What's happened in 4 months?
4 birthdays. Ice storms, snow storms, tornadoes, floods. Flowers have bloomed. Pools have opened. Valentine's Day, Easter, Memorial Day. Last day of school. Soccer games. American idol finale. Many hours of laughter. Many bouts of tears.
Today was an especially rough day dealing with responsibility and attitudes. The girls fought ALL day long... and of all things to fight about... sharing some clothes a friend brought over for them. They have more clothes than they can know what to do with... UGH!
I continue to struggle with so many things. So many things that aren't what I thought they would be. So many things are.
What have I learned in the past 4 months?
- I have recognized the importance and value of time - sometimes I think that the one thing keeping me going is the promise of time. The promise that things will get better consistently with a little more time. I was holding on for summer for things to be "better." Now I'm just holding on.
- I have recognized the importance of unconditional love.
- I have recognized the importance of identifying the lessons we are learning every single day... yes even the bad days have important lessons in them.
- I have recognized how important it is for parents to say "no" more than they say "yes."
- I have recognized how important rules and consequences are.
- I have recognized how important hugs and kisses are... even when you're not feeling kissey and you're kids seem unhuggable.
- I have recognized kids are kids no matter where they are from.
- I have recognized it's not as easy as it looks... and it doesn't look all that easy.
- I have recognized that grief can come at all different times and look like a lot of different emotions. You can grieve "things" as well as people... food, weather, music, pride, ideas, dreams and the past to name a few. And it's not just affecting the new kids, but our family as a whole. You can grieve from change, even good change. You can grieve from growth, even expected, anticipated and wanted growth. Just as the kids sometimes awake with leg aches and "growing pains," so does a family awake with some aches when it's growing. And that doesn't mean it's a bad thing; it just means it's a part of life thing.
- I have recognized the importance of spending time together as a family - the importance of using every opportunity to be PRESENT with them and not just in the same house.
- I have recognized the importance of not taking things personally - just because Josh sits at the top of the bleachers while we sit at the bottom doesn't mean that he hates us. Perhaps he just likes the top of the bleachers. It doesn't always have to mean something.
- I have recognized the value of maintaining a good sense of humor in the face of change and adversity. I think this has been vital to our survival. We HAVE to laugh about something hysterically every single day. It really is the best medicine.
- I have recognized that watching the girls sleep cuddled up together in one twin bed because they can't bear to be alone is absolutely heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
- I have recognized that brothers can be made in 4 months time. Those two know each other. They take care of each other. They get it. They greet each other with a wrestling body slam as a way to say "good morning."
- I have recognized that sometimes my kids are more mature, patient and loving than I am.
- I have learned that adopting older children is a complicated process with many issues.
- I have also learned that it is so worth it! I can't imagine life without all of them. I would have a clean house and be well rested... but that's about it. I would be lost and lonely without all of them or any of them.
We are a puzzle, figuring out where the pieces fit, turning them, right side up, upside down, trying to not force pieces where they don't belong. We are a puzzle. You won't be able to see our full beauty until we get all the pieces in the right place, but we would not make sense without ALL of the pieces. We will be a masterpiece.