Sunday, January 11, 2015

Getting My Feet Under Me

     You know how you have those mornings, where you are wrenched from sleep by someone knocking on the door, or the dog has escaped from yard, or some other manner of untimely catastrophe interrupts the daily routine that your subconscious heavily relies on to function?  Then once you regroup and cover all the basic procedural necessities, it occurs to you, around lunch time, that you never grabbed your phone.    You fantasize about the joyful bliss you will feel when you have no notifications or missed calls, only to have reality slap you in face after you see that the school has called twice, there are a dozen texts from your bestie describing in great detail, the manner of chaotic emergency that happened to her after breakfast; the subsequent emotional turmoil, and the ultimate resolution. Oh, yeah, and you have to be at a doctor's appointment in 45 minutes.

     I sometimes feel like this is how God answers my prayers.  Almost like he left his prayer phone in the other room, and didn't get my prayer texts right away, and then sent an avalanche of answers that had been backlogged for about 10 years!  It never occurred to me when I was planning my wedding, or the rest of my life for that matter, that my earnest prayers would be A) Answered to the fullest or B) answered in a way and with timing that was not only completely off of my radar, but so far from the norm, it would be rejected as the plot of a Lifetime movie of the week because it's too far fetched

     Of course, God's timing is perfect. I can't argue with that, even in this crazy ride I'm on. I prayed whole heartedly for kids; lots of kids, and after having 1 child in 9 years of marriage, God answered!  2 kids in a year (an adopted 6 year old and a newborn) exacerbated by my body's violent protests to being pregnant, almost sent me over the edge; but once our newest little one (#4) was born, things weren't so bad.  It took a little while to figure everything out, but even though she has her moments, she's such an easy baby, and I felt like I had a good grasp on things.  Davis loves attention, so there's still a lot of work with him but the transition from 3 to 4 kids has been the easiest yet, and I had it covered.

      When the need arose for us to take in our niece and nephew, to perfectly honest, I wasn't exactly jumping at the opportunity.  We talked about it, made sure we were on the same page, we prayed about it, made sure we were on God's page. We knew that this is what we were suppose to do.  The idea of family members languishing in foster care was just terrible, and the kids were so close in age to our 2 youngest that we were already set up for them, sounds easy enough.....

       In reality, we're talking 4 bulky car seats, 4 cribs, 4 kids in diapers, 4 kids that can't dress themselves, 1 nursing, 1 on a bottle and baby food, 2 constantly needing their shoes taken off and put back  on (once said shoes are recovered from which ever abyss they were tossed into), 6 kids to wrangle, 6 kids to bathe, and 6 kids to get in bed every night.  I'm grateful that the 6 we have are good kids; they really are.  In fact, having these extra kids has actually cut down on the number of tantrums and meltdowns that we usually have because there's not enough time to think about yourself. There are too many distractions, and when 1 of mine has to have his tantrums in stages before it escalates to full meltdown, he just can't focus long enough with so much going on. When they do happen, we just deal with it like we always have.

     I've realized that when you have children, you just find a way to get things done.  Whether you have 1 or 6, you will always be busy, not to mention that kids are like a huge magnifying glass to your idiosyncrasies.  I've never been a great housekeeper, but now my house is never clean.  I don't have the best sense of time, but now I'm always late. It's always loud, We're always busy, and someone is always poopy. Actually, I feel like my hands always smell like poop, no matter how much I wash.  It's what I imagine running a Sanitarium would be like if I was the only member on staff.  On a positive note; freshly bagged poopy diapers make excellent projectiles when your husband's off-handed insensitive comments require a plethora of ammunition!

     I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, but these are just the facts of our new life. After all is said and done, I'm actually ok. Everyday, I find some way to make life just a little easier; I have wipy containers everywhere so that a wipy is never out of arm's reach; I taught Alex how to make a bottle, I have an extra, fully stocked diaper bag in the car at all time, and I am enjoying all the children.  The issues we've always had are still there but we are also (essentially) teaching 2 little ones to cuddle, which is wonderful because every time they lay their head on your shoulder it's like you won some awesome award.  Our kids have these new playmates and enjoy getting them to come out of their shell, I keep catching these sweet moments and you just can't be upset about anything when it happens.

    I keep comparing our little 2 1/2 bedroom house to a clown car, things are a bit snug, but we are all having good time. I pray, all the time, but specifically, I've been praying for my kids, that this will give them a real life lesson on Mathew 25:40, what does it look like to care for "the least of these"?  What does it mean to live for something bigger than yourself? What does it look like to step out of your comfort zone and obey God? I also pray for these 2 new additions, I don't know how long they'll be with us, what issues we'll have to deal with in the long run, how it's going to hurt when/if they leave. We can't plan for next month let alone next year, we just have to have faith that God will take care of us and that He will point us in the direction He wants us to go, open the doors that he wants walk through, and light the dark paths that our logical mind would tell us to avoid.

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