Friday, September 26, 2008

Reflections From Far Away

I'm sitting at the new Adopt America office near downtown Toledo. Being away from home often gives me a renewed sense of energy and I often am able to think more clearly about everything when I have a chance to get away. And this has been no exception.

Here are a couple of my conclusions:

1) I love and miss my kids. Several of them are doing so well right now -- in fact, most of them are. Whereas in the past it has been a huge relief to be away from the drama and trauma that they bring me, this time I was sad to be gone. We have had several really good interchanges this summer and the school year has been off to a good start. I love them and it's harder for me to be away from them than ever before, which seems weird since 7 of the 9 at home are 13 and over.

2) I have an amazing husband. Very few people could leave that many kids at home with a man and not return to a disaster. But the kids love him and love having him with them and, as he blogged this morning, they are having a great time. I miss him a lot, but I feel even better about being married to him when I get away and realize the incredible freedom he has always given me to be myself and pursue my dreams, even when they are at a cost to him.

3) I am still very passionate about getting kids home. Talking about how to match better, how to work in the system better, how to work with families better -- dreaming, planning, and working towards doing things well motivates me. I always come up with many new ideas when away from my routine.

4) I work with some amazing people. I had a wonderful time this week with the people that I was able to meet or see again. It was fun to see the things we have in common -- and the things we don't. Learning from their experiences and being in awe of the things they do is so enriching. Examples: one of the women here changes between 44 and 55 diapers a day -- all on kids way too old for diapers. They are impaired, handicapped, delayed, whatever word you want to use, with very low IQs, but she and her husband are giving them a great start. Another woman who I referred to earlier, has many, many children with serious medical issues and has been adopting for over 35 years. She has renovated an old school building and while many people might see this as very very weird, it beats an institution, where most of these children would end up, any day. I won't mention each person, but the women I met with this week -- both those who flew in and those who work here -- are amazing in their own way. (And yes, Ashley and Karen, your names are being mentioned. A huge shout out for reminding me about the TV program last night....)

5) I am glad that I work at home. While I have enjoyed being here at the main office, I get so much more done from home. I enjoy being connected to all these great people, but am also thankful that I don't have to get up, get dressed up, and drive in to work each day. I like doing what I do from home.

6) My family needs a break from me. I think having me gone for a few days is good for them. Bart offers some things that I don't, and I think that they, and I, are all feeling much better about each other when we're done.

7) Finally, there is a great deal more work that needs to be done. Too many kids are still waiting. Too many families are still waiting. Too few families are being recruited for the kinds of kids that are out there. All the things that I have been blogging about for months are true. So much to do, so little time. And the possibilities are endless.

Going far away sometimes can be a good thing. I'm glad I'm here.

And I'm glad that tomorrow I'm going home.

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