Thursday, June 30, 2011

in process part 6

well for starters, no real news to report. we are still waiting. waiting, but quite pateniently i might add. having three kids gives me little time to think about much else. but at least once a day, i'll find myself thinking about him. whether its when i'm folding laundry, or rocking tali to sleep, or praying with the kids before bed, somehow, someway our son comes to mind. when i think about him, i feel a surge of happiness and contentment fully trusting (today at least) that god's will will be done and he will bring him home in his due time.  as far as news from ethiopia, it appears the adoptions are still going strong and the slowdown they predicted a few months back seems to be much better than they thought.  after that news i think i kind of began preparing myself for the what if.  i know as excited as i am, there is still a part of me that wants to hold back a little knowing that the unknown is very much a real thing.  it's funny though, cuz when i try and talk about it with b, he seems unfazed.  every so often he'll just ask me and the kids out of the blue what our et son is doing right now.  oz usually ventures he might be playing on his ipad.  oh the ignorance of privileged american children....

i was going through my adoption journal the other day and came across this entry.  kind of gives you birds eye view into the homestudy portion of our process.

10/13/10-- well we met with our social worker for the first time yesterday. it went really well. i honestly had no idea what to expect. this whole process feels a lot like we are just blindly fumbling our way along. perhaps that's why sometimes i feel defensive about people's reaction. but i can't tell you how encouraging it is to be with people that really understand... and know. people like this woman. she was really great, you could tell that she really LOVES kids and they are always her first priority. she asked us a bunch of questions, one in particular that everyone thinks but only some dare to ask. 
'so, as you know your son will be african, as in he will have black skin. he will look very different than the rest of your family. how do you feel you will be able to handle people's comments and stares?' 
since i was consciously trying not to answer every question and allow b to talk, i tried to defer to him. it was then we i realized in a lot of ways that b grew up in a similar way.   as some of you know, b's brother is developmentally disabled. he was born 3 months premature and has hydrocephalus, mild autism, and mild cerebral palsey. he's a great guy, loves soda, farts, facial hair and music. a real crowd pleaser to say the least.  but it goes without saying that he was very different than most of b's friends siblings.  as i heard b began to explain to this woman how aware he has always been of people staring and off-hand comments, it made me realize in a lot of ways he is more prepared for an african son than i thought.   it also helped me understand why it is that b could seriously care less what people think of him (often to a fault in my opinion). but seriously, as someone who has always cared to much about what people think, it's trippy for me to think about. as he continued to speak about his experience with dustin as a brother, so much became clear.  ever since i've known b, he's never been embarrased or made excuses for his brother. he is able to accept all of him fully.  and that in itself is such a feat.  
i can't tell you how often i feel the need to make excuses for my kids.  for their behaviour, their clothes, their shortcomings.  when i get down to the root of it, its totally pride.  i want my kids to give off the image that they are great, happy well adjusted kids.  kids who eat all their vegetables anything, kids who are polite, kids who have a good attitude and can get over things fast.  but the reality is, they continually fall short of these things.  its been so humbling for me to have kids that are not people pleasers.  they in a lot of ways like their father could care less what people think.  finally, i have  reason to feel thankful for this.  for when their brother does come and they get those snarky comments about his skin color, they can just get their rude on and for once i'll be proud of it.
lily started kindergarten a couple months back. they say time will start to fly by. i can't wait to write those words about our son. 
he will start kindergarten some day, with us. here, in our town, in our home. it will be just as hard to let him go, but again the reminder- they are more god's than ours, and today i am so thankful for that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

summer hell

for most of us summer means sun, vacations, relaxation and poolside bbq's. i can barely recall, but i'm pretty sure there was a time in my life where this applied to me.

however, these days summer means something entirely different.   no sun, just fog, no relaxing cuz there is no school, and as for the pool, all that i'll be doing near a pool is listening to my children scream their way through swim lessons. but worst of all, all three of my kids are home all day.
seriously, i can't even begin to comprehend how this is going to look.

i know, i know. i'm being super dramatic. heck, all kinds of crazy moms stay home with their kids all year long-- its called homeschooling, and undoubtedly my own private hell. after having my first kid in school the whole year, i honestly can't imagine life without dropping her off everyday for 4 sweet hours.  props to you mom who stays home all day and loves it.  no joke, i'm seriously considering a part time job just to get away...

in all seriousness though, i really am having some anxiety about having to be home alone with them all day.  i never thought i would say two kids is easy!  any combination of my two  is easy.  its when all three are together that i start to unravel.  i've come to terms with the work part of it all.  one of my life slogans is 'why stand when you can sit, and why sit when you can lay down.'  yet i've come to terms with this.  i never sit.  ever.  and if i do, i'm folding laundry.  and if, for some strange moment, all my kids are occupied and i do sit down, i literally fall asleep within 5 minutes.  and then as soon as i've been asleep for 45 seconds, someone needs their butt wiped, or tali falls off the kitchen table, or lily can't find that one pair of shoes.  and then i'm so mad, cuz i was sleeping and someone woke me up.  and then i'm grumpy cuz i'm tired and want more than anything to just check out.  so the moral of the story is, i never sit down from 7:30-5:30.  that's the only way to ensure i won't rage on my kids, actually there's really no way to ensure that.

yet i digress...  so if it's not the busy part of having three kids, what is so hard?  one word.  fighting.  my older two fight all day long.  and it's a long day.  i've tried everything-- ignoring it, intervening as soon as it gets tense, and every manner of discipline, but nothing works.  the constant tension just makes all of us on edge.  it's some bad juju in this house and it can feel so suffocating.

but if i'm really honest, perhaps the hardest part of all of it is just feeling like i'm failing.  this is my job, and i kind of suck at it.  i am so thankful to be able to stay at home with my kids.  i love that i get to take and pick them up every day from school, that when they are sick, i'm there.  i love not missing anything in their lives.  it is such an honor and privilege to have this calling.  and trust me you know you're failing when you start praying things like, 'lord i pray they won't remember this day, or this hour or this summer...'  i want so bad to be good at what i do and raise happy, healthy, god fearing, loving children.  i don't want people to think gosh she sure complains a lot, why did she have so many kids if all she does is complain....  and then the adoption--- it seems so much more intense then just having four bio kids.  i'm actively choosing and advocating for this child, bringing him into a home that's full of love and a place where he is wanted.  i mean, i really have got to have it together.  the stakes seem so much higher...

so i guess what i'm saying is, thanks for letting me vent.  if you have any ideas besides drinking in the daytime, don't hesitate to enlighten me.  but most of all, please don't judge me, just pray for me this summer.  pray for me when you find yourself  lounging poolside, reading people and drinking a margarita.  i'll be folding laundry... standing up.

yup, this is what i'm up against.