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who would i be

the monday before thanksgiving, i experienced a resurgence of insomnia with anxiety and depression that lasted in earnest about a week and a half. all things considered, that's not too bad. i had recognized a decline in my emotional state since weaning off my medication about two months ago, which also coincided with when we expected to be approved to be a waiting family for adoption. that approval process taking an extra two months plus and other compounding circumstances probably made that time not the best time to wean off. i had scheduled a doctor appointment to see about getting back on the medication again just before my first night of insomnia hit (i had four total this round, again, not too bad). the friday after thanksgiving i joined lifetime fitness and started weekly personal training for five weeks. i'm doing all i can to take care of myself to see that i get back to good mentally and emotionally, being gentle with myself and my progress along the way.

last thursday morning we got out early for a dog walk before it started raining. bina used jake's leash, which has a rubber part that seams the loop to the long part, as a phone and spent half the walk saying "hi daddy!" and "bye bye daddy!"

we have a crack in our basement foundation that has been leaking water every time it rains. we had someone come that morning to repair it. he arrived as i was putting on bina's top. perfect timing! i was able to shower and get myself ready before then. our crew excitedly greeted him at the door and showed him the way to the basement. i was thankful he came that day because the rain probably would have resulted in more water in the basement if not!

we came back upstairs to leave him to do his work in peace. a little later, bina came to me on the couch with her one size too small polka dotted rain boots on the wrong feet asking to go outside in the rain. i told her she needed her rain jacket and pulled it out of the closet. "no!" she demanded her too-small winter coat from last year, sleeves leaving her wrists exposed. at least she was mostly covered. i grabbed a light jacket and an umbrella. bina took the umbrella and happily trotted down the walkway. then she headed for the street where the best puddles are. i called to her to stop from the porch. she trotted back, handed me the umbrella, and proceeded to push me off the porch. "go, mama!"

and so we wandered through the rain and puddles into the street and along the curb, jumping and splashing. bina encouraged me to jump with her. so happy, so full of joy in the rain and jumping in puddles. she ran off to the other side of the street and up on the sidewalk, turned around and beamed at me. then plotted her next path and blazed a trail down the sidewalk, not looking back. i followed her with the umbrella and the thought came to me: what would my life be without this tiny girl who pushes me beyond all my limits? when her coat was soaked and i determined it was time to head back inside, i lured her in with the prospect of baking cookies together. it was such a sweet morning with my girl.

the last two and a half years have been challenging in so many ways, but most of all because of this transition to motherhood, being in charge of this tiny human god has entrusted to me and david. motherhood is at times wonderful and awful, beautiful and ugly, full of joy and pain. moments like our little excursion in the rain jumping in puddles make me just burst with love for this tiny person who has turned my life upside down for the better. nothing has forced my growth more than motherhood. and i am so thankful for it, even through all the awful, ugly, and pain. those moments are worth the wonderful, beautiful, and joy.

bina's sleep was better for several nights last week -- she slept through the night! we're still at no nap, but an early easy bedtime makes that more bearable. and it is nice to be able to get out in the afternoons and do things instead of being confined to the house at nap time. this week she's developed yet another cough and that has affected her sleep again. i end up in the bed with her partway through the night and wake to her coughing in her sleep periodically. it's not the best arrangement, but it's working for us for now.

as i am recovering from my resurgence of anxiety, i find that the best thing for me is to be out and about with people. emerging from thanksgiving week, i felt anxious being alone with bina at home. i felt better when someone else was with us -- that was david all thanksgiving week, thankfully. the worst of it was over his time off. not exactly how i hoped to enjoy that time, but i was so grateful to have him home to support me through that hard week. i've filled the last two weeks with morning and afternoon activities with friends and family to keep us occupied with fun things and people. the more my brain is distracted, the better off i am! and that's ok. i won't need a schedule this full for long, but for now it's helping me get back to myself. we explored campus martius in downtown detroit with friends on monday afternoon. bina was quite the little explorer running off in all directions. when she's happy, i'm happy!

we received home study approval last week. something so long awaited, and strangely anti-climactic! our agency posted the fee due after home study approval to our account, which clued us into approval. we're still not quite yet on the waiting families list. a few more things to do. i am honestly focused on getting better and enjoying this time with just bina, so for the first time in awhile i am completely ok with waiting! if i let myself dwell on it, the uncertainty starts to bring me anxiety again. once we're on the waiting families list, we can expect placement within a week to a year. that's quite the time frame! it could be next week, or next year at this time that we are placed with a baby. because of our preferences, we are expecting placement sooner than later. but who knows! i look forward to growing our family in god's timing, whatever that may be. it will be a difficult transition, but it always is no matter what the circumstances.

bina has been extra adorable experimenting with language lately. everything is "MINE" of course. toys at a friends house. other people's pets. etc. etc. at a play date earlier this week, bina was not too fond of a 10 month old who was wanting to play with the same thing she was playing with. but at the end of the visit as we were walking out, she declared "MY baby!" she's very empathetic at times and in tune with her own emotions. lately she's started saying "i crying" when she's sad. whenever a baby is crying she gives an empathetic "aww, baby crying!" i have hope that she will be a doting big sister, concerned with baby's needs. she calls herself "mina" instead of bina. we're not sure why because she is capable of saying the word initial b. who knows. toddlers. at any rate, i love my little broken record. this morning when we woke she got up and called "mama" to which i responded "what?" and she called out "mama" again, and i responded "what?" again. the she started saying over and over "mama what? mama what? mama what?" the expressions she makes to accompany her words are priceless. she has perfected the pouty face. it's my favorite.

again, who would i be without this tiny girl to push me beyond all my limits? to prove to me that through jesus, i am stronger than i think. i can manage sleep deprived nights with a sick little. two and half years of breastfeeding, and counting. i can keep my cool under pressure and with tantrums (sometimes). ha. i can be the constant, loving, broken, honest, and vulnerable mother i want to be. i can grow in uncomfortable beautiful ways. i can be the person god created me to be, to the fullest. i love my tiny tyrant with all of my heart. i look forward to welcoming another tiny tyrant into the family in the next year. if ONE has forced me to grow this much, just imagine what TWO can do! it's quite scary to think about. but also exciting. oh motherhood. keep on keepin' on.

hello there.

brittain here. just sharing my journey day to day with lots of laughs along the way.

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