Monday, May 31, 2010

too many "What if..."s

Sometimes I have to stop and question my sanity. I guess that means I am sane because the crazy people never stop to ask themselves if they are crazy, right?

This adoption process seems to be a little like being pregnant for the very first time. You have all these questions, you know how it goes for most people but you also know that there are so many uncertainties. You know that even if you do everything right, something awful may still happen. Even with all these things racing through your head, you are still so stinkin excited that you can't stand it. You imagine what your children will look like, what their personalities are, how they will fit into and change your family. You can't wait to meet them. You actually ache for the day that you will hold them in your arms.

But still...

Can I handle this? What if I can't?

Is this really what God wants us to do? What if it's not?

Am I really going to be able to help them? What if I can't do enough?

Are we nuts for wanting so many kids? What if something happens to us?

That's the one that got me. The other day I made mention that I had gathered up a whole box of "Wiggles" and other children's videos that I'm going to put in the yard sale we are doing to raise money for the home study. A good friend of mine heard me and said, "But aren't you going to need them again if you are adopting?" I replied with, "I don't think they will be young enough to want to watch them." She questioned, "They? Are you adopting more than one?" She then proceeded to tell me about a conversation that she had had with an adoption professional. (She and her husband had considered adopting at one point.) Evidently, the person had given her something to think about. I can't remember the exact wording but it went something like this: You have to really consider how many children you want because if something were to happen to you, you wouldn't want them split up. There are very few people who are willing to take in and raise large sibling groups. She said that had stuck with her. They have two (now grown) beautiful daughters. She also went on to tell me that they did, in fact, witness this actually happen. They have friends who, in their mid-thirties, died in a tragic automobile accident. They left behind five children under the age of five. No one in the family was willing to take all five of them so one family took the twins while another family took the three. She said to me that it broke her heart. She didn't think that she could have done that and that if it were her, she'd have taken all of them or none of them. She was very sad that they had to be split up.


Well, DH and I have talked about what if something happened to both of us. We have a guardianship planned out. We have life insurance so that the money would not be an issue in taking care of them. We have a plan... so why did it affect me so much?

There are so many what ifs. There are so many things that *could* go wrong. There are so many awful possibilities. After much thought and prayer, I realized the 'what if's don't matter. Now, don't think I'm so naive as to think that we are immune from tragedy. That because we are doing something really good and following God's leading---we will somehow be protected from the horrors of this world. It's not that at all. It's that I KNOW we can make a difference in these kids lives. I KNOW that God will provide us with the strength, patience (that's a big one for me), empathy, love, money, and abilities that we need to help these kids. I KNOW that our lives will be blessed having known them. I KNOW that being with us will alter their futures. Those are the things I KNOW. So many things *might* happen tomorrow. Then again, they might not. I can prepare for the worst, but I can not waste time worrying about what might happen. There is just too much work to be done. So now, I must set about my Father's business.

Oh, and something funny about the conversation with my friend. It actually didn't occur to me until much later, when the panic was over. When I had put the worrying away, I got to thinking about that story she told, about the five kids. What she didn't know is that at our agency, there is a LONG list of kids who are waiting to be matched with a family. She didn't know that is why we picked this agency, to take a child that's been waiting. She didn't know that on that list is a set of five sisters. She didn't know that before I even found this agency, I found those girls. She didn't know that I have felt inexplicably drawn to these girls. She didn't know that after I initially saw their listing, it was edited to become two siblings groups. The girls had been split up (by the government of the country they are in) to become sibling group of two and a sibling group of three so that they might be adopted faster. She didn't know how my heart was broken for these girls when I saw that. How I thought, "Somebody needs to adopt them all together!"

She couldn't possibly have known that I've now been wondering:

"What if that somebody is us?"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm up and running now!

DH has been gone for almost a week now. I knew I would need about a week to "mourn" so we cancelled school for this week. No aruguments from the troops. We just focused on being together and enjoying each other. Until we had to get staples in DS2's head. And today I woke up with a killer headache. I spent most of the day in bed while the boys played Wii. I hate not being a good mom on those days. I suffer a lot of guilt for it. I think they like it when I get a headache-untimed access to the video games. So I started feeling much better after a late lunch (very late-cause that's how we are around here). Got a call from a dear friend and talked on the phone for hours. Got the boys some dinner and to bed (late) and the mourning period was over. I have been cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, catching up on all things left undone. I feel good. It's funny because it came over me all of a sudden. I think somewhere out there, someone is praying for me. :) I love having the support of other Christians. And I am in awe that I have God, who cares so very much about me that he has them call me when I need them the most.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's been while, hasn't it?

So I've been wanting to post something for a while now, but to be honest, I've not had anything enlightening to say. I think part of it is wrapping my brain around the fact that my beloved was getting ready to go and is now overseas. For 10 weeks. I can do this. I know I can. And I know there are sooooo many who've sacrificed time with their loved ones for soooo much longer than that. I am so very grateful for their willingness to protect our freedom and to their families that have to do without them. I'm not upset about DH going, what he does can actually help to save lives so I would never keep him here. I'm really proud of him and what he does. It just really stinks to be so far away from him. He's my best friend. He loves me when I'm so very unlovable. He gets me. Well... most of the time, he gets me.

