If you’re a parent, specifically a special needs or adoptive/foster parent, do you remember what it feels like to have dreams? Not dreams for your kids. Dreams for yourself. YOU. Remember her or him?
Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we have courage to pursue them.” Sorry, Walt, I disagree. Disney dreaming looks a bit different in the grand scheme.
I dream. Big and small and all the knotches in-between. All the dreaming began when I left my 9-5 in 2014. I had to leave my career in order to own my momness. That decision produced more “free” time. I had no one telling me what needed to be done and when, freeing my brain and spirit to rise to places they hadn’t visited in years past. I started discovering passions and goals and interests I couldn’t have called up until then. The path our family had traveled brought about inspiration in me that only God and parenting experiences could orchestrate. Raising the children we’re raising and experiencing all the life that has come packaged with them, I became passionate about too many things to begin wrapping my mind around. From adoption education to special needs parenting to educational systems to interior design to counseling to podcasting to going to school… my dreaming has known no limits. Sounds like a blessing right? Dreaming is healthy and keeps us motivated and moving.
Accept when it doesn’t. Accept when all the dreaming leads to starting projects and quitting them when you realize it’s more than you can handle. Accept when your heart is in the right place and your brain tells you to own something that wasn’t meant for you. Accept when you become so motivated to find answers you end up becoming an “expert” in something you don’t actually want to be an expert in. Accept when you see just how things “should” be and tell yourself you can turn that “should” into a “could.” And then you realize that all the “shoulding” in the world won’t equal true change.
ALL the dreaming has turned out to be too much. Too big. Not realistic for the lot I’ve been given.
Like many parents, at the end of most days, I have very little left to offer. I’m running on the gas light portion of myself. Being mom to the kiddos I’ve been blessed with is an enormous gift. And it’s a weighty package to carry much of the time. It can’t be done well without constant intention and scheduling. Days don’t run smoothly without constant repetition and diligence to differing expectations for each child and different ways of handling struggles and joys. Between calls and meetings with school for our little man, interference with the way he interprets the world, repeating of daily expectations and directions, emotional maturity of our sweet and saucy girl and being NEEDED at the level I am, acting on all this dreaming of mine doesn’t fit. I’ve tried and I’ve pushed and pleaded with God’s door slamming. To no avail.
Through the past few months, I’ve been dealt a lot of door slams on something I was convinced (I even had my therapist convinced) was for me. My big dream. A business that would bless the pants off myself and anyone who entered the doors. Reality? It’s an awesome concept. And it’s too big. It’s not mine to carry. Yet. There’s not enough of me to do it well and still be a special needs and adoptive Mama. Not the mom our deserve. And in lieu, not the wife Tim deserves.
What do we do when all our personal dreams don’t pan out? When we feel so strongly about our hearts intent and doing big things for ourselves, our family and our world? I think Ms. Roosevelt’s perspective on dreaming offers more truth.
The beautiful truth about dreaming is that big doesn’t mean best. Big can be sliced into as many pieces as we see fit. It can be dissected and carved into a puzzle. And puzzles are put together one piece at a time. Dreams can be put into action in phases or lived out in creative ways. Dreams can morph and evolve if we’re willing to let go of the control of our big vision. If we’re humble enough to step out of our head and heart and gain fresh perspective.
I’m moving forward on a piece of my dream and it has me as giddy as can be. It’s nowhere in the realm where I began, but it might just be even better – more me. I can find ways to incorporate my heart and my passions and my creative spirit within THIS version of my dream and still be all I need to be for my family. Because when I take time to reflect, this family is what I dreamed of for years and years. My role in their lives is the biggest part of my big picture dream. God knows what He’s doing in the dream department. It just takes diligence and humility to let go long enough to allow His vision for us enter the dreamscape.
Stay tuned for my dream within a dream. Lots of fun on the horizon. And special need and adoptive/foster parents are at the core of it all. This obscure photo is a hint.