First Day of School Blues

boy in brown hoodie carrying red backpack while walking on dirt road near tall trees
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So it finally happened. My girl is old enough to start her first school program. After we relocated back to Georgia this spring I found out that a local church offered a program for 3 year olds. I was really excited to find out more about the program because our baby  girl is always talking about going to school and seeing her friends. I had always had every intention of homeschooling; because it just fit our lifestyle better with my husband’s line of work. However, when she was approximately one and half we found the tv show, “Sid the Science Kid” and this little girl has been in love with going to school ever since. She loves to make friends and every child she sees is her “friend”. I kid you not, we were walking through the airport one day and she seen this little boy and said “hey that’s my friend”, this little boy looked up at his mom in a state of confusion. We passed them again and she repeated her previous statement about him being her friend. This time he asked his mom “do I know her?”. My husband overhead him and just smiled at him and said, no sir you don’t, she just calls every kid she sees her friend.

To see her so free spirited truly does warm my heart, because she has processed so much in the three short years that she has been on this earth. Most people don’t know her story and those that do, don’t really understand it. Very few people in her life really appreciate where she is right now socially. What you see now is a rambunctious, outspoken little girl who seems fearless and fierce. However, this hasn’t always been the case. There was a time that she would shy away from anyone that looked at her, let alone tried to talk to her. She didn’t want any part of anyone holding her and had zero intentions of unlatching herself from mine or her daddy’s leg when she encountered new people. Even people that she knew and was familiar with were kept at a distance. Leaving her with anyone was not even an option because she would throw an absolute fit if we ever tried to. For the first year of her life, she went into the sanctuary with us at church because we could not leave her in the nursery. We could sometimes get her in there, but one of us would always have to leave service because she would eventually start crying and would not stop until one of us came and got her. We finally learned to just take her after praise and worship because she really enjoyed that and it shortened her time in the nursery.

As she got older she began to get really fidgety in service so we had to figure out a way to get her in the nursery so that we could worship and get filled ourselves. After discovering her new favorite show that made school look fun and exciting, we thought we had found a solution. So Sunday mornings became a place where we could see our friends. Although she was still skeptical, she was making progress and we could see the growth that began to take place.

We decided to start going to a church that was close to our home because the one we had been attending was a good 45 minutes away. That drive made it difficult to get connected  several times a week to be involved in various ministries. The first visit to the new church was tough because she just did not want to let us go. I reluctantly left her in the hands of the ladies in the nursery and stood outside in the hallway waiting for her cries of fear to go away. Eventually, they subsided and I was able to go into service knowing that she wasn’t freaking out any longer. I know what you’re thinking “good gracious lady, get a grip, let her grow, she will be fine yada yada yada”. Sure, that is easy to say when you are standing on the outside not knowing her full story. I eventually learned that the ladies in the nursery thought I was just an overbearing mom who couldn’t let her kid go. When the truth is, I knew the reason she was crying and it had absolutely nothing at all to do with being spoiled or being some kind of momma/daddy’s girl. Her cries came from a place that most of us have never known.

It’s no secret that all of my babies are adopted and that I have no children biologically. I get asked all the time to explain our family dynamics, which is kind the reason for this blog honestly. Anyway, when our beautiful girl came to us, it was through foster care. She was 3 weeks old and the most precious thing I had ever had ever seen. I immediately fell in love with everything about her. She was so curious always looking around with her big ole eyes that seemed so full of questions. We wanted nothing more than to protect her from ever being hurt again. She was loved, taken care of, had her needs consistently met and had a routine and structure that she was accustomed to. We had been told over and over by our Social Workers to settle in for the long haul because she would be in our care for a long time if not permanently. We heeded that advice and made sure we were planning accordingly and preparing ourselves for the journey. Only to have it come to an abrupt halt when the judge closed the case unexpectedly and ordered her back to her birth parents.

As you can imagine we were devastated and just could not seem to wrap our heads around any of it. I called my husband, who was working out of town, to give him the news. He didn’t even get to tell her goodbye. I broken heartedly packed up our sweet baby girl and took her to the CPS office to meet with her birth mom and Social Worker. I cried for days, I just didn’t understand what had happened. We had been told by so many people that this case would take a while and would most likely end up being a permanent placement. So we began to believe that and allowed ourselves to see her in our future. After the unexpected call to return her, I needed to get away because everything in my house reminded me of her. I decided to go and stay out of town with my husband for a few days to get my head and thoughts together. Needless to say it was the hardest week I have ever walked through. On the other side of that pain though, God had so much more for me.

The following weekend we had a barbecue at our home and invited several friends over, including birth parents and our sweet girl. They came and we all enjoyed the fellowship and tried to keep our emotions in check as we laid eyes on our baby girl after a week of her being gone. Something about her was different, she cried the entire time and nothing anyone did would console her. The little light that shined in her eyes seemed to be gone and she didn’t look as curious and inquisitive as she did the week prior. She seemed sad and lost, and this broke our hearts. We were allowed to love on her and care for her while they were in our home, so we did everything we knew to do just to get a smile out of her.

