Stand up straight, young lady!

I’m sitting in a big comfy chair, slouching over my laptop, and thinking about an experience from a few days ago…

As I steered my cart down the next aisle of the neighborhood grocery store, I found myself behind a little old lady hunched over her shopping cart.  At least I thought she was a little old lady.  She was bent over, had a hump on her back, and was moving veeeery slowly.  The voices of my mother and grandmother simultaneously popped in my head, “Stand up straight, young lady!”  As I walked around the lady standing taller than I even knew I could, I realized that she was much younger than I had assumed.  There are probably no more than 16 or 17 years between our ages.

I’m sure that there were issues with her spine that led to the hump on her back and her posture, but I have found myself overtly aware of my posture and crazy curious about her life circumstances in the days since we crossed paths.  I keep thinking that maybe she had such a heavy load of burdens in life that she never could manage to stand up straight.

1 Peter 5:7 is a verse that I memorized so long ago that I can’t exactly remember when.  It says, Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”  I’m just going to be real.  Giving up my worries and cares is a lot easier said than done.

Remember the first time they let you mix stuff in chemistry lab?  Remember adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that and pouring a little out and then adding a little more?  Remember that excited/anxious feeling you had while you were waiting for the concoction in your beaker to explode (or at least foam over the top)?  Yep…  my body is a chemistry experiment.

In the last 2 years I’ve been on 5 different doses of synthroid.  In that same amount of time I’ve gained 30 pounds.  Lost it.  Then gained it back.  Plus an extra 5 for good measure.  Oh, I forgot to mention that the whole fat-Kaci/skinny-Kaci roller-coaster ride has happened without really changing how I eat or how often I exercise.

For the record, I kinda want to slap people who say that I had “the good kind of cancer”.  Yes, thyroid cancer is highly curable.  It also just happens to make you fat.  I’m a girl.  There is absolutely nothing “good” about losing all control over the size and shape of my body.

Thanks to the instability of military medicine, while on my 2 year roller coaster ride, I’ve had FOUR different endocrinologists.  Each of them has a different plan for how to make my weight and hormone levels stable and none have been successful. The one that I’m currently assigned to (but have never actually seen) called me last week to tell me that my hormone levels have jumped more than 300% since October.  He scheduled a neck ultrasound and then told me that he’ll be moving by the end of June, so I’ll have to see someone else if I actually want the results of said ultrasound.  Just lovely.

Like I said, I am a chemistry experiment.  And most days I feel like I’m in the hands of a bunch of high school sophomores who are waiting to watch me explode.

Then there’s Sofija.  For the last three years, I think I’ve done a fairly good job of focusing on all of her successes and maintaining hope that she will continue to progress emotionally, behaviorally, and academically.  The last 7 or 8 months have made the job of remaining positive and hopeful a little daunting.  While she continues to amaze us with her ability to acquire knowledge, her ability to control her anxiety, behaviors, and impulsivity, has scared the crap out of us.  She’s been suspended for kicking teachers in the head TWICE.  She’s run away more times than we can count.  She’s gotten out of her seat in the car and jumped on me while I was driving, nearly causing an accident. For the record, we have a new buckle guard that for now she can’t get out of.   She has broken a bedroom window with her hand, destroyed furniture, an ipad, an ipod touch, a laptop, and put more holes in her walls than I could possibly keep count of.  For a while she was stealing all of our electronics/phones and hiding them in her closet to play with during the night.  She went two whole months without sleeping more than 4 hours at night, which means nobody else in the house got sleep ~ we were a joyful bunch for those couple of months.

While in the middle of trying to find new strategies to help her AND give it to God, Sofija had IQ testing done at school.  She did not do well.  Everything about the testing was a setup for failure (psychologist she’d never met, in an unfamiliar environment, on a day where her anxiety was already through the roof), but it’s really hard to remind myself of that when I look at the score on the piece of paper that says “Intellectual Disability”.  In the middle of her huge regression she underwent all of her eligibility evaluations that allow her to receive special education services at school.  Not only did Dear Hubby and I get to sit and listen to the psychologist go over her very low IQ testing last week, we also had the pleasure of sitting down this week with the entire IEP team to hear how poorly she scored in almost every area.  She did amazing in spelling.  Don’t get me wrong, I was a spelling bee champ in elementary school and I watch the National Spelling Bee like LSU and Alabama are playing for the national championship in college football.  But in a world where spell-check and auto-correct are at your fingertips, I’m sure the ability to spell all of the ingredients in her dinner will be useful in helping her overcome all of her other challenges.

I’ve been composing a post for the last two weeks on the hard stuff you face when adopting a child who’s been neglected and institutionalized.  I hope to finish it this weekend.  I LOVE adoption.  I LOVE Sofija.  I love hearing about other families adopting and encouraging those who are in the process.  In my writing, my hope is that I find a way to be completely honest about the hard stuff without scaring the crap out of anyone who is in the adoption process.  I haven’t published said post because I’ve had a hard time finding that balance.

While processing the realities of my youngest baby girl’s limitations this week, I’ve been addressing graduation announcements and preparing a graduation celebration for my oldest baby girl.  I’m sure that I’ll dedicate a whole post to her in the next two weeks, but while I’m giving all my cares to God, I just needed to mention that it’s pretty stinkin’ hard to launch your child out into this big bad world.

In addition to my absent thyroid, Sofija’s issues and the pain of watching my first-born take orbit, my dear hubby is walking through a really tough season is his life.  He’s still dealing with the crappy situation/investigation that started at work 18 months ago and he’s nearing the end of his career without any real certainty about what comes next. The man has put on a uniform every morning since he was 14 years old.  When introducing himself his military rank always comes before his name.  Being a soldier is who he is.  Soon that will change.  I pray that the change is not too painful.  And God, while you’re giving him a painless transition to civilian life could you let the truth be known and redeem that whole investigation mess.  Thanks.

1 Peter 5:7  “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

I know that God cares about me.  Heck, he healed me of cancer.  And, as my husband reminded me this week, my healing is forever, not just a few years.

I also know that I DO NOT want to be hunched over my shopping cart and having people think I’m much older than my actual age at any time in my future.  Which probably means I need to lighten the load I’m carrying on my back.

God, I’m giving up the following worries.  Do your thing and lighten my load.

1. the fat-Kaci/skinny-Kaci roller coaster ride and what’s causing my TSH to bounce around like a rubber ball

2. my littlest baby girl running away/hurting someone/hurting herself/hurting me

3. what that baby girl’s future looks like

4. my biggest baby girl finding the path in this world that God created for her

5. my hubby’s identity and future (which is kinda the same as my future)

6. this stinkin’ poison ivy that keeps spreading

Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Yes, please.

God, feel free to lighten my load.


A not so young lady who really wants to stand up straight for many years to come.



One thought on “Stand up straight, young lady!

  1. Drew Clanton

    2 COR 1: 20…. God’s Word and Promises over you and Chad and family are “YES and AMEN (So shall it be done).”

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