downs, ups, and awkward school projects

I saw a quote once from Jon Bergeron that “adoption day isn’t the first day of happily ever after, it’s the first day of rehab.”  In so many ways, this is true.  The excitement wears off, and now we are all left with a sense of reality.  “Forever” is comforting to us…it is not for them.  And as a friend gently reminded me in a moment of weakness, frustration and anger and crisis and lying is as natural to them as kindness and compassion and empathy is to us.  I am reminded that each one of us in our home continue to re-negotiate all that know about the world on a daily basis.  Charlie told me today, “I just wish I could scream “don’t you get this is forever!?” and have this nonsense be over.  I just wish it was that simple.”  Me, too.  And honestly, sometimes I forget that it’s NOT that simple.  Despite all that I know from a professional standpoint, sometimes I just can NOT understand why our love can’t just be enough.  Many people believe that love isn’t enough, period, though I’m not one of them.  Love AND time are necessary.  So…that was the down.

The “up” is that even when it’s hard, we are all exactly where we are supposed to be.  The “up” is that we all just keep trying.  The “up” is that there are lots of weeks that fantastic.  The “up” is that “J” randomly blurted out, “I just love this family” at supper a few nights ago.  The “up” is that the snow fall this year triggered the kids about 20x less.  The ‘up” is that the three of our children have so much love for each other and hearing them laugh and play feels like a miracle, each time.  The “up” is that even when the kids’ fear gets in the way, they call us “Mom and Dad.”  Lots to celebrate and be thankful for this season!

A few weeks ago, “A” got sent home a project asking for childhood pictures for a quilt they are making.  My own anxiety got in the way, and I tucked it away while I could figure out what to do about it.  I ended up totally forgetting about it, until she reminded me the night before the pictures were due.  I apologized and gently explained I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it.  “Mom, most kids are bringing kid memories but we have made lots of memories this last year, just get me some pictures from that!  Not a big deal.”  Ha.  Ok, 8 year old who can handle this better than I can!