The Best Laid Plans…

Back in May or June of 2012, I was thinking about how I could hardly wait to get back into writing. After finishing the George Knightley, Esquire series, I took a little break from writing. It was partly because my last brain cell had given its all for the cause, partly because I had a whole bunch of editing jobs, and partly because I had been waiting for two and a half years for our Ethiopian adoption to go through and the stress was unbelievable.


But back in June, things were looking good. The adoption was finally moving, my husband and I had taken a trip to Ethiopia to meet the children (a brother and sister, aged 7 and 3) and go to a court hearing, and we were preparing for a three-week trip to the US before I returned to Ethiopia and brought the children home. Soon, I thought, I will be able to get words on paper again. I might even be able to write while I’m in Ethiopia. At least, once we’ve been home for a week or so and things are back in order at our house, I’ll be able to spend an hour or two a day writing.




The three week trip to the States turned into a four-month stay, as there was a delay in the adoption. When we finally got back home to Ireland, I realized that I hadn’t reckoned on these children being quite so needy. Or such poor sleepers. And I had expected tantrums from the 3 year old, but not from her older brother, whose adjustment struggles were far, far greater. To my surprise, the other four children did not immediately bounce back into their pre-trip school and chore routines (did I mention that we homeschool?), and fitting the new children into a house that seemed much smaller after being in American homes was a bigger ordeal than we had thought.  Instead of having an hour or two to write each day, I’ve been lucky if I’ve run a brush through my hair at some point.


All that to say…I miss writing. I miss my characters. I miss being part of the Austen community. I hope I will get back to it all before long. Until then, I know that what I’m doing has eternal significance, and I don’t regret it at all.

I would, however, like a little more sleep.



8 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans…

  1. Donna Bailey

    Stay the course, you seem to have a good handle on the “why” you have been called to minister/raise these children. God is faithful and one day you will have your answers whether it be on this side of heaven or on the other. He does not give talents and gifts without a way to use them. Your time will come. My prayers are with you. Blessings, Donna B.


  2. Susan Kaye

    It’s nice to see your familiar “face” around JSI, Barbara. The thing I noticed about 2012 is that it was a genuinely grinding year for everyone I know. I can’t point to particular days or events–though there are many–which are responsible. The new normal in your life is settling in and writing will be added eventually.


  3. Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)

    Oh my goodness, Barbara! What an eventful year! Your strength and giving heart are very inspiring! 6 kids in one household?!? I can easily imagine have next to zero time for yourself! I hope everything settles and adjusts into a more relaxed rhythm soon! It was lovely to hear from you! Wishing you a happy and joyous 2013!


  4. janashe

    you certainly have my prayers and heartfelt best wishes! I raised 5, mostly on my own, and moved practically every year, but they were all with me from the beginning and did not suddenly have to adjust to ‘my’ way of doing things. I am sure that the young man’s sudden move to a new country has been frightening and emotional for him which also will influence his sister, but believe God will whisper peaceful assurances into his ear and on his heart. God Bless You and hang in there – we’ll be waiting for your next writing efforts!


  5. Alison

    Bless your heart, Barbara! What you are doing is far more inspiring than any story or character could bring. I have missed your writing, your blog, but knowing that you are contributing to the kingdom of God, I am completely contented and willingly and patiently await your next novel. Children will only be children for a few seemingly long short years, several blinks of an eye they will be ready to leave their nest and us, enjoy these few exhausting but rewarding years, and be assured that your sacrifices have eternal value, as you have so beautifully and accurately put it, and your faithful readers are with you, silently and spiritually, every step of the way!


  6. Sophia Rose

    All those changes would throw anyone off their game. It sounds like it will just take time. Best wishes for this new year where maybe a few windows of opportunity will open for you.


  7. Jakki L.

    Wow, Barbara! I totally commend you for having six kids, two of which are adopted, and homeschooling! I have often thought of homeschooling, but then I might be down one child before the end of the year. 😉 I do think it is all simply wonderful! What joy adopting children can bring. 🙂
    I hope things begin moving into a routine. I know life is much easier with one. Congrats on the adoption and I wish you a wonderful time with those little blessings!
    Here’s to a new year and *hopefully* finding some writing time!



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