We have been home for 12 days and during that time we have celebrated Christmas, my 35th birthday, New Year's Eve, and Kwanza (today). All this while making two visits for Leo to the doctor and battling severe jet lag. The adjustment to the time change was way harder then I would have ever imagined. It took a full week to get our bodies back into the sleep cycle appropriate for our time zone. As far as the doctor's visits we are still awaiting the results of a lovely stool sample to try and find out why Leo's BMs are so bad that they clear the entire house. Then the little guy came down with a case of mild croup on the 27th, the night of my birthday. Neither of my other kidos have ever had croup but thanks to hearing stories from other moms, I was able to recognize the seal sounding cough and 103 temperature and knew what to do at 1am. All the holiday activities combined with family being in town has made it a bit challenging to get a nap schedule going. But our new little man is adjusting very well. He is funny, energetic, loving, and talkative (in Kinyarwanda) and he seems to have a special talent for dancing and smiling.
Amongst all this excitement I have been trying to accept the fact that I am now 35 years old. For many women who I have counseled in the past turning 30 or 35 was a really hard stage for them. It is all to easy for me to focus on all the things that I should have accomplished by now. I should have a bigger house, I should not still be commuting to work, I should live in a nicer city, bla, bla, bla. So I have tried instead to do a mental check-in of where I am really at in my life. I guess I have accomplished more then I give myself credit for. I managed my way through BS, MS, and PhD programs in psychology and I have the whopping school loans to prove it! I have obtained a successful career with a decent paycheck. I have presented at professional conferences and been involved in professional organizations. I have vacationed throughout the US, Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico and have traveled to Africa twice. But my most important accomplishments are that I have been married to my best friend for 10 years and I am a mother to three amazing children. Every single one of my children are a miracle. My son, the only pregnancy out of 6 to survive to childbirth. My daughter, who has completely recovered from severe malnutrition and devastating loss. And my newest son, who you would never know spent the last two years pf his young life in a orphanage. Their talent and resilience are my best Christmas and Birthday presents, and my best inspiration to keep expanding my boundaries well into the next 50 years.