the blog post i really don't want to write {but i will}

i've been avoiding my blog.
avoiding it for fear i'll end up saying the things i don't want to be honest about.
fear that my honesty will be judged, or my written words would make my truth even truer in my own heart.
if you decide to keep reading, please-oh-please, for my brokenhearted and self-conscious heart, keep in mind this is hard for me to share. i'd rather (MUCH rather) just post happy pictures and pretend away what's really going on in my life.
but after avoiding my blog for over a month, i keep coming back to the truth.
secretly hoping i'm not alone
praying desperately that someone who has walked this road before me is reading my blog.

i'm struggling.
there i said it
struggling to deal with the stress of life and the everyday craziness that is 3 kids under 5. i binge eat to sooth my stressful stomach and live filled with regret over the zillions of calories i've consumed. i cry over stupid things and get irritated over even stupider things.

usually, i can roll with the punches, find joy when things seemed bleak and truly trust God sees my brokenness.
but for the past few months, i feel alone.
i've started pulling out of commitments and therapies and appointments. the pace of our life is driving me crazy.
i find myself short tempered when usually i could find a calm.
i struggle to get through the day without bursting into tears and i must fight hard to pull myself out of bed in the morning, always begging for just a few more hours of solice.
coffee doesn't touch the exhaustion
i can't find my inner compass of motivation...i'm led by nothing, in a direction i don't recognise.

it's not the adoption, or the job changes or the moves. it's not the finances or the school decisions or the looming fact that we must transition yet again. those will always be there.

it's me. whoever that is
i don't recognize this person in the mirror.
sometimes i glimpse that fun, energetic girl that i love
the one who reads an extra story to the kids before bed, after a long day of adventure.
she lingers at the door and answers just one more late night question, sings just one more song, tells just one more story.
the girl who remembers her friends birthdays, folds the laundry and makes fun little surprise crafts for her kids to find at the breakfast table.
she plans her week and seems to know how to organize the chaos
she makes a meal for a friend and actually remembers to deliver it.
the girl who smiles and wears heels and dances around the house for no reason
she can find a way to do just about anything
she walks with creative adventure in her step, leading the way with little toes scampering happily around

but she's not here right now. 
perhaps this is all some horrible form of post-pardom-adoption coma. is that a real thing? dear Lord, let it be a real thing.
i spent years working and grieving and striving to bring emery home.
years of dreaming and planning
only to find that i was given the most incredible gift in return...i'd do it all over again a million times.
she is a most phenomenal gift. it was all worth it. every 80 hour week of sewing. every late night crying over piles of paperwork and unpaid bills.
each of these 3 children are my lifetime treasures. incredible, amazing, terrific treasures.
i'm totally addicted to them.
i have a husband who loves us, who would do anything to provide for our family
i'm a stay at home mom, and although finances are tight, we can make it work on one income
i have everything i need. everything i've always wanted
so why must i feel this deep sadness. deeper than i've ever felt.

the moment the kids are in bed, a part of me collapses. the part i've been holding up all day.

i find myself begging...
"God are you going to help me yet? lift me out of this trudge? scoop me up to a place i recognise? show me there is a way even when there isn't a way? i just can't do it all anymore."

and maybe that's part of the answer in all of this.
i'm a super control freak
i want to do it all. be all.
and that's not where God wants me.
i'm not supposed to be the center.
i'm getting it...more and more as each day passes and i struggle to find my way...i'm not the center.

i'm repeating scripture everyday. all day. even when i don't feel like it. especially when i don't feel like it.

my favorite: 
"rejoice in the Lord always. i will say it again, "Rejoice!" Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers & sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me, put it into practice. and the God of peace with be with you." philipians 4:4-9

i'm an emotionally led person who needs to be centered with a core of stability in Christ.
i can see now, as i look back over the past few years, i taught myself to push on, no matter what. i said in my mind "i'm relying on God" but in my actions, my heart, my core, i was at the center. trying my best to control everything and make things go the way i wanted them.
and boy oh boy...they never went like i planned. they weren't supposed to.

reaping the benefits of my self-centeredness has been the hardest lesson of my life.

and so here i sit at my computer...terrified to press "Publish"
trying to verbalize all of this feels impossible, but perhaps my heart is felt as you read.
there is hope.
even on days that i hold myself up and press through the day...
there is Hope.
the real kind that doesn't make sense
it catches me off guard in moments that feel impossible
the real kind that appears when i need it more than anything else.
praise God for Hope.


