion, real zeal always comes from the lowest, hardest points of our lives. It's a lot more like a Roller Coaster instead.
An ancient, old woman in my little country church used to sing this song acapella:
come ye weary, heavy laden
lost and ruined by the fall
if you tarry until you're better
you will never come at all
I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in his arms
In the arms of my dear saviour
Oh, there are ten thousand charms