“Oh, the places you’ll go…”

January 24, 2013

in Adoption, Family, Parenting, Things that matter

Dr. Seuss, he was a smart man. I could paper my walls with Dr. Seuss quotes.

“Oh, the places you’ll go” is one that applies to so many situations in life. Just that part, standing alone.

Before I had kids, I never could have imagined the places my mind and heart would go.

I’m not much of a crier. Admittedly, I’ve always teared up at weddings. And when other people cry, I’m pretty likely to tear up, too.

But cry-cry? No. My brain is too logical for that.

Ed and I had been married for almost seven years when he saw my first soul-bearing, sobbing until I was choking, nearly-hysterical cry. Mattix was in the orphanage, we were waiting for travel approval (a long, long wait), we’d been notified of babies dying and it hit me: Mattix could die too. In fact, I’d received an email about him having staph.

It was my child who wasn’t yet mine that first caused me to cry until I couldn’t cry any more as an adult.

It was my child who wasn’t yet mine that caused me to experience true depression for the first time in my life.

Medical professionals like to ask me if I’m depressed – they always have – because I have some pretty legit chronic diseases. And people with those diseases are often depressed. But no, I’m lucky that I’m not prone to depression biologically and on top of that, I focus on the good, so that whether I’m fooling myself or whether it’s real, I’m not depressed. So far, at least.

But during that wait, when it looked like we might not get to bring Mattix home, I experienced the depths of despair.

I didn’t want people to know. I’d put on my happy face. I’d meet friends for lunch. I’d answer the phone when my mom called and end every sentence on the up note.

And then when Ed was out of town and nobody was looking, I’d sit on the couch with my laptop, waiting for that email that never came, for days at a time.

I’d cry. Hard.

I wouldn’t sleep for days. I wouldn’t eat for days.

Then I’d sleep for days. I’d eat too much in a day.

It was motherhood – before I’d even experienced it – that stretched my heart and my mind in ways I didn’t know were possible.

Oh, the places you’ll go.

It always comes back to them.

And that applies to what I write as well.

My brain thinks in humor and sarcasm. I’m certain I was born this way and then that quirk was finely honed by my very funny parents. I married someone like that. I can already see it in my kids, too.

If I’d never become a mom, I assure you the only writing I’d have done would have been legal, factual and some pretty extensive humor writing, just because those thoughts can’t stay bottled up forever.

But my kids – those darn, sweet kids that tug at my heart strings and make me insist that without wine, moms would just shrivel and die – they made me to go a place with writing that I’d never have imagined.

The “feeling” kind of writing.

Yesterday, a fellow blogger posted something I wrote called Dear Kids. Tonya asked me to share for the Letters for You guest spot on her blog, Letters for Lucas, and I was honored. This kind of writing is fast and easy and doesn’t require thought. It just comes out. I’d love it if you read it.

It’s my mommy soul, laid bare, thanks to the places I’ve gone because of my kids. Literally – around the world – and figuratively.

What places have you gone because of your kids? 


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen January 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I remember those dark, dark days all too well. I was walking right alongside you from a couple thousand miles away. I learned so much about longing and soul-wrenching pain during those days. But when that baby was put in my arms it was like a dark, ominous cloud lifted and I could feel the sun again! I thank the Lord for connecting you and I at that time. Without your support it would have been a much, much harder time for me. Love you!


Laura January 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I will always be so grateful for you, Karen. I remember when we were getting to know each other over email – you are an amazing person and I love you, too!


Tonya January 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

So happy to have you guest post on my site. Your letter was endearing and sweet and so full of mother love.

Motherhood, how ever we get to it, is a journey of a 1000 miles (and then some) and almost everyday I am touched in a way I wasn’t before I had a child. It’s all encompassing, good, bad and extremely trying at times, but at the end of the day, every day there is a love I didn’t know before.


jen February 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

For 10 years, my husband and I tried to start a family. For ten, long and aching years. Where did I go because of my kids? I feel like I went to hell and back and now that I’m a mother, it sometimes feels like I still go to hell and back on a daily basis!

But, I never stopped trying for my children, because as I’ve long said, I could FEEL them in my heart – just waiting to be born to me. Now that they are blessedly here, more often than not (!!) they have been salve to my soul. Four children in less than three years later – as crazy as it sounds, I can still feel that there are more children waiting to come to our family. Who knows how exactly those children will come to us, whether by birth or adoption, or simple friendships. But I know we’re not done yet and that is a beautiful, wonderfully exciting feeling!

Motherhood – it’s everything I thought it would be. And so much more.


Debbie in the UK February 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I can speak from the ‘other side’ of parenting, with my two children grown, and I can honestly say it has been the best and most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life and a privilege to parent the two children I have been given. They are both wonderful in their own unique ways and I unashamedly adore them. It just gets better and better as I am sure your Mother has told you. The thought of doing it all again with grandchildren is so exciting !!


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