In June, we adopted our fifth beautiful baby.
He makes my heart go pitter-patter. His name is Lincoln and he is so scrumptious.
Scrumptious …and colicky.
We didn’t sleep for almost 3 months, but he has since turned the corner and has discovered how wonderful it is to not cry 24/7 and is even auditioning sleep in larger increments of time. He is also learning to giggle and loves to eat his hands. He is such snuggling sunshine. I’m still in shock that there are 7 of us now. Whaaaaa?
Two weeks after Lincoln was born, I lost my editing job. That was hard and I cried for a couple days about it. It was a gig I was passionate about at one time but it had lost its sparkle. The change has actually been very refreshing even though it wasn’t in my plans.
Two weeks ago, Josh found out he was losing his job. We cried some more because, you know, five kids to care for. (Incidentally, he is has a master’s degree in Social Work, is fluent in Spanish, and is an LCSW. He is also a great man. If you have any leads, will you shoot me a message?)
Eight days ago, my neighborhood-late-night-soda-run-ladies and I were coming home from the Pop Shop where they treated me to a little pity party for myself, as friends do. I had just devoured an avocado cookie and was bringing home a Dr. Pepper for Josh and holding a Dirty Diet Coke for myself. You’ve probably done this a million times, right?
Five minutes from my driveway, we were t-boned by a car who ran a red light going about 70 mph. The driver that hit us then got out of their car and ran away on foot…a hit and literal run. The driver of our car and I were knocked out for a period of time and have no memory of the spinning, going up the median, or being knocked out when we hit the metal pole. In fact, I can’t even remember several minutes before the crash.
I’ve been dealing with a concussion and post-concussion cognitive issues. And some superficial stuff on my face. I’m hoping they get resolved shortly and I’ve started seeing a concussion specialist who has a great plan in place for me. Our friend in the backseat spent a week in the hospital after the severity of her injuries took her by ambulance to the nearby hospital and then life flighted to another hospital with trauma surgeons. She was released just yesterday.
After the crash, shivering some being soaked in soda and shaking from shock, the driver and I just looked at each other and asked, “Is this real life?” That question was followed by Harley Quinn-like inappropriate laughter.
Sometimes the heaviness of life just feels like too big of a burden to shoulder, amiright? Do you ever feel like life is crushing you? It’s how I was feeling last week.
Enter my favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon:
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
I am a witness to this. The Lord does visit his people in their afflictions.
I haven’t seen him in the flesh but I saw him when our church and neighbors and family and friends rallied around my family and the families of my friends who were also in the crash. They stayed with us in the hospital, gave blessings, watched the kids so Josh could come to the ER, cleaned houses, just sat and chatted; they brought dinners and flowers and balloons and cookies. My big boys had rides to school and Scouts. Neighbors watched kiddos. Friends brought snuggly clothes, fresh baked bread, sunglasses for my shiners, and bath salts. My trials are still there, but I’ve seen his hand as the mail continues to deliver groceries and get well chocolate and gift cards from friends and family far away. Through our loved ones, he turned an ugly thing beautiful and has eased (not removed) the burdens that we are shouldering.
I took a trip to Idaho a few days after the crash to present some contract work that I had done for a company up there. I stayed with our good friends. Upon chatting one evening, I told my friend Brett that my big boys probably weren’t going to participate in the Pinewood Derby in a few days. There was just too much going on. (See list of stuff above.) You should have seen the horror on his face. lol
The next day he sent me home to Utah with three cars that he had shaped by hand in his workshop and a can of each of the boys’ favorite color of spray paint.
This is how God visits his people in their afflictions. It’s how he has visited me.
I’ve seen the Savior’s hand and felt my Heavenly Father’s love through the service that has been given so freely and cheerfully to our family.
Late nights in the hospital talking to my friend as she recovered led to conversations about “why.” That question is always unproductive–infertility, failed adoption plans, and a reversed adoption has taught me that. Even conversations about “what can I learn from this” while she was in so much pain because of someone else seemed, I don’t know, inappropriate. I’m not even going to entertain those questions. Instead, I’m holding onto my knowledge that the Lord can make an ugly thing right. He can and he will give beauty for ashes. That’s the power of the Atonement.
And I have been a witness of that power time and time again.