Day 28 of #nationaladoptionmonth // How I care for myself...Life is exhausting. Period. Throw in the stress that comes with foster care and adoption, and burn-out may be just around the corner. The most stressful years for me were from 2014-2017. We constantly had case workers in and out of our lives. We also had two amazing little boys, and a lot of unknowns about the future. I think the unknowns were hardest for me, and the emotional stress began to manifest itself in my physical body. My body began to change, and my health was really poor. I would have short moments to care for myself and find refreshment, but they were rarely long enough to get me to the next time that I could sneak away and read in a coffee shop alone (one of my favorite things to do). Since Zay left, along with all the case workers, court dates, and appointments, I’ve been able to spend more time caring for myself. I began exercising again and regained some of my physical and emotional health from previous years. My stress is significantly lower as I’ve become mindful of my thoughts and actions throughout the day. I guess it helps that we’ve been free of case workers for 18 months now (and it feels so good). Our family is finally in a season of quiet and I’m able to write again, sneak away for a few hours when Adam is home, and focus a little more on myself than I used to. I know I can’t be a good wife and mom without filling my own cup from time to time. A note of encouragement to those currently involved in foster care and adoption: If you’re feeling weary today, take heart. There is hope, and you are not alone. Christ, who has overcome the world, is eager to take your burden and carry it for you. I have experienced freedom from the guilt that crushes me and the exhaustion that cripples me as I make parenting mistake after mistake. Christ is ready and willing to take these burdens from us. I need to remind myself of this truth often.