By Dawn Gotreaux
It seems as though marriage and adoption go hand in hand; however, the two can rub as friction and instead of being the momentum, it can be devastating. How does it happen? How does one avoid it, affecting the marriage in a negative way?
Brian and I have been married 31 years. We were married 10 years before the Lord added children to our family of two. Ten years, we catered to ourselves and each other. Needless to say, we were ready to welcome that child into our dynamics. The first two weeks, it was like a honeymoon phase where the long nights and exhausting days of catering to our new baby boy was simply bliss. We soon discovered that we needed to accept a new normal for our lives which included the needs of this sweet baby.
Our family grew quickly. We had six children, five years old and under. It was grand! Brian did his part and I did mine and we fell into bed happily exhausted after a full day of life. We were lonesome, though, for each other’s full attention. Someone suggested having a “date night.” Oh, that sounded delightful, but just who would have the energy and bravery for our crew? We did find an energetic young lady that we could count on about twice a year (thank you Sarah!) So, we knew that we would have to figure out other ways.
When our children were young, 10 years old and under, Brian and I would have “couch time” where we could sit and talk for an hour without being disturbed and they would play in their rooms or quietly close by. It worked, believe it or not. It was calming for all of us and much needed. Most evenings during the week, we had “couch time.” Brian and I looked forward to being able to communicate and talk about all parts of his day and my day.
As our children matured and needs changed, we needed to adjust. It seemed every three months I was having to regroup to keep up with everyone’s needs including mine and Brian’s. The marriage was and still is the children’s biggest stability. I needed Brian’s energy and mindset just as much as he needed mine. We would need to keep this to stay solid in the coming years. To be continued…