I have a confession to make. I was supposed to run 10 miles on Saturday. I had a dentist appointment at 11:00. I wore my running clothes and planned to go to the Y after the dentist and run on the treadmill because of all the ice and snow. I pulled into the YMCA parking lot, took out the wonderful young adult novel I was reading, and sat in the driver’s seat for two hours to finish the book. Then I drove home.
Some days are just like that. Perfect.
Positive family dynamics are very tenuous in my household right now. I say this as my daughters are happily playing a dot game on paper and little D is eating an after school snack. After I had to discipline him for missing the bus. After he lied about being asleep in class, then fessing up that he just chose not to get on the bus, again. That’s just one little drop in the bucket.
January was rough. We had to call for backup. I’m not ashamed to have to ask for help. Two weeks ago I kind of felt like I needed to change everything about the way I parent one of my children. It felt like she and I had fallen into a deep, dark hole together. I felt like I should have been the one to hold onto a safety net and bring her with me back to the surface. But I didn’t. I went right down with her. And there we lay, angry, confused, hurt, scared. My mother-in-law was my backup. Thank God for Mickey! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been that mad in my life. It’s kind of scary to think that my children can push me over that edge; that even though I resolve never to let that happen, it could, because it happened once.
So, here we are after school on a Monday. Everyone is in pretty good spirits. We have a checklist of chores on the refrigerator that needs to be completed tonight. Kids need to read 20 minutes. One needs to complete a homework packet. They all need showers and lunches packed. The dogs should be walked. But, I’m not gonna rock the boat. Those things can wait . . . until Zach gets home 🙂
This month we will celebrate two Gotcha Days with our kiddos. On January 13th, 2010 we were blessed to add Monica and Kelly to our family and on January 31st, 2013 we welcomed Diego to the family. Here are two pictures we took in front of the doors of our church. The first picture we took in January 2014 and the second picture we took in February 2013.
When we started the adoption process in January of 2008, we thought we were looking at a 2-3 year wait for two children ages 0-4 (which is the wait list we were added to in Colombia.)
We submitted our paperwork in September 2008. When you look at the wait list that Colombia publishes every so often, you can see what kind of movement is happening in your age group. Here is the most recently published wait list from February 2013. Notice that our age group, siblings 0-4, is currently processing families from May 2008. We would still be waiting.
Every day I feel blessed to have the three children that we do, in the way that God had planned. I don’t question God’s timing. But I do wonder if we would have stuck it out this long. It’s been more than five years since we started the process.
Please pray for those still waiting. It’s really hard to wait when you want children so much. When we were in Colombia the second time, we met a French couple who adopted three children ages 4-9. They waited for eight years!
Warning, this is an embarrassing post. If any of my colleagues are reading this, please don’t hold this against me. If any of Zach’s colleagues are reading this, please remember that we are only related by marriage. And Monica, if you read this someday, I hope you don’t forget how profusely I apologized to you afterwards, or the wonderful and inspiring story I told you about my 8th grade algebra class, but I do hope you forget how I taught you to borrow numbers when subtracting. You are right. I was wrong. And good luck on your test tomorrow. I hope you rock it!
. . . I asked Monica to pick two easy pages of her homework packet to complete while I put Kelly to bed. When I came downstairs to check on her, she was happily coloring an elephant and told me she had finished the page with the clocks and a page of subtraction. As I checked her math work, I noticed that she had done four problems incorrectly and asked her to erase them and try again.
She buried her head in her hands and shook her head. “Mommy, I have a test tomorrow!”
I said, “It’s ok. You’ll do fine. You have the right concept. You’re just using the wrong numbers. Math is very specific and you have to have the exact right number. I’ll help you.”
I walked her through the steps of borrowing and said she had to remember to go back one number before adding a 1 in the ones place. She sighed and redid all four problems my way. Then I said, “Do you want to try three more problems on the back for extra practice before your test tomorrow? I’ll give you a piece of chocolate.”
Of course, she wanted SIX more practice problems. She is a hard worker. As she was working on the last problem, I was mentally adding the numbers to check her work because something just didn’t seem right.
“Wait a minute honey. This isn’t right. These answers don’t add up. Wait a minute. I need to figure this out.”
That’s right. Mommy taught her wrong. She had done it correctly the first time, without my help.
We had a good laugh over our chocolate. Hopefully, lesson unlearned.