I never imagined ringing in my 36th birthday by walking into my girls' room at midnight to kiss them good night only to have the putrid stench of crap hit me in the face like an anvil. I turned on the light to find my sensory seeking two year old had retrieved the contents of her diaper and proceeded to paint her entire crib, sheets, pillows and self with it. It was everywhere. It was like a nightmare. I should also note, she then put her PJs back on before creating her masterpiece.
I stood there at the door staring in disbelief at the sight before me. Howard stood behind me also taking in the view. We took a deep breath (outside the room) and we just started cleaning. He took the child and painstakingly and gently washed her cleaning poop from under each and every fingernail, and I grabbed the Clorox wipes and a pair of rubber gloves and started scrubbing the crib, walls, floor and bedding. This process woke two other sleeping children who proceeded to scream through the entire ordeal. It wasn't fun.
Standing at that door, the task ahead seemed daunting, exhausting and impossible but the only thing to do is jump in and just get it done. Life is much the same. Sometimes we just have to focus on the next MINUTE and not worry about even tomorrow....sometimes, you hold your breath and hunker down and just do what you can do in the moment. Sometimes that is all you can do. This life I live...it is a crazy one...and while sometimes I would just like to escape, because the weight of all of it feels crushing ... sometimes, the sacredness and beauty of it also overwhelms me.
That baby we had to clean up after. She was born to another mom. This world is broken and heartbreaking things happen, and God chose our family as her family. I never could have dreamed that my thirty fifth year would bring me a curly haired, carefree and happy daughter forever. He placed that girl in our home, in a perfect world, she never would have needed to be here, and sometimes just the fact that these kids need a safe place feels like too much to bear, I mourn with her the loss of her first family, I hope that one day I can help her make sense of her past...but today, I get to clean up her poop, I get to he His hands and feet to this sweet gift...I get to help her work through the trauma of her past and show her that there IS hope and that life is messy and it is beautiful, just like her.
Today I turn 36. I won't be coy and pretend I am 21 a fifteenth time. I won't lie about my age. 35 brought a cancer diagnosis, an adoption, a new foster baby, several amazing new friends and so much more. I have been through a lot in thirty six years. I have encountered a LOT of loss, a LOT of love and a renewed hope and faith in the One who orchestrates it all. I have NO idea what 36 will hold, but I know He is writing the story and I know not one ounce of pain is for nothing. He uses it all. I will give thanks for EVERY moment...even the crappy ones...because they are a gift. We are never promised another one...the moment we are in is all that is guaranteed.