The last few days have left me feeling not very motherly. They've left me feeling like I've got a gigantic speech bubble attached to my head that says, "I'm not sure I'm cut out for this." Under the guise of catharatic writing, I'll give you a few of the hard things about two three year olds, one who is pretty well settled in but has had his world turned upside down, and one who is still trying to figure out if she's coming or going.
1. One child who has slept through the night only a few times since coming home + one child who
is wigging out over the attention the other child gets in the middle of the night when she wakes up which leads him to try to find ways to get that same attention, also in the middle of the night=1 tired Mama who has not gotten enough sleep and doesn't handle the daytime drama very well
2. The tears....over everything. Everyone overreacts with great drama to everything. We cry all day long. (Sometimes that includes the Mama...sometimes not...)
3. Dealing with repeated deliberate disobediences and defiance...from both children. The newest one has no qualms about disobeying and will not stop even dangerous behavior like touching a hot pan or the hot stove. So much of a house and a family is "new" to her. Despite being in a small orphanage, it's a totally different thing to come home and be basically unfettered and allowed access to so much stuff. Even if she's seen it before, it's still new because of the change in environment. In some ways it's like having an 18 month old in a bigger, more mobile body. The other little guy is a very complicit child who would never have dreamed of telling me no before. But he's seen someone else do it and now is wanting to try. (I've been charging him kisses for every no I hear and that seems to be working. We start with five kisses for the first no and increase for everyone thereafter during that day.)
4. Getting a bit lost in the hurts of two little kids who have lost much in their little lives. While looking at orphanage pictures this week, Kenson said he didn't want to have to lay down in his orphanage bed again. And when talking with Conleigh about her initial experiences in Miami which involved being separated from the orphanage director overnight, watching her face perk up with understanding when I talked about Melinda going bye bye while Conleigh was sleeping and that it was probably scary (peh). And then hearing her talk about her friend and say "Julie too!" How scary to be three and wake up with your familiar faces gone, replaced by complete strangers.
But the flipside is today is a new day. From the Message (Psalms 32), "Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be-you get a fresh start, your slate is wiped clean." Today is a new day with new challenges but with a chance for new feelings and new actions. So here's to a new speech bubble that say's, "Today's a new day. Love covers a multitude of mistakes."
Today is a new day to see and hear....
1. Two kiddos who are so eager to see each other in the morning that they often ask first thing where the other one is.
2. The way neither one of them can say the "kuh" sound; it's really charming to hear one little voice calling for the other one with "Tenson"or "Tonleigh".
3. Watching them play and entertain each other with cars and babies and bikes and balls and whatever else they can find.
4. A little girl with a deep throaty laugh and a constant twinkle in her eyes (when she's not mad!)
5. A little boy whose smile electrifies his entire face
6. and to feel amazement at how much their hearts and minds have and will change as they adapt to a new life in a family, as they let themselves believe that this family deal is a special deal, unlike nothing they have ever had before