As mentioned in the introduction post of this series, you guys are going to get to hear many different voices during the next six weeks. I decided to send each of my friends a set of questions, and there were several of the same questions that appeared every time, and then a few specific to that person. Each blog will be posted “interview style” and my hope is that through seeing some of those same questions over and over again, you will see that each answer is different, but there’s an overarching unification. So, even though this is my blog, I wanted to answer these questions myself so that those new around here could get to know me too.
About My Family
We’re the Jordans, Jonathan, Christa, Kai, and the furry member of the family, Sirius. Jonathan and I have been married for 8 1/2 years now, and we brought our son Kai home when he was five months old from Japan. He is now 5 1/2 and full of energy and fun. Jonathan and I are both writers, but our day time jobs include him working at RightNow Media and me being a full time stay at home mom.
My Journey To Motherhood
My journey to motherhood was unconventional. I have always had a huge heart for adoption, social justice, and child welfare. There was no way I could have married someone who didn’t share my heart in those things, because I knew that adoption would be part of my motherhood. We did not come to adoption through infertility, it was simply the choice we made to grow our family. We chose international adoption first because that was the best fit for our family in that season, but I never dreamed that we would embark on a private international adoption. My journey to motherhood included a lot of unknown, a lot of waiting, a lot of being misunderstood, a lot of paperwork, more waiting, more paperwork, praying without ceasing, support from people we’ll likely never meet, generosity from others, and finally, falling madly in love with my son on the other side of the world.
My Transition Into Motherhood
I was pretty much thrown into being a mom overnight. With adoption, you never know when you are going to get a phone call, and not only did we not know when we also didn’t what gender or age-we were open from newborn to two years old, so we didn’t really know how to prepare. We had a room with a crib, but pretty much nothing else. All of a sudden we got a phone call, then 6 weeks later we were on a plane. My transition was traveling across the world, traveling by train 2 hours one way just spend a little time with our boy until we were given legal custody. He was five months old, and we were strangers to one another. My heart was completely full of love for him knowing he was mine, but attachment takes time and it is not an easy road. It was really hard to give comfort and him not know how to receive it at first. Like most moms, it included months (let’s be real, years) of sleepless nights. Honestly, the transition was a whirlwind. Those first few days together we just got a couple of hours, then had to leave to make the 2 hour trip back to our hotel. Then when he was in our care we were traveling all over Tokyo, in a country we didn’t speak the language in a government office with….you guessed more paperwork! Two plane rides, an anxious entry through customs back into the U.S., being greeted by our family and closest friends, and we weren’t even home yet.
What Our Day To Day Looks Like
This has changed so much season to season, year to year, and even day to day! Mostly it looks like waking up before Kai and sipping coffee and doing my quiet time, which is so crucial and life giving (moms-I just started doing this 2 weeks ago because we have been cosleeping up until this point so just know, there’s like at the end of the tunnel!). When Kai wakes up, we have some family time for about 30 minutes before Jonathan goes to work where we either play or read aloud whatever book we’re going through at the time. Then it’s breakfast, play, school time, more play, run errands or do a play date or some bigger outing, I get myself ready at some point during that time (or not let’s be real), Kai will get some screen time, gymnastics or Japanese depending on the day, dinner, family time (more reading or a game), then our bedtime routine. After Kai goes to bed, I do yoga and then work-housework and/or writing until 11 or 12, then finally crash in bed.
Things I’m Doing Now In Motherhood I Said I Never Would
Oh it is SO hilarious to me when I hear people say “When I’m a mom I’ll never…” I just have to laugh because, I used to say things like that and I realize now how judgmental I was before becoming a mom (sincere apology to literally every mom I ever judged at a restaurant or at Target). There’s a lot of things I’m doing now as a mom I never said I would, but the biggest thing I’m doing is homeschooling. I was vehemently against it, even just a couple of weeks before we decided to do it when Kai turned four! It is amazing to look back and see how the Lord softened my heart and tore down all the judgements and walls and misconceptions I had about it. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would choose to homeschool, and not only are we doing it we are loving it. I think a big thing for me has just been learning how to pick my battles, and realizing there are so many things I used to think were such a big deal that simply are not.
