It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes over you when something you have worried and stressed over for so long, just disappears. I have been on pins and needles for 903 days. Never knowing if Stella would stay with me forever or not. Don’t get me wrong, her case looked good, I knew she was where she needed to be, but I have this thing called anxiety, and it said otherwise.
Having anxiety and deciding to take part in the foster care system is basically signing yourself to play a really long version of Russian Roulette. You can’t stop your brain from going to the worst case scenarios and in these circumstances, it can make you physically sick with worry. I would spend sleepless nights worried about the most irrational, wildest, most ridiculous worst case possibilities after getting one small sliver of bad news. See, with anxiety, where everything is already under scrutiny, the simplest piece of information can be twisted into this terrifying news that doesn’t even exist. It’s just the best.
There were days when I wouldn’t even want to speak to anyone, because I was so full of worry. Days when I was so exhausted from not sleeping, because I was up all night thinking about what could happen. Days when I couldn’t eat, because I knew she had to go to a visit that she didn’t want to participate in.
Once I finished the adoption placement a few weeks ago, I was her legal guardian. I don’t think my brain really had time to process what an accomplishment that was, because everything else was moving so fast and I had things to get done. Even standing outside the courtroom on adoption day, I still wasn’t at ease, we were taking photos, and making sure everything on our checklist was finished.
As we were making the hour drive home, it hit me.
Like a tidal wave of accomplishment, celebration, and calming.
We did it. We crossed the finish line. She is safe and provided for, for the rest of her life.
I will never be able to fully describe what that felt like. The purest, truest, brightest feeling of joy and calm. My brain is never quiet, but it was Tuesday.
For a brief moment, I had no worries, no concerns, no fears.
903 days of worry.
903 days of anxiety.
903 days of fear.
And that is without a doubt, the most beautiful version of overwhelming joy I think there is. When I realized I was feeling every ounce of worry shed off of me like a second skin, I noticed I was even breathing easier. My anxiety had even made breathing a chore. Not anymore.
Now I get to worry about normal mom things like,
- What is my kid chewing on?
- Why is the floor wet?
- Why do the shoes I bought her yesterday, not fit today?
- Why is my kid always snotty?
- Is she going to put me in a nursing home or her basement when I’m senile?
I’ve accomplished a lot of things in my 32 years, but this is by far my proudest moment. And I still have a tiny speck of sanity left. So, today I’m giving anxiety the finger, because as hard as it tried to break me, I won.