I find myself doing most of my writing these days in the form of online journal entries, thanks to jrnl.com. And, of course, I share what's going on with us on Facebook, too. But I figured that since I purposely chose not to send out a letter outlining our 2016 with our Christmas cards this year, I'd at least do a post here that likely few people will see that share some of what's been going on with us.
I'm going to be honest and blunt and say that 2016 was not kind to me overall. Sure, there were some good things, and sure, some things *seemed* good at the time, but when you spend roughly 5-6 months expecting a newborn baby to join your family through adoption only to learn that you have been used, lied to, mistreated, and discarded, it sucks. There's no way around that.
Looking back, I saw several red flags or warning signs that things weren't right, starting sometime around April. But I was trying to be optimistic and take the birth mom at her word, and so I shrugged them off until it was no longer possible for me to. I didn't want to be caught burying my head in the sand.
So, that was the big crapper of the year. It was kind of like I'd imagine having a miscarriage in the 3rd trimester would be, minus the physical side of things. I was emotionally wrecked.
And then I saw my family in September for a niece's wedding, less than a month after the baby's due date, and ONE person asked how we were doing. That happened to be the niece whose wedding it was. There was a lot of other crap that happened there. Let's just say I have made the executive decision to not allow myself to be treated like crap anymore by family members who choose to do so. NO MORE!
So that led to the other big crapper of the year, which was my father making clear his disappointment in me and the choices I have made and continue to make in my life. While I have no idea what he's referencing and he didn't specify, I decided, NO MORE! And then I had to show I meant it when all I wanted to do is move on with my life.
I mean, if you make it to your mid-30's and can't remember ever being told sorry by someone who says those kinds of things and acts in irrational, emotional, and hurtful ways, I think eventually you/re going to say enough is enough. Which I did.
When you have a negative interaction with someone, it takes 5 positive interactions to make up for that one negative interaction. FIVE! Oh, man, I'm nowhere near that with some family members. I think we're severely in the red, and when I'm the only one putting forth effort to try to get us to the black, eventually I'm going to say I've had enough. And so I did.
It's sad. It's heartbreaking. It's not that I don't care. But I have to set boundaries and allow healthy relationships into my life and those in my life to thrive, which I can't do if I'm so focused on the negative relationships instead. I have no problem having a relationship with anyone, as long as that person is willing to put forth the effort to make it into a healthy one. Heck, I forgive easily and wipe out those negative emotional bank accounts, trying to start again at zero after it appears you are declaring bankruptcy. But if you show me that you were just crying wolf so you could take out more money, I'm closing that crap down right away.
I tried to take the failed-adoption thing and put a positive spin on it. Maybe it happened to enable me to help out a friend in need. And so I let her and her husband and their 1-year-old move in with us in October. She told me she expected to be here 2 months. I never believed that would be as long as they were here, but I opened my home to them knowing it'd be longer. And then I learned that the depth of their issues is much deeper than what I was led to believe and their need lies beyond what I am capable of providing. I cannot help them, because they will not help themselves. Sometimes that mommy bird needs to give those baby birds a chance to fly. When this little family is kicked out of the nest to flap their wings and fly, I fear they will be unwilling to spread their wings and give it the try they need. Hopefully, they'll either prove me wrong or not suffer too terribly when they hit the ground and can learn to at least walk. But the potential to fly would still remain. Anyway, what I'm getting at is I'm so done! My good deed went from being helpful to bordering too closely on enabling, and so they have until March 1st to move out. I told them with more than 2 months' notice, which was their original plan (even though they had no real plan to achieve it), and I wish them well. But, as I told them early on in their stay, I don't think they've hit rock bottom yet.
However, now that all that negative crap is out there, let's talk about the good. In an effort to have what I lovingly called "beach therapy," I went to the beach twice this year. I went with Joy to Long Beach, WA and then went as a family to Lincoln City, OR. I love the beach and want to live there. I don't care if I look like a lobster!
Also, I got to go to the University of Washington to hear one of my heroes speak: Malala Yousafzai. Ah, I love her! I didn't even care about how long it took for her to come on stage or how hot the venue was or how I craved more from her, sure that she couldn't be done speaking when she wrapped it up. She is amazing! She is a fighter!
I like to set goals for myself fairly regularly, but I admit that they are often without plans, unless they are financial goals. This year, my goal is to become a foster parent or at least do everything on my end I need to in order to get to that point where we can receive a placement. This is part of why I don't feel too badly for having the family move out- we need the room for a foster child. We'd love to adopt through the foster care system, but even if that doesn't happen, at least we can help provide a roof and loving support to a child in need.
And my word for the year is RESILIENT. I've already decided it's going to be a good year. We have one short staycation already planned for Joy's birthday and are looking ahead to plans for our anniversary. Plus there are possible reunions to attend and/or other vacation destinations to consider and prepare for.