HERE is my blog from the days before she came home. I said:
Sunday night, we will bring Asha home to a place that she will never see. She will never hear the barking of our other dogs, the hissing of our cats, the lawnmower, the trash truck, the vacuum. She won't hear us call her name or see how we look at her when we disapprove of what she has done. She will experience her home in a completely different way than the rest of us. But she will know love. We all will. Welcome home Ahsa....you have no idea what great things lie ahead of you.
HERE is my blog from the days after. I said:
She is pure love, unfiltered joy and abundant life.
We are so blessed to have her as a part of our family.
I also said:
We know that once she starts sleeping through the night, we will all feel better.
Hopefully that comes soon.
One year later and we still aren't sleeping through the night!
Looking back over this last year, it is a nothing short of a miracle that we have survived with any of our sanity intact. This has, without a doubt, been the most difficult year of my life. All my strength, patience, courage and dedication has been tested. I have felt like a failure, I have felt hopeless and helpless. I have wondered how I would ever make it through the day. I have wondered if my marriage would survive. I have regretted the decision to adopt Asha and wondered if we were the right ones to raise her.
I can proudly say that we have made it. We hit rock bottom and built from there. We came out of the darkness and are moving into the light. We have hope for the future and happiness in the now. We are not done, not by a long shot, but we have peace. And that is something I wasn't sure we would ever have as long as she was alive.
Trevor and I don't fight, we never have. This past year, that changed. We felt so much stress and strain and that ended up being pointed towards each other, more than I would have liked. At one point, I said "do you think we'll make it" and Trevor said "It never occurred to me that we wouldn't". That is one of the best things he has said to me in all our 12 years together. No matter how bad things got, I knew that we were in it together and I knew that somehow it would be okay.
Through it all, we have loved our girl. We have loved that Asha with every ounce of our being. Even when I was broken and lost, I would look at her face and my heart would melt. Deep down, I knew we were her only chance.
We have gotten so much help over the last year, that's been well documented on my blog. That has saved us. And I tell those people all the time that Asha is alive because of them. And that is the truth.
Today, I was telling a friend I haven't seen in a while about our year. While I was relating all that has transpired, it hit me - just how bad it was and just how much better it is now. I would say that we are about as close to normal as we may ever get. Asha may never stop her running and barking, but it is tolerable (most of the time). She may never sleep through the night, but it is tolerable (most of the time). When I look at all our other pets, they are not perfect, none of us are. We all have things that are annoying, things we are working on. That's what family is all about - loving each other despite our imperfections.
For a long time, home was not a good place. I didn't want to go home, I would stay away as long as I could. I would arrive home and sit in the garage because I knew that once I was inside, all hell would break lose. That's not the case anymore.
I remember the first day that I was at work and actually thought "I can't wait to get home to see Asha". That was when things started to change. I love going home and finding her sound alseep, then when she wakes up, she runs to find me. Once she finds me, I sit on the floor and she lays down with me while I pet her belly and ask her about her day.
She loves us and she knows that we love her. She is our family. I look at her and I know that she has changed me forever. I will never be who I was before she came into my world. We have met so many people and had so many opportunties because of her. I feel a sense of meaning and purpose that I never felt before - like taking care of Asha is what I was born to do.
I know that the amount of joy Asha brings to our life is much greater because of the road we traveled to reach this point. It has not been easy...not at all. But I can't think of anything else that has ever been so worth it.