After everyone had departed we were left with just our baby and her birth parents. We were trying to give them some pointers on how to care for her. We just wanted her to be happy and loved so we were giving advice and offering our help in any way. This is where God begins to show us just how powerful He is in every situation of our lives. When we were so confused about the ruling and could not wrap our minds and hearts around the situation God comes in and blows us away. They say to us that they want us to take her back for a while because they needed to get themselves straightened out and get their living situation in order before they could properly take care of her. WHAT?!?!? Did I just hear you correctly? You are asking us to take her back into our care. Without a moments hesitation we agreed and worked out all of the details. It was eventually decided that they wanted her to just stay with us so we began the adoption process once they asked us to do so.

So what does all of this have to do with starting school?

When our little girl came back to us, she was very different. She was distant and untrusting. We had to regain her trust and the bond that we had made with her, You see, she had grown accustomed to her life with us, the routine, the sounds, the smells, the schedule, the love and consistency. She was safe and secure and care free. In a moment all of that changed for her and her world was completely turned upside down and thrown into chaos. The people that was meeting all of her needs were no longer there, there was someone new. The people she had a bond with were no where to be found. She was lost in a world that she was unfamiliar with and she didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t talk to ask any questions to help her understand, all she could do was cry.

We worked extremely hard to regain that trust and build that bond back with her. We were constantly reassuring her that she was safe, but she still had that look of distrust in her eyes. Anytime someone new came around she would hide her face, she would not let anyone hold her, hug her and if you tried to touch her she would pull away. We simply could not get out of her sight without her having an absolute melt down. Which is why we could not get her in the nursery unless her sister was on the schedule. She had to have familiarity in everything she did. Even people in our lives couldn’t get close to her, she limited herself to only those that lived in our home. We began to understand that she had a very real fear that we were going to leave her again. She was terrified of being abandoned again by the only people that she knew and trusted,

It probably took us a good two years to even get her to a place of acknowledging people in our life. I remember taking her to Six Flags and she was playing on the playground area just having a ball. I was standing off to the side never once taking my eyes off of her when all of a sudden she stops in the middle of the playground and just started calling “mommy, mommy, mommy” because she had lost sight of me. It was like she was frozen and would not move until she seen me, the fear in her eyes broke my heart. I wondered if we’d ever get her to trust us again to not leave her. We had several incidents where we’d try to encourage her to allow others in without any success. Then all of a sudden it happened, she gave someone hug, she let someone get close to her, she actually acknowledged someone speaking to her and didn’t shy away from them. This healing process for her began not quite a year ago, but the past 6 months or so she has really began to come out of her shell.

We have loved watching her grow so much that we wanted to help encourage that by getting her into a school setting; where she would be able to make friends and sit under the guidance of others. This is where the title and purpose of this entire blog entry comes from. We had our very first day of school this week and she was so excited. This day is all she has talked about since I enrolled her. I was excited for her because I have seen her growth and knew that this would be good for her.

Our first day of school began super early. I got her up so that we could get her hair done, get breakfast eaten and go potty before we left home. We get to her school extra early, because Momma wanted to get pictures. We spent our extra time walking the pathway just talking and praying over her day. She wanted to talk about the trees and the flowers, but we had some good quality time together before it was time for her to go in. As we approached her classroom, her little body could hardly contain the excitement. She ran into that classroom without a moments hesitation and never once looked back. I didn’t even get a hug or a goodbye :(. I didn’t cry though, I checked to make sure I didn’t need to do anything and walked back to my truck. I sat there a minute before I drove home just trying to process driving off and leaving her for the first time since regaining her trust.

Believe it or not I did not shed one tear. I got home and began to prepare dinner as my other two babies played under my feet in the kitchen. It hit me all of a sudden, should I be sad that she didn’t say goodbye? Does she not care that I left her? Does she not love me? Y’all know how the enemy likes to play mind games. Just then in His still small voice, God spoke right to my heart. He said “my child, do you remember where she was last year? Do you recall the scared little girl that wouldn’t let anyone touch her? Have you forgotten how far she has come in her journey of healing? She is happy and carefree, she is no longer afraid of you leaving her. Of course she loves you, you are her mother and the first one she cries for when she is scared”. In that moment tears sprang to my eyes because I did know her journey and I do know what a victory it was for her to overcome that fear that was so crippling for a toddler. God reminded me in that moment that even when I feel like I am failing, I am part of her journey of healing. He helped me see that we are doing something right because she is growing in the right direction. He allowed me to feel His presence right there at my kitchen sink as He touched my heart as if to say, you are doing a good job daughter, stop being so hard on yourself.

I am certain, I have many more hurdles to overcome when it comes to this little warrior princess of mine. However, with God’s help and guidance I know we will overcome each of them. As this new journey begins, I am trusting God to cover both me and her as we navigate unfamiliar territories. I am certain that as she continues to grow this Momma’s first day of school blues won’t get any easier. I will always be proud, and my blues won’t be because I’m sad. My blues will just be because the time is passing by so fast and she will be out changing this world before I know it.