  1. Oh Ang- thank you for sharing your heart- you are not alone! There are plenty of days that I find myself trying to be all and do all while still claiming I'm letting God have his will and way in my life. How much easier life would be if we could really let god lead ... Praying that we can both just let go--- let go of expectations and ideas of how it should be and trust that god will work it out like he always does.

  2. Your courage to publish this port amazes me!!! As someone who has walked a very similar walk to the one you are now walking, and someone who constantly struggles with trying to avoid a similar path of oppression, I am at a loss of words to express the way your post has spoken to me. . .

    be assured you are normal, mothering is tough, it's draining, compassion fatigue is real, burnout=exhaustion, guilt can be consuming. . .

    as someone very wise once told me, if you are not struggling in your life as a mom--you must be doing something wrong. . .

    i can clearly see you heart and the hope that comes along with it. . .

    please know I have lifted you up in prayer. . .

    and incidentally I just this morning added you to my "inspired by adoption" pinterest board. . .

    I have a feeling this post will result in you being completely covered in prayer by readers (like myself) who love your spirit and your amazing heart. . .it is an honor to pray for you. . .

  3. Oh gosh, you are SO not alone! I've gone through the same thing before. I didn't really recognize who I was, and it took a while to get back. I think you're on the right track of figuring it all out. Those verses are certainly going to help, whether you feel it now or not. Hugs and prayers!

  4. I love reading your blog. I love your realness, your family, your baby stories, your creativity. I love getting to glimpse inside of your life. Just yesterday I was reading 1 Samuel and a particular verse stuck out to me:
    1 Samuel 3:1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
    "The word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision"
    God was quiet to his people. He was rare. And Samuel was just a boy - he was begged for by his mother, he was a great gift to her from God...and he was growing up in a time when God was rare.
    And I thought of all God did in Samuel's life...I thought of all the prophesy Samuel spoke and all hope he had in our great God. And I realized it's okay when God is quiet. It's okay when we struggle to hear him. It's okay when he feels rare. And it gave me great hope and comfort that God is still there and waiting to do a great work even when it seems like he is rare in my life.
    I can totally relate to how you've been feeling. But take heart - because maybe you and Samuel are just the same.
    In Christ, Amanda

  5. Oh, do not be ashamed. Stay strong, girl. I think more mothers than NOT go through times like this... Luckily we're now more accepting of each other in this generation when asking for help and prayer. I've been dealing with more anxiety the last half year or so after my second child. I actually fear for my own children (sickness, cancer, pain, DEATH) soooo much that I would not consider having another child. But I'm trying to realize that living in fear is not what God wants. He's got us in His hands - believe it or not (on some days). Reading your story of adopting has prompted me to even bring it up to my husband and think about adopting (a girl! we have 2 boys) at some point but I always told myself that I'm NOT as stable and strong as you are. Would you ever consider seeing someone who may be able to prescribe you something to level out your hormones for a while? I'm checking into this next week.
    Stay strong!

    For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a SOUND MIND!!
    2 Timothy 1:7

  6. oh angie, thank you so much for posting this. i, too have neglected my blog for similar reasons... wanting to avoid sharing what i really feel these days. and although our struggles are different, they're also at the core strangely similar. that desire to control and do and be everything to everyone... and then the realization that you can't and aren't... yeah i just feel you on this on so many levels. thank you for your honesty. xoxo

  7. Yes, there is post adoption partum!!! Every person I know who has adopted has had it to some degree- this all consuming thing is now over. There are no new milestones in the process. You now are just a tired mommy of three little ones, which is SO much harder than (most) people admit. Read Jen Hatmaker's After the Airport and realize that while everyone's post adoption story is a little different, it is HARD. (big hugs and prayers)

  8. Love your honesty and bravery and I love that you are seeing that others can relate to the feelings you put so well into words.

