Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Before, During, After, Beyond: Part 3 *After*

For me, this is what it was like After the adoption of your child ~

If Before was a sprint,
and During was flight,
then After is fatigue.

After is when all of the emotion, 
all the tension,
all the pressure, anxiety, and
 energy spent Before and During melt into absolute

After is like running headlong for a cliff like Wile E. Coyote...

...and realizing abruptly the ground is no longer underneath you.

After is like stumbling off of a roller coaster
to find the world still spinning.

After is disorienting.

After is like gliding along a moving sidewalk
only to find you can't right yourself 
once your feet collide with carpet.

It's embarrassing.

After is confusing.
After is isolating.
After is conflicted because After
 means contentment like never before
now that this child is home! where she belongs
but After is also so solitary 
that you feel abandoned by those who were your cheerleaders.

After is a slow drifting back down to Earth
like a feather dropped from an airplane 50, 000 feet high.

After is adjustment.
After is modifying expectations.
After is sleep-deprived.
After is a steep learning curve.
After is a wink for people who are in their own Before
and a knowing smirk to those in their own During.

After is less interesting than Before,
less glamorous than During.

After is normal again for everyone watching
but really, really not normal for you.

After can feel tedious.

After can feel stagnant
as green swimming pool water.

After can be refueling as a side dish you forgot came with Thanksgiving dinner
and moments later
it can be depleting like a marathon on an empty stomach.

After means anger at others who judge while offering suggestions,
irritation at by-standers' lack of sympathy,
and annoyance at the general public often.

After is finding balance.
After means accepting assistance.
After means admitting.
After is looking around for that big, strong God who called you to obey in the first place
and finding Him still there, 
never having moved one inch away in your wanderings,
"singing over you with love"
 but not alleviating.

After is reckoning.
After is deeper understanding of salvation.
After is promises.
After is permanent.
After is not magic, not other-worldly,
but grafted and abiding.

Then imperceptibly...
After becomes comfortable.

After gets normal again.
Normalcy is a hard-fought, expensive victory but After brings normal again.

Normal feels good.

After is sweet.
After is desirable.

 After is a funny thing and it evolves.
Normal wears into a rut. 
and begins to feel dull.
After's intricately woven shawl's weight starts to feel like chain mail.

After whispers that there is more.

It lies Beyond.


  1. We are not stagnant pool water, but we are also not "normal" - not sure where that puts us on your continuum, but you could probably describe it much better than I can. Sure am glad that I get to walk this road with you, though, dear friend!

  2. Praying for your After and for what lies Beyond. You are one in a million, Esty and I love you! :)

  3. dang, Esty. Welp, we are in the thick of the After and it's as though you've plucked the emotions and thoughts right out of me and written them out on a screen. Thanks for this, because I'm too dang tired to put words to it all myself. Except one word..."DISORIENTED"...that one keeps coming to me all day long. The "after" of the adoption combined with a cross-country move (and the subsequent loss of our support system/community) has rendered me disoriented, isolated, and exhausted. There are some super sweet moments trickled in there too, but it's been hard, and I am so very thankful to come back to your blog tonight and know that I'M NOT CRAZY and IT WILL GET BETTER and NORMAL WILL EXIST AGAIN.

    Oh, and I loved the point you made about people who judge while offering suggestions--HATE THAT! I am also learning to accept assistance though...I've had to do that a lot over the past few weeks and it's humbling but I'm too desperate to turn down the help, haha.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom...and I'm dying to hear about the "AGAIN" for you!?!?! :-) xoxo.

  4. This is beautiful. I am in the very beginning stages of adoption...and I will definitely be coming back to this and probably quoting you!!!! Thank you so much for being honest and sharing such heartfelt emotions.

    @Dear life from a mom of boys