2012 Word of the Year: Humbling

I wish I could say that 2012 was the beautiful, joyous, year in which we adopted our children and simply relished happy permanence for the months that followed.  I wish I could say that this was the best year of my life. It’s true, I got my miracle.  But the rest of the year was hard.  The emotional roller coaster of life has been daunting.

In January TPR was granted and it felt nothing like I had expected. I was sad.  I watched my son struggle and my heart broke for a mother who just lost her children.  I was humbled.

In February the children saw their mom for what may have been the last time in their lives.  She gave us the most thoughtful gifts and letters and summoned a strength I had never before seen.  I was humbled to be in the presence of her pain and grace.   Shortly after, as one beautiful soul left this world, another joined it.

The loss I experienced the next few months and the ways in which it made me think of bio mom was really fucking hard.  And humbling.

In April we adopted our children.  It was a fantastic, albeit imperfect, day.  I was humbled to receive such a gift.  Did I deserve it?  Would I live up to the description of me in that glowing homestudy? Who was that person, anyway?

Over the summer, I got the opportunity to expand my writing platform.  I was nervous and flattered.   I got to know Blossom and her family.  I was overwhelmed with love and support by all of those who helped us celebrate our adoption.  Also, I looked addiction straight in the eyes and found myself helpless.  Powerless against its grasp.  I watched it take over someone so dear to me in a fit of fury and anger I have never before seen.  Meanwhile, I was elbow-deep in all sorts of tantrums and new behaviors.  I lost my temper.  I yelled.  I got further and further away from who I wanted to be as a parent.  Hopeless, helpless, humbled.

My marriage, that I once described as warm and easy, was hard.  I came to understand the types of things that might bring someone to consider divorce.  I came to know the ways in which nothing is steady when your marriage is rocky.  Stress, children, life all took its toll on the one thing I never thought would budge.  That was frightening, and humbling.

This fall I completed a 5k.  I didn’t do well.  Children and elderly passed me.  I started crying *during* the race, though to this day I’m not sure if it was because I was mortified by what a slow runner I am, or if I was overcome with gratefulness for the family at the end of the finish line that I knew would be so proud of me regardless of the time.    What an incredibly humbling day.

Towards the end of the year finances got tight and we had to make some hard decisions.  My poor Sprout got hurt during a particularly nasty tantrum that shook me to my core.  Shortly thereafter, my state experienced a horrific tragedy reminding me again what little say I have in keeping my kids out of harm’s way.  The pain those families must be feeling – the pain of ALL the families involved.  Humbling.

So the reason I’ve been absent for these past few months is that I’ve been on my knees.

Humility is a gift that teaches compassion, offers understanding, and rids judgement.  I’ve welcomed it, and recognized my need for it, but I’m wondering how much more I can take.  I hope in 2013 I begin to walk again…when I do, it will be with a new understanding of who I am.


3 Comments to “2012 Word of the Year: Humbling”

  1. God gives the hardest lessons to His best students. Stay strong, you inspire me. Also, stand in your majesty not your brokenness.
    Have a happy, healthy, blessed new year!

  2. What a kind thing to say. Thank you Kristin. Happy New Year!

  3. It’s a little hard to follow on the heels of Kristin’s beautiful comment. But just wanted to say that I’m sorry for your difficult year. Seems like 2012 was just plain hard for so many in this little blog world. Here’s hoping for lots of lessons learned and working for an amazing 2013.

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