About Me:

Gossett1

Hello Beautiful People and welcome to my little corner of the world. God has placed a desire in my heart to share my story and testimony, so I am being obedient to His calling and stepping out in faith knowing that He will take care of the rest. I am praying that this blog will help bring others to a place of peace in their lives.

Let me start out by introducing my self, my name is Nikki and I am married to the most incredible man on the planet. Together we have been trusted with the lives of 6 amazing children to teach, grow, mold and lead in the ways of the Lord. As more posts are shared I will give more details about our family dynamic that will answer some questions that you all may have. I chose to name this blog: Nikki Gossett Just Mom, because I struggled with being identified as a mom since I do not have any children biologically. I do all the same things a mother does, I love them, care for them, cook for them, take care of their basic needs, correct them, support them, guide them, advise them, encourage them, pray for them etc. So why didn’t I feel like I was deserving of the title “Mom”?

That is somewhat of a loaded question because when I became a mother figure it was in December of 2012 when I married Adam. He brought into our marriage 4 beautiful children from his previous marriage and I became a “step” mom. In our family, we don’t particularly care for the term “step-mom” or “stepchildren”, so we refer to each other as a bonus mom and bonus babies. I loved these kids with everything I had, but the reality was, I would never take the place of their mom, nor did I have any desire to. So I was in the role of a mother figure but never considered myself their mom. Mother’s Day was always so confusing to me, and a day that always brought a ton of emotion and tears for me. You see I have dealt with infertility my entire adult life and not being able to conceive a child was devastating. It was extremely hard to love these kids as my own, but knowing in my heart that they were not “mine” and that I would always take a back seat to the woman that gave birth to them (as I should).

There were many nights of tears and hurt feelings and just anger and frustration that I had dealt with for 15 years already.  Adam, bless his heart, did all he could do to make me feel better, but feeling completely helpless had no idea what to do for me. We talked to an adoption agency, we discussed other options and even met with a young couple looking for someone to potentially adopt their unborn son. After we found out that the couple had decided against adoption we were back to square one and no closer to the answer we had been praying for. It was at this time that I begged God to not send anyone else to us with a potential adoption offer if it was not from Him and of Him.

It was November 2015 when we started to really seek God and His will for our lives. We began to get involved in church and surrounded ourselves with people who challenged us to grow as they prayed for us and with us. On Easter Sunday of 2016, I had a sister in Christ come to me about an unborn baby and asked if we would be interested in opening our home and heart to this child if the opportunity arose. My immediate response was “of course”, but I later had to remind myself to not get excited until I had some time alone with God to pray and remind Him of my previous request to keep all adoption possibilities at bay if they weren’t from Him.

On May 21, 2016, I rededicated my life and got rebaptized because I wanted to live my life for God and for Him only. Since that day, my world has been a whirlwind. Just 6 days after my baptism we brought the most precious baby girl into our home. It was this moment that led us to become foster parents. On this day I added another prefix to my “mom” role and became a “foster mom”. If you want to talk about an emotional roller coaster, that is a testimony you will want to catch. Fast forward to the following year 2017 on Easter weekend again, we receive a call about an unborn baby whose mom is seeking an adoptive family. We welcomed our son into the world in June of 2017 and his adoption became final in November of that same year. This is where I added another prefix to my mom role and became an “adoptive mom”.

After 18 years of desiring to become a mom, I now hold that title in a variety of ways. However, I have decided to not dwell on the prefix of “bonus, foster, or adoptive” because the reality is I am a mother, regardless of the prefix. That is what led me to the title of this blog, while I may be a bonus mom, a foster mom, and an adoptive mom … I’m still just a mom. So welcome to Nikki Gossett Just Mom, I hope my story and testimony can help you find some peace and comfort in knowing that you are not alone. If you are a step “bonus” mom I hope you can find common ground and a mutual respect to co-parent your children. If you are a foster mom, I pray for your heart and understand every ounce of emotion that you face each day. If you are an adoptive mom, I know your heart is full and the joys of motherhood are not taken for granted as you nurture the little soul that God chose for you. For those of you who are still waiting for your arms to be filled and continue to fight the battle of infertility, I especially pray for you. I completely understand your struggle and heartache. May God bless you all richly as you grow closer to Him during your times of frustration and just not understanding. One of my favorite scriptures that I stand on consistently is Isaiah 55:8-9:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Thanks for Visiting!

This is the post excerpt.

Thank You for visiting my page. It is my prayer that you can somehow find hope and comfort as you read the entries that are posted. My life is far from perfect but every ounce of pain has been with a purpose and every test has led me to a beautiful testimony.  Find peace in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles and know that you are loved without fail by a heavenly father. His grace is sufficient and it is never too late to turn your life around and live for Him. All that I am and all that I do, I do to the glory of God because He is the one that I desire to please. Please take a look at the “About Me” section for a glimpse into my “why” behind this blog.

post