Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Yesterday I was so proud of my children. They were eager to provide a nice welcome home to Tony, who had driven them all nearly crazy before he left in June for Bart's mom's. We had a family meeting and agreed that we needed to give him a fresh start. The kids had the idea of having a welcome home party, and so the girls and I went to the store to purchase a cake and some chips (nothing says a party to our kids better than chips), streamers and markers to make a poster. EVERYONE helped get the kitchen ready and we all sat around the table waiting for him.
Later I found out that on the way home he had mentioned to Bart that nobody even wanted him to come home and that they would probably not even care that he was there. Instead he walked in to find us all seated, waiting for him, posters, streamers, cake and chips. Even Salinda helped decorate and get things ready for him.
The kids were so cooperative in making him the center of attention for that half hour and it seemed to ease him back into the family quite well. I think each kid is earnestly giving him a fresh start, which speaks volumes about how much they have learned and grown.
I was speaking last night and mentioned that our kids are still wanting us to adopt more children. They have such generous hearts. Not a one has asked anything about Ivan living here -- even though he isn't adopted. Not one of the children has suggested that they might get less if we include him, or that there is less space, or less attention for each person, though all of those things are true to a small extent (he's a very low maintenance kid).
Not one of the kids said no to having John move back home. They know he is going to need his family. And they will change bedrooms, move over at the table and in the van or car, and give him room.
And Salinda and the baby? They all want her to choose to live here, though we won't pressure her. But they would be welcome too. And the theme of the summer has been, even with all of the bedrooms filled to overflowing, "Can we adopt again?"
Speaking of Salinda, yesterday she picked out a book of 100,000 baby names. I laughed to myself because she has a hard time ordering from a menu that has more than 10 choices and here she thinks she's going to read 100,000 names and pick two. Anyway, I digress..
She was intending to use some money her boyfriend, Henry, had given her, to purchase the book. As she was standing in line with me I said, "I can go ahead and pay for that book." And then I smiled and said, "for that grandchild that's not really mine." For the first time since she was a little girl, I literally saw her face fall with visible sadness. She said, "Oh, Mom, I didn't mean that."
I responded, "I know you didn't. It's OK. But sometimes I think that your boyfriend's family might think that because they don't understand adoption." She nodded. I said, "I just hope that the baby never thinks that." And she said, with determination, "I'll make sure it never does."
So even though yesterday was so packed and busy, it was a wonderful day. There were evidences that my children are actually getting it.... that despite their issues they are understanding the point of our lives. They are grabbing ahold of our mission and our vision for helping others and for keeping children from aging out of care without a family and making it theirs. They are generous and kind and we're having a lot of fun.
So i"m leaving with unmedicated Dominyk this morning (I'm itchy, so very itchy, I can't stand being so itchy mom, and it's hot, so very hot......) at least feeling hopeful about the next year of transition and changes. It appears we may be at a place where the positive energy and the maturity of some of our more stable kids can counteract the negativity of the others. And it's been a long time.... probably 11 years, since that has been true. For years it was the other way around.
Last night I hooked up with one of those seasoned adoptive parents (meaning older than me) who had had a daughter with an unexpected pregnancy. I couldn't remember how the story had turned out, so I asked. She responded, "Oh yes, all four of her children live with us." Thanks a LOT for that big burst of hope. ;-)
Will the next year be trouble free? Of course not. But as the years go by, there will be a lot of opportunities to watch God work in and through us and our kids. And today I feel like I just might be able to take it on.