We’re Still at Home, and We Needed This

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Regardless of our employment status, most of us have been in the same emotional boat these last few months. I will add, some are more stressed than others: financially, relationally, medically, etc.

Even though our state had started to open back up some, we have chosen to continue staying “home” for the long haul. Several reasons brought us to this decision, and man has it been a heavy one. I’ve experienced major FOMO as I see others getting together, people going to the beaches, and restaurants. I fear that our friends will forget about us by the time all this is over.

But at the end of the day, for personal reasons, we believe our decision is best for our family.

Best doesn’t always mean easier, of course. My mind alone has gone all over the map between feeling relieved and thrilled to be “stuck” home together as a family and feeling so tired of this. Mix in three other people’s minds and we have had some hard days together. But overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that our family really needed this season.

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A New Family

We are still within our first year as a family of four. We added our second son through adoption just several months back. My husband and I took a few weeks to cocoon after he came home, and continued with some boundaries for people outside our family for months. We were just starting to see more friends and bring our new toddler to church for a handful of weeks before the state started shutting down.

As we started staying home again, it felt much like another season of cocooning — only this time we can communicate with our toddler more, and we know each other better than those first few weeks! So in that way, this season at home has been “easier”. But of course, there was an increase in challenges with our older son schooling from home and the fact that we can’t go anywhere!

Even though some days I’m driven up a wall over constant sibling rivalry, toddler tantrums, and school-age attitude, I can see now that we needed this extra time to be a family.

Struggles in Adoption

It’s common in older child adoption for there to be a preference for one parent over the other at the beginning. Each of our kids bonded with us differently, and the attachment issue with one of them still lingers.

This season has forced us to stay in the trenches of the hard feelings together. It’s forced us to buckle down, talk through pain, hug it out, and come up with a way forward together. We’ve had very limited connections with other people to provide a buffer or distraction from the hard stuff. We haven’t had the luxury of ignoring issues because we’re not rushing off to school or sports. We have had to FACE problems head-on… because what else is there to do? And how else are we going to survive this season together?

Over the last few months at home, I have seen a major step forward in our bonding. The child who has struggled with attachment to one of us has begun seeking affection where otherwise it would be avoided. The feelings of closeness have grown, and we are the best we’ve been as a family thus far.

There are still tantrums, attitudes, and sibling fights — all the typical stuff, of course. There are still days that I feel low and slow-moving or have a hard time keeping my head on straight.

But there’s a new balance.

We’re learning how to be together more and more. We are figuring out how to work as a family. Although I look forward to this season being behind us all, I’m finding HOPE, LIFE, and HEALING in this time at home with my family.

at home

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Amanda Gibson
Amanda is an upstate New York girl who married a Tennessee guy in 2011 and moved to Charleston the next day. They have adopted two toddler boys from South Korea in 2017 and 2019. She loves to share her heart ponderings and humor lent by beginning motherhood with her toddler who spoke another language. She has a background in non-profit work, but currently stays home with her boys. She enjoys her awkward floppy hound, assertive cuddly cat, but can't keep plants alive. In her "spare time," she loves to create, serve as drummer at her church, dance around the house, or provide harmonies/percussion for her sister's music.

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