Before he left we got some of the paperwork filled out and now I'm going to work on some more and make some progress. We'll see how much I can get done. Anyway, I'm going to bed. Boys to chase tomorrow. Grocery shopping to do.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Case of the Missing Milkshake

So there's this children's music artist. She's relatively famous now, as children's music artists go, you may have seen her on NickJr. Milkshake. Anyway, she's out of Baltimore, MD and before she got on NickJr, she was giving free concerts in the parks around here. I think DS3 was just a baby and we went to the concert. We ended up purchasing her CD and we LOVED it. We listened to it all summer. Every time we got in the truck, we heard, "open up a bottle of sunshine, mix it up with a bowl full of daydreams, pour it into a suitcase full of laughter that I found... you won't find me sittin around." Anyway, we lost it. We looked, and looked, and looked... we just couldn't find it anywhere. Many times since then, we've thought about it and wished we knew where it was.

Fast forward. I found myself getting irritated with the boys. It happens. Right? I mean, they're kids... they can be irritating. Not a big deal. Really. Except... I realized that it was happening more and more. And more often than not. That's not so good. I had this awakening. I realized that I wasn't enjoying them anymore. That really hurt me. Now, that's not to say that I thought my children were miserable and I NEVER enjoyed them. We did lots of stuff together that we all really enjoyed. Crafts, field trips, reading books, playing with play dough, even yard work. What I'm saying is, I used to enjoy them all the time. I saw the world through the eyes of my children. I experienced the wonder and excitement of everything new again. New to them. If I was cooking, I wanted them with me. Who cares about flour and eggs on the floor? If I was doing laundry, they sat on top of the washer and put in the detergent and the fabric softener. Every minute I had with them was a joy and a wonderful new experience. That had all gone away. Somehow, I thought dinner would be done faster if I did it myself. Laundry would be easier if I didn't have them sorting the socks by tossing them across the room. I don't know. I let the mundane, the duties, the stuff of life swallow me and convince me that it would be better to put my life in boxes... some where kids were allowed, some where they weren't. How did that happen? That's not me. It happened because I let it. I allowed myself to think that somehow, laundry, a clean house, and a well organized life was important enough to let it squeeze out my children. MY CHILDREN.

So I've spent a lot of time trying to get back to that other way of life. The way where I include them in everything that they want to participate in. It's hard to go back to thinking that way once you get away from it. Then the other day, DS3 (4yo) wanted to be big like his brothers. He wanted to make the bread. I enjoyed helping him. :) And I mean, I really enjoyed it. I laughed when the flour hit the floor. I beamed when he ran the blender all by himself. I held my breath when he cracked the egg. And I bit my lip to keep from laughing when he announced, "It's time for the east!" Somehow he never gets that 'y' out. And when he pressed that start button and turned to me full of pride and said, "I did it! I made bread because now I'm four years old!" I blinked back the tears long enough for him to jump down, run off to join his brothers, and leave me to clean up the kitchen while crying for joy. Why did I ever let that get away from me? I will NEVER do that again. I will NEVER allow the meaningless garbage of making it through the day take my children from me.

So you're wondering what all this has to do with the missing Milkshake CD. Later, that same day the boys and I were in the school room. We have been working on learning the books of the Bible. I couldn't find the CD with the books of the NT that we had used the last time we worked on it. And, it had been so long, that I just threw in another one. Well, DS1 and DS2, who had learned them, got really confused with the new song. SOOOOO, I started looking through ALL the cases trying to find "I'm Gonna Sing" with the correct version of the song. I knew it had to be somewhere, I just figured it had gotten put away in the wrong case. I must have looked inside a dozen cases, all the while the boys are trying to get used to the newer version. Then I opened a case from an audio book that the boys never really liked and there it was-Milkshake! I literally started squealing and jumping up and down. I couldn't even get out what it was to tell the boys. I put it in the CD player and started blasting the music. It was wonderful. I finally regained composure and the boys asked if we could take and listen to it in the truck. So we did. I have to tell you. I put that CD in the truck and despite the 60 degree weather outside, when the music came on I was smacked with the heat of July in my memories. Memories started flooding back, memories of a time when every day was an adventure to be had... we found ourselves at the park, at the zoo, playing in the sprinkler behind our house, whatever notion struck us. I literally started crying. Like I said, I'll never forget that again. I told my DH that I thought the CD was deliberately hiding from me because I didn't deserve to have those memories back. At least not until I figured things out. So now we are loving life, listening to Milkshake, and going where the wind (or the boys) blow.

I am so grateful to God that he helped me to see where we were and where we needed to get back to before I lost too much time with my kids. Don't ever take anything for granted.

Oh, and by the way, I was able to stay on task and find "I'm Gonna Sing" and we all know the books of the New Testament. It was in the case of another audio book that the boys didn't care for. That's why we hadn't found them. They didn't like those.