Moving Forward from a Bad Year


Moving Forward from a Bad Year | Duluth Moms Blog

It’s dark out. The glow of the laptop is the only light shining. My husband and dog are somehow tandem snoring. Somewhere I am sure there is a study about that being “a thing.” It’s a thing in our house. They either both go at it like chainsaws or its blissfully quiet. The snoring is a blessing however. Total silence would mean loneliness. But what I long for is to hear a cry. Not my own. But of a small person who needs comforting. 

You may start to think I am being utterly nutty by now. There’s always a strong chance of that. But I am longing for the cry of children who I have not had the honor of parenting. The loss of them will always echo in my heart. But a dark night is when I hear that echo louder. It gets squashed by yelling and cheering 2nd graders. By barking dogs and drivers who need a remedial course in merging.  

In a world where we are starting to allow ourselves to talk about hard things, I am glad. Very glad. I wrestle a lot with writing for a Mom Blog, when I don’t actually have any children. I mean, the act of motherhood DOES happen to have a few requirements right? Like, kids? When Duluth Moms Blog, as an idea, started forming, and my involvement was potential, I didn’t know what to say, since, you know, no kids? But then it was made clear to me- I may not have had the opportunity or blessing of parenting yet- and yes- still hopeful! But my heart has been broken in a very specific way- by the children I could have had. 

2016 was a rough year in our household. It had nothing to do with the politics and the tensions that the nation as a whole was dealing with. The roughness was smaller than national issues, but it was bigger to us. Our adoption journey has been rocky for sure, and I cannot wait to share that whole story with you when we get an ending. Right now we are in chapter 10 and not sure how long the book is. We really are trying not to dwell on the past. I promise! But also, I feel that the whole “just ignore the past because it can’t help you” is a lie. I’m in the “learn from your mistakes” camp, even if they weren’t technically mistakes, you can still learn from them and improve your future. So we will look back on this hard year. We will learn, modify, adapt, grow stronger, and change. But we will still grieve and cry, wallow a little, and maybe eat just a little too much ice cream. It happens. Vanilla based ice cream with some kind of chocolate mixed in? YES. 

Bringing that rabbit trail back to this, I feel a purpose to all this longing and waiting. Hopefully, the purpose is kids! It might be to share the whole story with you when we have a conclusion even if it’s not happily ever after. Hopefully we’ll all chuckle at the misconceptions of parenting I have and won’t get rid of until kids show up. But until then, my heart will carry that very confusing hope and hurt. I may not fit into subgroups very well right now, but I am learning so much from this amazing community. One that has welcomed me with great kindness and also optimism that I often need! There’s been no judgment or exclusion. How sweet is that? The “only grown in my heart” momma being included by the “real-deal” mommas. Love it. Love you! 

The moonlit sleepless nights still turn into daylight. And each time they do is a time to try again, to be brave, and to love hard. 

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Alyssa Holmstrom
Creative, always pondering and thinking, Alyssa Holmstrom loves the beautiful landscape Duluth has to offer. Reading a book, walking her beloved dog, cooking, or spending time with her strong and loving husband of six years, Todd are favorite pastimes of Alyssa's. Alyssa loves spending time with her friends. Her friends are so very important: making them laugh and drinking lots of coffee are her favorite ways to unwind! They are a true gift and bring much joy to her life! Walking together through infertility and adoption, they are enjoying their 2.5 year old toddler, and expecting another child early 2019.


  1. Alyssa,
    Thank you for sharing this blog post…i’m not a mom either actually a single woman living in Iowa…but I’ve been through a season of loneliness as well & I sure do what you writing about with being in the “learning from your mistakes” camp & not sure how long a season will last/

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