We found ourselves completely immersed in the kids school work this week. Taking 10 days to travel to the grandkids really cramped their styles at school, and this week was HOURS of catch up work for the 3 oldest. The younger kids were able to take theirs with us to Jersey, but the bigger kids had payback time this entire week.
By Saturday night, I realized I had omitted working with Tom and Mere on their regular homework, so we pulled out the book called "Hats" and they both "read" them perfectly. They love their kindergarten teacher, and I can hear her expressive reading when they recount what they are learning.
Part of their homework was to discuss the use of Hats and other things we wear. One question was, "What do we wear on our wrists?" Of course the Princess didn't skip a beat when she said "bracelets!". Tom took a half a second longer and said, matter of factly, "Handcuffs."
It made us laugh out loud. What does our little guy know about handcuffs? Ah, the surprises from little lips!
We have our last home visit with our caseworker this week. Not only are we finishing projects and touching up paint that has been scribbled on (only 3 of them are doing that these days), we are cleaning closets and sorting through the last of the summer clothes and hanging up the winter coats. It is Michigan, so day to day weather is hard to predict.
It seems like such a long year of getting to this point. So much has happened along the way, and yet, it feels some days as if time has been suspended. We try to picture who our Ethiopian born children will be, and wish we were closer than we are to meeting them. I try to be patient, knowing God's great plan will bring it all together in HIS perfect timing, but the very human, mother side of me is anxious to put my babies to sleep in their new room. Having met our newest grandson makes it even more real to believe there are children in Ethio that have lost their family and we need to bridge the gap as soon as possible to them.
We like our caseworker. She is working on her own adoption, so she is sensitive to our emotional journey. This visit she will meet our other children, and form her final opinions about our life, our home, and our plans. She has told us she will recommend us for 2 children, and there is no fear that it will all go smoothly (as possible for an international adoption!!) from here. It's just the waiting that makes it seem almost impossible to bear.
I love a plan. I love knowing when things are going to happen, how it will work out and what I need to do to make it come to fruition. In earlier years it was preparing sunday school classwork, and later on, Vacation Bible School at our home church. That morphed into starting a home cleaning team, and years later,an office position that allowed me to help with managing the office, and helping employees with their benefits. I had clear plans for every day, and time tables I could work with.
Once we started with foster care, most of my plans became dealing with issues "on the fly" while getting kids to counseling, doctor appointments and visitations. I kept a meticulous calendar, and thrived in the business of "doing." When I endeavored to homeschool 6 of our kids, ages 11 to 4, I still found solace in a well kept schedule of events.
Fast forward to now. I still have a house to keep clean, LOTS of laundry to maintain, and 6 kids schedules to adhere to with public school. Our Baby Bella is no longer in therapy (praise God!) and the only thing we try to do on a regular basis is to attend 1 hour of Library school each week. Sure, there are days of regular doctor appointments, and all the work of keeping a family healthy, happy and clean. But these days, life is much less busy, many less things to keep organized. I find myself wondering what to accomplish next.
That's where the waiting for our new children gets hard. I have read so many books on adoption, international most recently, and attachment issues. I have read blogs, articles and books on how to keep Ethiopian children's hair healthy. I have stocked the nursery with everything functional and am waiting to see who our children will be so I can buy the things they will need. And I am still waiting...
I guess on weeks like these, I should savor the peace, and relish the lack of business. I am slowing down, learning to take deep breaths and see the silver linings. Bella and I do not miss an opportunity to smell the roses.
And on weeks like this, I am so very thankful for the kindergartener that makes us laugh so effortlessly with his "handcuff" comment. Even in waiting and feeling less busy, there is so many ways to see the beauty of each day.