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Learning to Live in Our New Normal

I can proudly say, for Adeline's sake, that today I am not sobbing as I type this. In fact, I didn't sob when I went to bed last night and I am not sobbing when I wake up. I am finally coming to some type of acceptance that this new normal, that doesn't feel normal at all, is our life. I know that Adeline would not want me to sit and mourn her and be sad all of the time. Adeline loved her brothers and sister so much. She wanted everyone to laugh and be happy and was such a light in our lives. I want to keep that flame lit and be the light that she wants us to be.


I would still literally give everything that I own and everything that I will ever own and everything that is a part of me to have my sweet baby girl back. However, I know deep within my soul that for some reason it was her time to go. There have been too many signs that have pointed at things and there is a peace within me that I know that it was time for her to go and be with Jesus, even if it would have never been the time that I wanted her to go. I would have never let her go had I known.


Yesterday, we had our new normal. Huxley came home, which helped me so much, I don't think that I can have all of the kids gone for a while. I was way too upset with all of them gone and I was having major anxiety thinking about them being gone at the same time. I am fine with just one child home with me, but I can't fathom being away from all of them again for a while. It was just too hard and stirred up too much anxiety within me.


When Huxley got home, Shane went to get movies for us to watch together. Huxley and I enjoyed a game of dominoes with his new K-State dominoes set. It was really fun to play with him and to enjoy some time just being mom again to my little man. I actually smiled yesterday, experienced joy again, all the while with a hole that has been ripped from my beating heart. It was surreal in a way to be happy and yet so sad at the same time. However, I am learning. I am getting there and I know that these baby steps that I am taking will take me to the place that I need to be where I can look back at all of our memories of Adeline and smile rather than cry. That will just take some more time.



After we played dominoes, we watched "The War with Grandpa" and "Bill and Ted's Face the Music."


Huxley and I talked a little about Adeline while he cuddled the puppy. He told me that things could never right be again without Adeline here. It was so heartbreaking to hear my 11-year old talk about how much he missed his baby sister, the very baby sister that he was always so proud of.


From the day that Adeline was born, Huxley has always been an amazing big brother. I can still hear his little voice asking to hold "it."

Moving forward is so painful because at times it feels like you are moving on. I think that this is the struggle that I feel internally. How do I make a happy life for my three other children while still keeping Adeline alive in spirit around us? How do I put on a happy face and smile while I am still so sad? It feels like I am going on living without her, which is the hardest thing to do...but then I know inside that she would have wanted us to live. It's all just a surreal and heartbreaking experience and being a mom who has lost a child is like being a part of a club that you never wanted to join.


Later Tyler came over and we all played Phase 10 Twist together. It was fun to enjoy a game with Shane, Sherry, Tyler, and Huxley, even though in the back of my head it felt so wrong to have fun without her.


Then I got in some snuggles with Huxley. My heart was breaking as I cuddled him, remembering the last time that I got to cuddle Adeline. However, it was so comforting to have him in my arms and to snuggle with him for a bit.


Now, I want to share a little recent story about Adeline. Something that I did not understand at the time, but am so glad that I felt like I should do it.


Each year Shane and I would get a new ornament for the kids. We would put the ornaments on the tree the next year. The kids would go through their ornament boxes and could choose the ornament that they wanted to put on the tree. Shane always decorated with the kids because he could just let them have fun and do it without the stress of trying to make things look a certain way like I did. It always turned out great and had become a special tradition and special way for him and the kids to bond. I hope that this tradition continues even without our baby girl.


This year I had a weird desire to give the kids a present early and decided to give them their ornaments. I had went with funny blown glass ornaments this year. Adeline had gotten a unicorn pool float (I told her to remind her of the awesome summer that she had with her own unicorn pool float.), Huxley a taco, Shane a piece of pizza, Andrew a piece of bacon, Althea an avocado, and myself a stack of books. I can still hear the giggles as I handed out the ornament. What I wouldn't give to hear those giggles again.


That is one thing about the family that we were, the house that we had....it was filled with lots of love and laughter. We giggled and played and laughed all of the time.

I just had to share this adorable picture of Adeline dressed up with the Christmas spirit at my mom's house. This was my baby girl. So full of life, so full of love, so full of pure joy. This is the Adeline that I want to share with the world.


The thing about the ornament is that Adeline was sooooo insanely excited to open a gift early. She had just had her birthday and was never a HUGE give me type of person, so at the time it was odd to me that she was so excited for the ornament. Now I know that she likely knew that something would happen before Christmas and she just wanted to experience part of the Christmas holiday, part of the Christmas magic. (The magic is the biggest struggle that I have with Christmas. She was our reason for doing the Elf on the Shelf. She was our reason for believing in Santa. All of the magic seems gone now that she is gone.)


Now, I need my online friends and community's help.....please!!! I had purchased this ornament for Adeline and I need to find someone who is willing to sell this ornament to me to have and cherish for the rest of my life. It was the last thing that I had ever given to her, the very last gift that I will ever give to her. I need one and I need it so bad. I am begging you, please if anyone is willing to part with this ornament that was purchased at Target, my email is awalto2@ilstu.edu. Please reach out to me.




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