288 different directions

sometimes i feel like i am going crazy, and so i started to analyze my life and came up with some interesting facts...

let's suppose that a child needs my attention approxiately every 10 minutes. could be they need the play-doh, or a referee, or a band-aid. maybe it is just to touch base, or a kiss, or probably more likely to ask if they can play wii (which they know they can't until the weekends and even then they have to earn time by reading but they still ask...)

so that's 6 "mommy's" per hour, and of course any request is initiated by a drawn out "mooooooooo-mmmmmmmyyyyyyy" - and generally spoken at a loud decibel from a room other than where i am. multiply that by four children and we have 24 per hour. and let's suppose that i am with them, at least in the summer, for about 12 hours a day, 8a.m. until 8p.m. so we multiply 24 by 12 hours and we have 288 times a day that someone is needing me.

no wonder i feel like i am being pulled in a 100 different directions. in fact, on any given day i am being pulled in 288 different directions. so, i have debated whether to unplug the answering machine or just to say this, "hi. you have reached the crazy house. currently, i am on the #182 mommy of the day, 106 more to go. by the time i get this message i will have absolutely no interest in anything or anyone. so if you really need me, try another time. guaranteed, i will not call you back."

so yes, life is crazy. but we are having fun too. the 3 older kids are into sleepovers these days and seem to have suddenly discovered that they can be great friends. on any given night they are sleeping in each other's rooms. last night, it was all three of them in josiah's room. there they are, all in line on the floor just being buddies (never mind that josiah has two beds in his room, they like the floor).

lydia is blossoming and talking more and more. today she was dressing herself (yes, she is potty trained AND can dress herself!) and the hood on the back of her shirt was covering her face. much to my surprise she says, "where's lydia?...boo!" whoa - where did that come from!

so life is good. not too many moments sitting at the bottom of the pool. we are walking on our tiptoes these days. one thing we haven't done is take a lot of pictures, so i promise to do that soon and post them. since we don't always manage to get dressed i will have to plan before i get the camera out...

only two more weeks of summer - hard to believe we will have a 2nd grader and a kindergartener. yikes, where does time go?


on my toes

(a copy of our final email to our adoption email group)

I watched Micah cross over the rope today at the pool and enter into big-boy territory. While he can’t swim, he discovered that if he stands on his very tippy toes and the water is calm, he can walk around. He was so excited! However, if he loses his balance or if the water is less than serene, he suddenly finds himself drowning. There is very little margin between life and death, between exhilaration and terror.

That’s me. There are days when it seems this new life is coming together and we are having so much fun. And then there are times when I truly don’t know how I will make it to bedtime without causing permanent damage to someone or something. It is a day to day journey. Today, I was sitting at the bottom of the pool. The kids woke up whining and fighting, I was repeating myself 100 times, the house was a disaster, my to-do list running onto page #2. Just as I was beginning to wonder how much more I could take I began to smell something burning. Really burning. I finally traced it to the microwave where I opened it up to find oatmeal. Not unusual, except that in my quest to fix breakfast for the fearsome foursome, I had forgotten to add water. Now…the house was quite odiferous, the kids were complaining (I couldn’t really blame them), Eric called to say he had my keys at the office, and it was only 9:00 in the morning. Oh my.

We are all learning. Today I learned that pouring a bowl of Cheerios is much simpler than cooking oatmeal for all of them. You cook it, you let it cool, you mix different things in each child’s bowl, you listen to them ask at least 72 times if it is ready to eat, you listen to at least one child scream because they insisted on trying to eat boiling oatmeal, and finally 45 minutes after you started you sit down for breakfast only to find out that the first kid’s oatmeal is cold. I don’t care if it is expensive or unhealthy; as of today this house is converting to cereal. So I learned. That’s good. Each day is new and it seems someone is learning something every day. Yesterday, Lydia learned to say “bye”. And so all day she walked around waving her hand and saying, “Bye, Mommy. Bye, Mommy.” She was so proud of herself, and we were too (we won’t read too much into the fact she was pretending to leave the scene!)

I am figuring this thing out. Some days I am walking on my tippy toes with a big grin on my face, other days I lose my balance and suddenly I am drowning. The challenge is finding out how to keep on my toes. What makes me fall, what needs to change, where can we tweak life a little bit so that steady is the norm. And what do I do when the water is overtaking me. When I feel like I am sinking to the bottom, when I feel like this is more than I can bear. We are learning. God is teaching. All six of us – it is most definitely a family affair. (Much to their chagrin, Josiah and Anna Claire have figured out that one more little one means Mommy needs a bunch more help!)

God has performed a miracle to bring us sweet Lydia. There is no doubt in our minds and hopefully not in yours as you have followed along. She is a living, breathing personification of God’s miraculous hand. I wanted to send one final email to let you know how grateful we are to you. I wish we could have a huge party and somehow convey to each of you the depth at which we appreciate your friendship. We have not walked this journey alone and because of that, we don’t celebrate alone. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, we offer prayers that God would use Lydia’s story to strengthen and emblazon your journey with Him. May His name be glorified for many, many years as a result of this little girl we are now privileged to call our daughter.

With a hugely grateful heart,