On Evelyn.
January 22, 2014

The transition from a family of four to a family of five was hardest on Evelyn.


This is Evelyn’s signature look.  Where Charlotte was always a social and talkative, Evelyn is introspective and curious.

Earlier this week the two of us had just over two uninterrupted hours together alone.  We spent them at the park.

Evelyn has long since adjusted to her status as a middle child, but these moments alone are few and far between and we both eat them up.  Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her – standing in the yard giggling as she watches Charlotte’s antics, sitting in the swing at the park listening intently as I recite poems to her, chirping with excitement as she runs through the house, carefully picking up blueberries and savoring their taste – and I am hit with a wave of guilt and panic and frustration.

I’ll catch myself wondering what I have done to my baby.

When we welcomed our foster daughter into our family, we knew that our time and resources would be divided even further and that there would be difficulties.  Sometimes, though, knowing a thing and living that reality are vastly different.  For the first couple weeks after our placement, I frequently found myself awake at night worrying about the affect this would have on my second-born.  I missed holding her all the time, nursing her whenever the mood struck her, relishing every little change as she grew.

But once or twice a month, I find myself in the lucky position of having a few hours with only Evelyn.  Next to our foster daughter, Evelyn often seems much older and more capable than she is.  I sometimes feel like her babyhood and her toddlerhood are slipping through my fingers.  But when we’re alone I see her as she is.  I see my baby in those moments and I soak it up, memorizing every inch of her, trying hard to hold onto her sounds and silly antics.

The time passes too quickly, of course, but it is then when I can see that she’s okay.  I can see that she is doing well.


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  1. By Lynda M Otvos on January 23, 2014

    You’re a good mom, Sarah, your girls are reveling in your adoration and unconditional love. Aren’t those one-on-one hours just the most wonderfully precious memory-making moments ?~! Happy 2014.

  2. By on January 25, 2014

    Wow.  Evelyn is such a pretty little girl.  How old is she now? 

    And, even though she’s getting fewer snuggles than she might if circumstances are different, she’s learning a host of lessons about love and generosity and kindness and her world will be richer because of it.

  3. By Sarah S on January 27, 2014

    She’s beautiful! One thing i have learned is that doing our best is the best at motherhood (or at least I think so…there may be some therapy bills in the future that dispute that). I think with each kid the babyhood slips by faster and instead of all the one on one attention the first one got, subsequent ones get the joy of siblings. It’s different, but a gift all the same.

  4. By Abilene on January 28, 2014

    Her signature look is incredibly cute!

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