I am a failure as a blogger.
Two months ago I felt guilty about not finding time to write. Slowly, with the madness of life, that guilt slipped away until I didn't give writing a second thought. Then, I talked to my Grandma.
I love my Grandparents. My only complaint is that they don't live next door. We don't see each other often and we rarely talk. I take full responsibility for everything.
She mentioned my blog. She mentioned me writing for 100 days. Her excitement...and my failure. Not really, she didn't mention anything about me failing. She just mentioned that she wanted to hear from me. So, I dusted off the laptop and decided to write. This update is for you, Grandma.
I suppose I should begin with where I left off. We still have seven kids. Life is still quite chaotic. I'm exhausted. Seth is exhausted. We are functioning slightly above survival mode.
The biggest update would be that the babies' week long stay has turned into nearly three months with us. Our new norm is hard, I can't lie. It would be a disservice to moms out there who are struggling with littles and bigs and schooling and life, for them to hear me say, "This is a piece of cake." This isn't a piece of cake.
This is hard.
I let things go that I would have been on top of three months ago. My sliding glass door has dried dog snot on it. If you know how I feel about prints on windows, that's a biggie. I know it really doesn't matter in the long run, so I let it go. Or I remind Josiah to scrub the window, "...and I'm not just talking about at your eye level, I'm talking about that nasty jelly hand print encrusted with dog snot that dried there last week!"
So, I'm calming down about how the house looks. Not to say we live in a pig sty, everyone does their chores, but I can't be everywhere, so I have to trust that trash is emptied and litter boxes are scooped. That's one thing that is hard.
The other real hard thing is not knowing what is going to happen. That seems like a stupid statement, since life is full of uncertainties. This is a different uncertainty. Today, seven children, tomorrow...five? What's going on with the babies' mom today? Is she making choices that are bringing her closer to reunification? Is she straying? Will they be here for Christmas? Will they be okay next week at their aunt's?
It's hard, because they aren't our children. And, we don't want them to be.
As much as we love adoption and what it has done in our lives, it comes from a terrible heartbreak. This is the first time that we have stood on the other side of the adoption story. For each one of our children, we have come AFTER their loss. We loved them and adopted them and they were ours. We love these babies, but they are not ours.
You will never pray more often for a person as when you are raising that person's children. That is the underlying reality of our days--we are raising someone's children. I don't have time to think about it during the busy days. When I'm snuggling with a chubby, tired baby in his last moments of being awake, I think of his mom. I pray for her, because she's missing these moments. His first birthday. Cutting four teeth. Eating solid food and climbing up stairs. He will walk soon and she will miss his first steps. That's heartbreaking.
Her little girl calls me, "Mama" and runs to me for comfort. These are healthy behaviors and it's good that she has them, since she needs a 'mom' now. But it's sad that a family she didn't know three months ago has become her familiar comfort. Her mom missed her second birthday, saying goodbye to her binky, and watching her language explode.
That's hard. Then there's the diarrhea for eight days and waking up at night. Seth wearing a mouth guard because he is grinding his teeth. Josiah enjoying the shrieks of anyone younger than him, so his favorite past time has become taunting babies. That about sums our house up.
Screaming, pooping, and mouth guards. And occasionally, screaming while wearing a mouth guard because the dog just ate a poopy diaper. No joke.