Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Big Question and The Long Answer

    The big question we get over and over again is "how are things going?"  Such a loaded question, but my quick answer is always that things are going really well....because honestly, in my opinion, they are going as good as they could be.  The long answer.....well, it's pretty long.  Because things are really really good....and really chaotic at times......challenging.....joyful.....rewarding.... draining.....and amazing.  Adoption is hard.  Having a baby is hard.  Any major life changes are challenging....and a huge blessing.....but they all require time to adjust to.  I think we've all shed more tears in the past month than in a while....tears of joy...tears of frustration....tears of empathy... tears from the overwhelming gratitude and love we feel for our family.  And we would not change a thing.

     We've really been communicating well overall....but there are still those moments of misunderstanding..... and time spent trying to convey our real intentions and unconditional love.  Changes in the routines that are depended on can cause stress....though always informing of what is going to happen next helps tremendously.  Teaching, for probably the first time, how to deal with all of the emotions that are being felt....to slowly watch as one learns to run to us, rather than away when challenges come.  Changes for little ones who also cannot verbally express their feelings, but rather act out, and need extra time and attention.  Meltdowns that become contagious.....one copying the behavior of another that we're trying to un-teach.  The time flies by each day and I struggle to slow...and fully enter each moment...  Falling into bed, exhausted, but so full, up often at night and then too early.......

     And yet....woken early to hugs, kisses, I love you's, massages (what?!)......excitement to show me skills practiced and perfected in the early morning (on her own!).  Pleadings for more school (again..what?!)......listening to giggles on car rides and voices all singing praise music.  One motivated to work harder in school because of the other......better yet....kids choosing to do school during playtime...without me!

       
         These faces each morning looking at me expectantly....excited for what's to come....

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 Mornings when daddy comes home from work....all running, jumping, cheering that he is home.....


Enjoying this beautiful weather that has given us a little "summer" with our girl.....


                               Watching as they use their imagination and play together....


Enjoying the joy of kids being kids....maybe for the first time for some.....


         
                         Getting to braid hair, help put jewelry on....pick out clothes......


The enthusiasm over snow pants....and costumes.......


Walking in to find all three squeezed together in one seat.....


                                                      Experiencing family firsts....


                  And seeing the tenderness between siblings....the unprompted offers to help.....


The careful consideration after the initial pulling of any and every one just moments before...


The wonder of such simplicity.......


And wanting to share it as a family.....one picked for each of us....we're reminded often that there are five.....our family.


    Calls to take a photo and capturing smiles without 75 tries....and having to act like a lunatic......




       
             Sharing each part of our lives with our girl and watching her take it all in......



                                    Insane excitement over pretending...and being silly....


In his own little world, reading Fudge Pup a book......


Loving life.......


Learning together....and making apple pie......


        More sharing of our lives before kiddos....every photo brought questions, giggles....opportunities to make connections....


           Desiring to help out...to learn how to take on responsibilities, receive an allowance, learn how to budget and save for something she desires to buy.....


             Getting out their energy....craving the attention as they show you trick after trick.....                  

                           Look at me, look at me!


      Girls night out with Meme and the gratitude and excitement over what was given.....The incessant chatter, giggles and enthusiasm over their first gymnastics class today..... ready to begin Awana together tonight......

    I could go on forever it seems.....  So when I say that things are going really well, I do not mean that they are perfect....that they are free of challenges and trials....but even in those moments, I know, are gifts...blessings....learning and progress taking place, building stronger bonds, attachment, trust.  And so many more moments of pure joy....exhausting but beyond fulfilling joy.  

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