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Monday, January 3, 2011

First Full Day Was Full

Whoa Nelly. It was some day. Today our "new reality" kicked in. Dan had to go back to work. Madeline's Christmas break was over and she had to go to school. Hannah and Joseph had to the hit the pediatrician's office to start their full medical work-up at 8am (thank you Doc Roe for rearranging yoru schedule and fitting us in!)

These past few days have been filled with joy and sweetness and craziness and frustration galore. I don't think I've ever experienced such a range of emotion in all my life. And I've been pregnant three times.

We have been delighted to watch Hannah and Joseph begin to ease their way into our lives and become part of our family. Hannah adores Baby Charlotte and would rather spend time with her than do anything else -- although she is also fascinated by the vacuum cleaner and is constantly running to the broom closet and asking if we can get out the "vakoom cleena." I expected that Madeline and Hannah would be closer but so far Madeline has taken more of the big sister, protector role and Baby C is her big buddy.

Joseph and Davis have become fast friends. They are almost the same age and nearly the same size. They both have an adventurous spirit and a great love for cars, trains, trucks, swords and batman underwear. Despite the freezing temperatures, Joseph is determined to play outside with Davis as much as possible. I mean, bless this boy's heart... until this week he spent his entire life living on equator! The child didn't even know coats and scarves existed. But he is undeterred. I bundle him up and he's off. And so far I've had to drag the boys back inside when it's time.

We've had some very sweet family time, we played at the park with friends, we attended a birthday party. Yesterday we attended church for the first time as a family of 7. Tonight we taught H & J how to twirl spaghetti onto their forks and it ended up being way more fun that it should have been. And trust me when I say you have never seen two children who love bathtime more than these crazies. Overall, everyone is adjusting well and our hearts are full. Hannah and Joseph are eager to please and they're getting settled in and used to our house and our routines. But things are not perfect and it definitely has not been a walk in the park.

Today I started to feel a teensy bit sorry for myself. I'd spent the early morning at the pediatrician's office (where it took three of us to hold Hannah down for the many immunizations she received). In my life I have never seen a child so afraid and hysterical -- and because I don't speak her language, I had no words to explain what was happening or why. It was pretty awful. We have many, many doctor appointments and lab work and immunizations and medications ahead of us. We are just getting started.

My mid-morning was spent trying (and trying and trying and trying) to work through a simple homeschool lesson with Davis while I held Baby Charlotte on my lap and stopped to help Hannah or Joseph with something every minute or two. I spent a crazy amount of time refereeing Davis and Joseph while they "shared" the Buzz Lightyear bike (yes, Dan and I thought about just going out and buying another one but we decided that solution didn't really get to the heart of the issue). And Hannah, sweet Hannah...is afraid to let me out of her sight. She follows me everywhere, every room I enter she is never more than a step or two behind and is constantly saying "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy... you see?? You see?? Mommy!"

So when I sat down this afternoon to fold three more baskets of laundry, I started feeling a little sad and sorry for myself. This really only lasted a few minutes when a little thought popped into my head... prompted I'm sure by the Holy Spirt. Here's the thought: you know Shelly, if you hadn't spent your day serving Hannah and Joseph, if they weren't here for you to love and pour into and enjoy, how would you have spent your day? And I thought about this and I had to answer -- I probably would have gone to Target because I have a few things to return. I would have taken a longer shower and spent a reasonable amount of time fixing my hair and applying make-up. Davis could have played uninterrupted with his bike and all of his toys without having to share a thing with anyone else. And our entire day, sadly, would have been all about us. Instead, we are blessed to be learning something much better. Slowly, but we're learning.

Hannah helping the baby with her snack

Davis orchestrating Train Time

Who's ready for bed, raise your hand?

"4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 and because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" -- Galatians 4:4-6


Chasity said...

Oh, Shelly. Hugs to you. I cannot imagine your joy or exhaustion at this point! Praying and praising along with you.

Ribbens Family said...

We continue to pray for your family as you transition fully as a family of 7...many more hard days but many MORE days filled with joy, sharing, loving and giving. Blessings!

dkckaemba said...

i have come to read your blog from the Little Monkey blog who's author is a very good friend of mine. i have to tell you that i have been reading your blog ever since she mentioned that we should check it out on one of her posts. i am addicted, i check daily for your updates!
i live and work in indonesia. i have friends who left here at the beginning of december to go to uganda to finally receive their son. they are still there waiting on his visa and then they will go back to the states to live. maybe you know who i am talking about. however, i want you to know that i am here celebrating with y'all, with the children, with our Savior. thank you for remembering the orphans...your new cheerleader, kaylor

Julie said...

Continuing to pray as you adjust to being a family of 7. Your obedience is such an encouragement.

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

Congrats on your adoption! We met back in November at the volunteer night for the Created for Care retreat. So happy for your family! I added myself as a follower!

love said...

i get this so much. well, not the exact same as you because your kids are older than clay was & there are 2, but you know what i mean. i distinctly remember sitting on the floor of the babies room...bianca was on one side of my lap nursing & clay was sitting on the other side of my lap & i had that brief moment you describe. and i, too, remember the holy spirit whispering to me that what better could i be doing with my day? the socks that i was trying to match didn't matter a bit.
praying for you all. you are a blessing.

Melissa said...

Shelly, this is simply amazing. Thank you for the big reminder that our days are not about us!

Melissa said...

Love hearing how they are doing! I remember the "you see??" oh too much!! Can't wait to get together and see those precious kids again!