    I have no words of advice or any solutions...but wanted to share that I, too, can relate to this. There are so many days when motivation is a stranger...and that blah-feeling is my normal.

    And the control part, um, yep. It is so true.

    Hugs to you.

  9. glad you hit publish ;) I think it's important. Other people have been on this path, felt this way, I know I have. I wonder if you could sneak away one night a week for 14 weeks coming up? Elijah House is starting again in March and goodness gracious it will minister to your soul. Just feels so good to get it out there and pray through things. Info is at bridgetownfellowship.org if you're interested ;) It's such a blessing! Thanks for sharing all this today. xo

  10. Oh Ang, thank u for hitting "publish".....thank u for making me (any probably so many other mommas out there) not feel so so alone. ((((hugs))). I get u....i get every word, every emotion, every thought. I get that sort of weakness, I struggle with it. Then God always brings me back to the verse: my grace is sufficient, for my grace is MADE PERFECT, in your weakness. In fact, it's my "life verse"....I claim it every.day. Please, let's meet for dinner or coffee sometime!! Well meet in the middle!! It'd be good to get out! Also, let's do some field trips together!:))) I feel such a need for "real face time" with u. lol. Praying tonight for u, thank u for being real. Remember, you. Are. Not. Alone.

  11. Just wanted to say you are so not the only one. I don't recognize myself some days, and the first several months with 3 kids 6 and under has been the most challenging time of my life. I'm really just now, 9 months home with our daughter, beginning to loosen up and enjoy it. I'm pretty sure I had some sort of post-adoption depression, and as much as I thought I "loved" my daughter, it's finally feeling real. Thanks for writing this. I've been meaning to (but neglecting my blog for that very reason) write something.

  12. Your courage in posting this shines through. I love your blog your words and your pictures. I have never experienced what you are going through, I am nineteen, but your words touched my heart. I feel for what you are going through. From England I am praying that Christ will pour his blessing into your life and that he will become your rock in this time of trouble. Abi x

  13. Your courage in posting this shines through. I love your blog your words and your pictures. I have never experienced what you are going through, I am nineteen, but your words touched my heart. I feel for what you are going through. From England I am praying that Christ will pour his blessing into your life and that he will become your rock in this time of trouble. Abi x

  14. My dear Angie! You are so not alone! You are so brave to post it! I'll tell you something. I binge eat too sometimes. But every day is a chance to start over.
    I love you and your family very much! Angie, you know what helps me? Just moving. On the treadmill, jumping jacks, Zumba. Anything to take my mind of problems.It does not solve it but helps to llok at them from different angle.

  15. Hi Angie. I just wanted to let you know that I've admired your for a long time - for the dynamic woman I see at church wrangling your beautiful children, that creative lovely kind woman who I have rarely seen without a smile on her face. I admire you even more for the strength and courage it must have taken to hit the publish button on this post. Just remember that we tend to be our worst critics. I think by being this transparent, you are allowing God to work in so many ways. (one way is just through all the prayers that will cover you from your friends and readers. Take it day by day (heck even minute by minute when necessary) and just remember that you deserve a break and you deserve to be refilled from time to time when you are constantly in a state of pouring yourself out. Love you and praying for you.

  16. Glad you hit publish too. I had to drag myself to post this week. What can you say when you just feel so beaten down?

    As a third party here..you gotta give yourself a break. You sound like a freaking amazing mom. Making stuff, playing with the kiddos, etc. I never give the extra minute to DD#1 anymore. Never read an extra book (not sure I really did that before DD#2 anyway). I am not the mom who is going to say 'oh I am so glad I gave all those extra hugs/kisses/books/etc'. I am going to be the one who always wishes they spent more time with their kiddos. I know it.

    Oh well. The kids will live (hopefully) and so will I. Just gotta go day by day and do my best. Even if my best may not be up to snuff. ;-) The hardest part with this methodology is letting go of the control. Still working on that part.

