Life has been crazy, not that this is news in our household. In the middle of the crazy, one day this last week, I got to take one of our kids to a Naturopath at a local farm, the other young kids were playing Ghostbusters, and our oldest was snapchatting with me and making me laugh. I felt a tidal wave of awe and gratitude. How in the world did I end up here? How is this reality?
Over this last week I have gotten some reminders of different stages of my life that have just rocked me and amazed me. I would never have guessed this is where the roads, I was walking down, would lead. If someone had asked me twelve, seven- heck even four years ago if I would be living in GR with my hubby and be the mother to SIX heroic and amazing kids I would have been sure they were crazy.
Let me walk you through the reminders of past versions of Cabrielle that have shown up over the last week:
Let us start twelve years ago, when I was nineteen years old. I was working as an Assistant Manager of a Waldenbooks in the Martinsburg Mall. I had also just gone through a big break up and at nineteen was sure I would never find someone to spend my life with, let alone ever have kids. I was wallowing in my post-break-up-blues when I needed to pull myself together and work a Book Signing Event we had planned at the Mall for local authors. I met an amazing man, Carol E. King, a local poet who had served in WWII. Carol and I spent three days together at the Book Signing and we talk a lot about life, poetry, and love. He was the sweetest man, and he assured me the best days were coming. When I asked him to sign one of his books for me he was sure to be goofy and made me laugh for the first time in my sadness. The nineteen year old Cabrielle could not fathom 2017 Cabrielle but I know her adventures shaped the path that lead me here.
Flash forward to a twenty-four year old version of Cabrielle and I had realized that nineteen year old Cabrielle was so confused on what love really was, I had finally found true and out of this world love with Tyler and we were days away from getting married. We were also in the middle of a hurricane known as fertility treatments. I know we would not have made the choices about adoption without our fertility treatments but I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that the trauma and pain of treatments was not the answer. I was planning a wedding in two weeks time- yeah we got married two weeks after our engagements. Again, I would not change it but I would love to ease the stress of this time. I was giving myself shots around the clock and obsessing over every aspect of fertility. I was going to daily appointments at the fertility clinic to monitor my progress and I was going to school full time. It was non-stop insanity. I worried that the wedding would not go well. I was worried we would never be parents. I was worried I would never find my path in life after school. In reality- yes the wedding had some sanfus but we got married and that is what matters, we were meant to be parents just not the way we envisioned, I found where I needed to be after I became a Mom.
Four years ago we had moved to Pennsylvania and we were getting our ducks in a row to be officially a licensed foster home, praying our kids (that I felt were out there somewhere) would find their way home to us. Getting licensed was a lot more complicated than I envisioned. I thought things were all but done but on October 7th, moments before Caleb was being born, we got a huge wrench thrown into the process when there was some miscoding on our background checks. It felt like a lot of hurry up and wait and I was so anxious to get things going. I was told by our great caseworker, Regina, that this time was my labor and labor is hard. She said she had gone through the labor of giving birth and the labor of adopting and the adoption labor was much harder. She kept encouraging me to hold on and that things were on their way to lead us where we needed to go.
I just cannot believe all these versions of me, all these paths, all the joys and sorrows, all the uncertainty- it was all leading to this. It was leading to this amazing family I have now. It was leading me to a husband who would understand me in deep and profound ways and who was strong enough to take this journey with me. It was leading me to six children who would challenge me, amaze me, complete me, and bring an unending amount of joy and love to my life.
You never know where your path is leading you. What is that oft quoted expression? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. I could never have planned this but I am eternally grateful that someone higher than you or I knew what he was doing all along.