“Can I have so many more adventures with you guys? Because I love adventures”

I have talked here and there about the need for self-care in this work (and honestly any other). We cannot and will not be the adults we need to be if we do not take time for ourselves. This time can seem impossible. Very, very impossible. So we need to take every advantage we can and make the effort to fit it into our crazy lives.

Earlier this year I made the decision to take advantage of an opportunity to spend 17 days in Hawaii with Mr. J. We still weren’t sure about who was going to be in the house when we booked but I decided I could live my life waiting for what ifs and if I had the chance to take the trip of my life, I was all in.

Throughout the past few months of court dates things got more stressful. Would chipmunk have to leave while we were gone? Will I have to pack her up the minute I get home? What the hell is even happening??

With a newly scheduled court date right before we left that landed on day 5 of vacation I knew the first few days would be a struggle for me to stay present and out of my head. But we camped for 4 days on a black sand beach. If nothing else (besides the swimming in lava tubes and walking the ancient king’s trail) it cleared my head to be ready for the call.

The call came on Monday, all testimony is complete and the final decision is set for the 21st. I’m clear to enjoy the rest of my trip knowing chipmunk is at home with the greatest foster grandmom of all time (there really aren’t words to describe the importance of my mother in this). We spent the rest of our days exploring everything the Big Island had to offer. We didn’t leave much out and took every opportunity to take an adventure and try something new. The 3 “make you reevaluate life” moments I had were: taking the summit to the top of Mauna Kea, not a cloud in the sky, feeling like you were touching space; staring up at the waterfall in the Waipio valley feeling so insignificantly small; swimming with manta rays right before leaving can only be described in one word, majestic.

The world is so much bigger than we are. Mother Nature is so much more powerful than we are. We must respect that and learn to live in a way that is mindful of this. Put everything away. Be present, GO OUTSIDE, explore everything this remarkable planet we call home has to offer.

Chipmunk asked us yesterday if she could have “so many more adventures” with us. It nearly rocked me to my core. Hours before I received news that court was postponed and her relative’s ICPC had been approved. Transition process will begin soon unless the judge decides differently next week.

Luckily, I’m mentally recharged to take on what will surely be some of the toughest times. I know I’ll be a mess but I’m most worried about her and pulling her away from this life we have given her. I’m done questioning if I’ve done enough in the time that she’s been with us. I’m confident she knows what love is, what happiness is, what family is, what friendship is, and that she is smart, beautiful, kind and can be whatever she puts her mind to.

Just another bump on the rollercoaster but I’m present with a clear mind and full heart and we’re ready to take it on.

Until then, all the light and love.