A good friend of ours at church described parenting like math. As infants, you start off with basic addition and subtracting. Adding love and subtracting diapers. As they become toddlers, you throw in multiplication (tantrums) and division (back-talking). You don’t get to things like geometry or calculus until they are big kids, and statistics doesn’t hit until the teen years. Like math builds, parenting skills build. And we’ve jumped in a calculus. And you all know I suck when it comes to numbers. Anyways, that’s hit the nail on the head. You can say “welcome to parenthood” to us, meaning well, or course, but it’s no where near the same. Transitioning, training, learning, and loving one another is the name of the game in our house. Not to mention balancing blending in positive relationships with biological family and protecting her from the negative ones, all while working through the legalities with our lawyer, DSS, and her social worker. We recently had family pictures made for our Christmas card, and I thought I’d share some. The daughter of a former coworker of Jake’s did them, and she did a fantastic job.
I feel like I have huge bags under my eyes most all the time, especially weekdays. Like, purple suitcases hanging there. Every where we go, it seems like we show up 2 minutes late on two wheels, hair flying, holes in pantyhose, frazzled, with me doing the mom thumb-lick thing to get whatever off her face. Work has been extraordinarily crappy lately. I am fed up with it. Not to mention, our school was broken into earlier this week. It even made local news, and reporters came in. We had to cancel class until 11 just to get all the glass up. My room was hit, but nothing taken. Talk about a complicated Monday! All in all, work has just been difficult for both Jake and me… and having so much more to deal with so suddenly has only made us more groggy-headed.
Stepping back, though, I can see how truly blessed and happy we are despite the stress and exhaustion. One month ago today, a little girl looked up at me and said, “Can I call you Mommy from now on?”
Now, she’s mine. Legally (custody), she will be mine on Dec. 20, and then fully (through adoption) in May. Regardless, she became mine when she asked that simple question… would I have her forever, unconditionally, and provide for her the guidance, stability, compassion, encouragement, and strength she needs to face life? And, of course, I said yes. And we’ve made so many memories in the last month. Our first adventure was getting her room painted and decorated. We tackled the awkwardness of the holidays head on, embracing Thanksgiving as time to meet and grow to love many more extended family members. She’s been horseback riding, target practicing, cupcake baking, and exploring libraries and museums. She’s growing and changing and learning to control her behavior. And I’m overjoyed at God’s glory in it all.
This weekend, we will go get our Christmas tree (we wait and get a real one, fresh from the mountains each year). I am so excited! I’ll update when I find a chance to take a breath. :)