  17. Dear Angie, I have never commented on your blog before, but read it whenever you post as it is on my favorite blog list. My daughter turned me on to you as she is in process of adopting a girl from China. I know about depression. I have been in it's grip many times. The best advise I can give you is to get help. Go to a professional you trust and tell them what you have been brave enough to tell us. Your openness is a strong sign of recovery. You have many blessings as you listed in your post... but the biggest blessing you have is YOU. For you (the healthy, authentic, God-created you)is what the world desires and who God inhabits. Angie, I am inspired by your strength to post and your desire to share. You have helped more people than you know. I hold you daily in my prayers and now in my heart as well.

  18. Angie - there is such a thing as post-adoption depression (PAD) so definitely don't feel like you are all alone! While I cannot understand everything you are feeling since I am an adoptive parent to our only child, I felt myself nodding in agreement as I read your words as they sound dlike many I have said these last couple weeks as I feel like I'm just being passed back & forth between my many doctors appointment with no promise of pain relief in sight. I've often cried out asking God where He is in the midst of this struggle and lately I can feel the Spirit whisper "Trust me." I'm learning that even though I cannot see what His plans are at this moments and do not have answers to my questions I can still trust Him and because of His character amd His promises I can press on! Its not always easy (and sometimes I forget and need a reminder) but I hang onto the promise that He has plans for each one of us that include a hope & a future! You are very brave to share your story & I want to thank you for it!

  19. You are brave and beautiful. Loving and kind. Tenderhearted and caring. You've hit a rough patch here.. and I can imagine the crescendo of the adoption and surgery, the family unit change and life change in general, has now crashed down to a more normal existence. Our hearts & minds often struggle to catch up with what's really going on. You are very normal and you're not alone. I've experienced similar depression. Take it one day at a time and make sure you keep airing this stuff out. Don't do it alone hon. Lean into God as you are and He will never let you go. I will keep you close in my prayers. Don't stop writing. We're here for you. You're not losing me as a reader of your blog. And know that stepping away from the blog is okay too. Journal. Pray. Reflect. Seek medication if it doesn't stop. When I was diagnosed with Anxiety/Panic disorder, I often wondered why it came on so strongly when it did. I found out that if we're going to experience anxiety or depression, it can often rear it's ugly head during our "child bearing years" Yeee Haaaww!! I spent months being depressed and having panic attacks daily.. finally finding the hope and rest in some much needed medication. You may not need it.. but know that it's very normal and if there is an imbalance in your head like mine.. there is help. Much love, Cami

  20. Love and hugs to you, my friend! I can't say anything more than what everyone else has already said!
    John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing! You are not alone! I may only be the mother of one, but transitioning from 'career woman' into SAHM, and not just a SAHM, a carless SAHM, has been trying! You will come through it. You will be yourself again. Keep leaning on the Lord and he will carry you through. What I try to remember also, is that this is just a phase, when I look back in 20 years from now it most likely won't even be a part of my memory because the good times will overshadow it :-)

  22. I just wanted to chime in and add another "you are not alone." I am also glad to know that I am not alone. whew! what a relief. Sometimes reading blogs makes me feel like the world's worst mother so it sure is good to read an honest post. We all struggle with things as moms. It is great that you mentioned being in the word - that is the best thing you can do! Thanks for sharing!

  23. You're awesome. Fighting for something so important gives adrenaline and energy and when it is finally provided all the energy goes with it. Don't put any expectations on yourself to be the Mom you want to be during this time period. Maybe God is calling you to rest, hand it over, so He can give you the next part of His plan which may call you to be different than your expectations. What mother hasn't felt this way at one time or another.

  24. Hi Angie,

    I can't thank you enough for sharing. This was so touching and honest. I can see why you felt awkward sharing (as do I when I post of this nature, which is why I rarely do it) but I think we all need to step ourside ourselves and not think as the poster but rather, the reader. And as the reader, this kind of post is so precious. And the poster should remember that. So please don't feel ashamed or anything else for posting.

    Though I'm in a totally different place in my life than you, I can relate to this so well. I am a happy-go-lucky person. Few things get me down usually and I can handle any situations thrown my way- even if it involves a nice little sobfest before i reach the "problem solving" phase.