How I Balance Working From Home
If someone has found this, please let me know what it is! For me, it has just been accepting that during the week, I may not get much done and that is ok, or there may be seasons where I have to let some things go at home in order to get through a season of working extra because of an event or launch or something. My first and primary role is as a wife and a mom, and those things must come first. So when people ask me how in the world I “do it all,” my answer is simply: “I don’t.” There’s no way I can because I’m only one person, and when I tried to do it all who it hurt the most was my family and myself. So, that means I have to say no to things that other’s may find a priority, but in this season it’s just not for me. I don’t work while Kai is awake, has always been my rule, and even though he hasn’t napped in a while it’s still impossible for me to get any sort of writing done because I can’t focus with someone bouncing around me. I pretty much plan as much as I can on the weekends when Jonathan as home so I am coasting during the week. I utilize Kai’s two hour gym practices, after he goes to bed is when I’ll write, pack and ship books (or sometimes he’ll help me with that during the day), teach content or connect with others, but mostly, I escape for several hours on Saturdays to actually get work done and then Sunday night plan out all my social media posts and things like that so I can keep my priorities in line during the week. Kai knows what I do, so if there is something that he can help me with during the day, I try and involve him. I think it’s really powerful for him to understand that I am using my gifts and going after something I’m passionate about it, but that our family remains my priority. If I’m going to stay home, then I want to be home. I talk more about this in a podcast I was a guest on here.
Our Family’s Core Values & Keeping Them A Priority
Our faith in Christ is our core value, so all of our decisions come through that lens. If it doesn’t align with Him, glorify Him, or it’s not something we feel led or called to do by Him, then it’s not a priority. Everything, included our writing, is not just because we like to do it or want to be “social media famous”, we are doing it because we felt specifically led to do it-for me that includes going public on social media, blogging, and writing a book. None of that was what I really wanted to do to be honest, I just kept feeling a push to share and asking the Lord how do I marry all of my passions together in one place, and it kept coming back to this. Our time together and time in general is also a strong priority, which means saying no to things we don’t absolutely have to attend.
How We Fight For Our Marriage
We have been through so many trials in our 8.5 years. I think the biggest thing we do is always be honest with each other even when it’s not pretty, and also giving each other space to do what we love. I think this blog sums it up pretty well actually.
Things I Do For My Mental Health
I was terrible at self care up until recently. I am going to be doing a series on this this summer because I think it is that important, but for me it is journaling and making sure I’m spending time with the Lord daily, daily yoga, and time by myself.
The Biggest Thing I’ve Learned As A Mom
I won’t always have all the answers, and that is ok, even when it’s hard. I have to answer my son more with “I don’t know” because I didn’t carry him in my womb. I don’t have a birth story or know that much what his life was like before he came to us. There are so many questions about birth family I wish I could answer but don’t have them. On top of that unknown with adoption and trying to walk with and navigate that with a child trying to heal and make sense of such a deep, profound loss, there have been plenty of times in my five years as a mom where I have looked at a season or situation and just literally don’t know what to do. In those weeks and months of feeling helpless, the best thing I have done is to say “this is bigger than me” and sought help from a professional. That is probably the hardest lesson and thing I have ever done as a mom, to know that what I’m doing despite all of my best efforts and research and seeking and trying-when they aren’t working I have to humble myself and say “What I’m doing isn’t enough or it’s simply not meeting his needs. Can you please help us?” But, as difficult as that is for me, it’s also the best thing I’ve done for him and for us. I won’t get it right or perfect, and that’s ok because He is enough.
What Motherhood Means To Me
Motherhood means the joy of sacrificial love. It isn’t always easy, but it is an absolute honor and privilege to care for, love, teach, and be entrusted with a little soul. For me, I know that not only did God entrust me with Kai, so did his first mom. There was a woman who came before me, and I share motherhood with her even though we’ve never met, and I don’t know if we ever will. It is so much more than a title, it is this deep, fire within that cannot be explained. Motherhood means a constant pouring out of your cup, putting your needs last joyfully not because you don’t matter, but because you are the adult, and everything you do is molding and shaping those children in front of you. Motherhood is a constant act of service, filled with heart breaking moments as we help our children sift through the brokenness of this world they were born into, and joy filled moments as we watch the constant pouring out be filled up in our children as they are growing into young men and women-the next generation. Motherhood means surrender, surrendering all the things we cannot control and asking the Lord to fill in the many gaps that I cannot with His grace and understanding. It is the hardest, most beautiful, best job.