    However, end of 2011, I got what I can only imagine was the depression bug. I have no idea why. I felt hopeless, so sad, I gained weight, I cried often, I hung out alone in the pitch black just laying in my bed right after work. Everytime this would happen, I would think to myself "who ARE you??".

    My main problem was that I stopped working out because I was depressed but the ironic thing is... when I work out, I pretty much stave off feelings of depression.

    So I've been trying to get back in the gym routine. While the Gym used to be as regular as going to work everyday, is now something I'm reminding myself to benefit from. I still dont' feel 100% but I feel like I'm getting there.

    For me, that's what's working right now.

    You can't be 'on' all the time and always have it together. Rejoice in these moments when you realize you need to focus on YOU, even if you feel sad for unknown reasons while it's happening. Finding the source of strength to move past it is key, it sounds like your Faith is providing an amazing stepping stone for you- keep going. And I'm sure you'll be back in no time.

  25. Hi Angie,

    I am so sorry to hear what you are going through but I also want you to know you are not alone. Soooooooooo many moms (and dads) adopt and experience a form of depression. It is like a let down after everything is complete. I know I experienced a sort of depression as well after both my girls were home and I am sure I will do the same after Emery comes home. It is like the build up during the wait and you are anxiously awaiting every step of the process and then the amazing trip to china and then you are home-- with all the other kids and life proceeds like normal. It is almost a let down-- not that I am saying it is a let down, but it feels that way and I think it contributes to the depression.

    I too go through this type of things on and off. I am usually a high energy and happy person who does not get down very often, but sometimes I just am flat out depressed. I am sad and I have no idea why. I will take inventory of my life and tell myself I have NO reason to be depressed BUT, I am and I dont know why. It is like all I can do to get through the day just to put the kids to bed so I can go to bed myself. It is interesting becuase these feelings will come and go and I will sort of snap out of it and be fine and then time will pass and I will start feeling depressed again. It is not severe or rapid enough to be Bipolar but it is something that bothers me becuase when I am down I eat like a pig and gain weight and then I am even more depressed. Right now I am fatter than I have been in a long time. It is driving me nuts but sometimes food is the one thing I always can count on to give me happiness. I hate that about me and have always said I wish I was one of those people who stopped eating when they are depressed but sadly, I am the opposite.

    Please know you are not alone and these things will pass. They always do and the old you will be back soon. You have to cling to the Lord during these times and know HE will get you through. Cling to His promices and know He can get you thorugh this dark time. Also remember you are NOT alone. There are many others going through the same thing. I know that does not help but it is comforting to know you are not alone.

    I will pray for you Angie. I totally understand where you are and I know how it feels and it is not fun. God will bring you through- Trust in that!!!

    Big hugs,


  26. Ang...
    I completely understand that this was a post you really didn't want to write. BUT I am so glad you DID. Part of the problem with society is that we feel that we must put on our best face around others - to not complain, to not be honest, to not be REAL. Imagine how therapeutic it would be for all people if everyone was just more honest. That we didn't just robotically answer, "GOOD!" when someone asks, "How are you?" What if we were honest - and real - and maybe a little ugly and broken?

    I'll tell you what would happen - we all would realize we are not alone.

    You are not alone. I may not be currently going through what YOU are going through - but I've felt my fair share of "down." Of "blue." Of "funk." I don't think I ever struggled with postpartum depression - but I can tell you that I'm STILL adjusting to life with 2 - even 13 months later. I still have several days a week that I shed a tear - that I yell - that I fail completely and miserably. And these feelings (and failures) make me want to crawl into myself and hide. Because it feels safe. But it doesn't help us heal. Being real does.

    You are going through a LOT - adoption, adding a third child, moving, and adjusting to life with a child who needs a good bit of medical attention. THAT"S A LOT OF CHANGE ALL AT ONCE. No one goes through that unscathed - but I truly believe you will be all the better for it. And I'm not sure if there is any advice for you other than "keep on keepin' on" - and to hear (TRULY hear) - YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    I hope that you feel encouraged enough to turn OUTWARD and not INWARD - keep playdates even if you don't feel like it. Change into jeans and a shirt instead of pajamas. Take a shower. Put on make up. Those things aren't magic - but they do help morale.

    So please - keep being honest. Real. Open. And imperfect. Because I don't think there is anything I love more in the world than imperfection.

    It makes the world a beautiful place.


  27. Um...yea...so God totally had you write that blog post for me. thanks. ( : -Lisa

  28. You are so not alone friend. I call it coming off the spiritual high. You see God do amazing things and he still is but it is so hard to see when you are stuck in the day to day hardness of life. We all go through seasons. I'm stuck in one of the hardest ones now. In time like this it is so important to try and see any glimpse of the lord you can he is there I promise. Praying for you.

  29. Angie, I think if everyone was honest they would say we have been in your shoes. Being a mom is hard and tiring. I have walked where you are. It doesn't mean we don't adore and love our precious gifts from the Lord. I know I struggle with Mommy guilt all the time, but I know Satan also wants to use this to discourage what I am doing. Trying to homeschool, adopt and raise these kids to love and honor the Lord. :) I have seen your posts and you are a good and such a FUN MOM!!!!!!!! I can totally relate to the control thing too. It is a daily struggle to give that over to the Lord. I will pray for you. Hope you are having a good Valentines Day!!!! God Bless You sister in Christ. Joshua 1:9

  30. Wow, comment bonanza! I can relate times a million. Will write you privately. Love to you, friend.

  31. Thank you so much for your honesty. I have felt like this a lot lately. I am a brand new reader (discovered your blog via Ashley Ann), and I will bookmark your blog to refer back to often in the coming months and years, as my husband and I are starting the adoption process ourselves. Thank you for being a source of information, and encouragement...and hope.

  32. thank you so much for sharing your struggles. you are such an incredible person...but please do not bear the burden of always having to be your amazing upbeat happy go lucky self. there are so many things you wrote about that i can relate to. knowing that someone like you~ someone i completely look up to~ has your share of bittersweet days too gives me hope and lifts a bit burden off of myself to always strive for perfection. i wish i did but i have no wise words to say to help you through this time. all i can say is that God will provide for you. you will be okay my friend. and i am here to lift you up in prayer and to cheer you on. *hug*

  33. Oh my, do I ever love your transparency and honesty. I have been going through something similar for the past few months. I have a husband who is nearing the end of a 4 month deployment, so I like to think that that might be the crux of my issue. I have not been myself. Deeply angry outburst to my girls, eating when not hungry, angry in the morning, can't get out of bed, physical illnesses (not your run of the mill cold either...stomach infection and an arthritis diagnosis). I too have always been quite led by my emotions, but I always tricked myself into thinking "I'm fine, I'm leaning on the Lord" when REALLY I wasn't. These past four months have been a SWEET SWEET time with my Savior. Hard, and very lonely, but so so sweet. I too find myself constantly drawn to scripture...mostly Psalms. I am a bit of a control freak myself, but I know that He has kept me in this place of LITERAL weakness to keep me constantly CLOSE to Him, because He and I both know that I am too weak to do this insane life without him, and that my past has proven me too proud (didn't realize it at the time) to keep constantly close to His heart. You are not alone in your journey! I don't know what exactly the Lord is doing in your life, but rest assured that he is doing a MIGHTY thing if you stay close to him. I am so so glad you wrote this. We need to get past this facade that "everything's great, I'm great, I've got this." From pain can come beautiful strength and encouragement to others. Blessings to you :)

  34. I have NO idea how I found my way here ... I guess the answer is, obviously, the Lord. I don't know you or your family ... but thank you! I doubt you will even read this, because this was posted so long ago, but again ... thank you. I have been feeling so much the same way and most of the time I don't even want to share how I'm feeling, because I feel ridiculous and guilty for feeling that. I miss the old me. I hate that I have so much trouble resting in what I KNOW is good and precious and exactly what I want/need. Something is stirring up in me, I guess, but I feel blessed that I am not alone. I am praying for you, stranger :)



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